Austin Parks reopens popular swimming spot and more amenities

Those fake fall days were good, but Austin temperatures are expected to be back in the high 80s next week. Fortunately for the four-legged friends among us, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department is opening Barton Creek Spillway, also known as Barking Springs, along with a number of other facilities that have been closed due to COVID-19.

The changes were made in collaboration with Austin Public Health. With Austin in phase 3 of its risk-based COVID-19 policy chart, it was determined that facilities are safe to reopen.

Before we proceed, we’d like to remind you that Barking Springs received international attention after photos went viral of crowds of Austinites gathering in the early days of the pandemic. Let’s learn our lesson this time, okay?

OK. Keep going.

Barton Creek Spillway will reopen on Saturday, September 12th along with the following PARD powered amenities:

  • Disc golf courses

  • Tennis courts in the neighborhood

  • Outdoor exercise equipment for adults (playgrounds remain closed)

  • Campsites in Emma Long Metropolitan Park

In addition, Sunshine Camp and Girl Scout Cabin will also open on September 12th, but will have to operate with limited capacity.

In addition to these amenities, PARD also allows the return of outdoor fitness classes for groups. Barry’s bootcampers and CrossFit fanatics can now return to city parks, as can approved small groups of 10 or fewer hosting events like group plantings.

A press release notes that this can of course change (like everything in this pandemic). If Austin can stay at level 3 or lower, the facilities can stay open. So let’s get on with what we do, and for God’s sake, don’t gather at Barking Springs.

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