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Jacob’s Well Natural Area

Updated November 2, 2021

COVID-19 Update: Jacob’s Well Natural Area is currently open to the public. The Nature Center remains closed at this time.

Know Before You Go!

    • Jacob’s well natural area is currently open to the public during open hours (8 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily).
    • Reservations are required for water access at Jacob’s Well.
    • No dogs, glass, alcohol, or drones are permitted in the natural area.
    • Visitors who just want to hike do not need a reservation. Recommended hiking hours are 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. every day.
    • We recommend all visitors follow the most up-to-date CDC guidelines while visiting the park.

Jacob’s Well Natural Area is NOT allowing swimming at this time:

We are currently in an annual period of aquatic restoration which lasts from October 1 – April 30 of each year. The cool clear water here makes Jacob’s Well a unique swimming destination in the Texas summer heat. However, the large amount of visitors we receive during these months can be very disruptive to the wildlife that calls this area home. This is especially true of the aquatic wildlife of Cypress Creek. Therefore we dedicate the chilly fall, winter, and spring months to habitat restoration. During this period, public swimming access is prohibited but we encourage visitors to come take a peaceful hike and observe the large variety of wildlife that is visible at this time! 

Swimming in Jacob’s Well: **Sold Out Until 2022**

Jacob’s well is open for swimming from May 1  – September 30 by online reservation only.

We do not have a waitlist for swimming. Reservations are for a specific two- hour time block and guests must show up for the time specified in their reservation. Late arrival is okay and we will hold your reservation until you arrive BUT your time block remains the same and you will have less time to swim.

Things to do at the preserve: 

There is no fee to park or enter the natural area. A fee is only required to swim in Jacob’s Well. We are currently in a period of aquatic restoration in which swimming is prohibited. Hiking, birding, picnicking, geocaching, photography and viewing the spring are permitted within park hours, with no reservation needed. If you are interested in a tour of Jacobs Well Natural Area, then please view the #Tours section below.

Recommended Hiking Hours: 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. every day
Entrance for hiking and viewing the spring is not guaranteed outside of the recommended hiking hours. This is based on park capacity. We strongly recommend visiting the park during our recommended hiking hours to beat the heat and crowds.

Parks Department Phone Number 512-214-4593

Please note:

    • Any swim reservation left unpaid after more than two (2) hours will be removed from the system and you will be required to start the process over.
    • Payment for your reservation will include a service fee in addition to the designated swimming fees below.
    • At this point in time Jacob’s Well Natural Area is unable to accept American Express cards as payment for a reservation.
    • JWNA is unable to issue refunds or rainchecks.  Reservations may not be transferred to a different date once created.

See rules and fees below:

Hours & Rules

All Hays County Parks will be closed to the public on the following dates:

Thursday. November 25, 2021 (Thanksgiving)
Saturday, December 25, 2021 (Christmas)
Saturday, January 1, 2022 (New Year’s Day)
Sunday, April 17, 2022 (Easter)

Jacob’s Well Natural Area is open daily (except the holidays listed above) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

NO ENTRY IS PERMITTED AFTER 5:30 p.m.

Jacob’s Well Natural Area is a day-use facility ONLY
Swim, jump, or climb at your own risk – no lifeguard on duty

    1. Swim at your own risk!
    2. No SCUBA diving
    3. No camping
    4. No bicycles, ATV’s, or other motorized vehicles on grounds
    5. No fires, fireworks, or smoking
    6. No pets or other domesticated animals
    7. No firearms, archery equipment, hunting, or fishing
    8. No glass containers
    9. No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs
    10. Disorderly conduct and excessive noise prohibited
    11. Destruction or removal of vegetation and other resources including animals or fossils, is prohibited
    12. No unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
    13. No nudity allowed on park property; appropriate clothing must be worn at all times.

This is a Natural Area so please be mindful of your impact – trash cans are located throughout the park for your convenience.

Failure to abide by these rules will result in immediate removal from Jacob’s Well Natural Area. There will be no refunds to visitors who are asked to leave by Hays County staff. Hays County is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged personal property.

Lost and Found Policy:  All lost items recovered on the property of Jacob’s Well Natural Area will be held for a period of 30 days during which you are responsible for contacting and claiming your item. Any lost item not claimed after 30 days may be subject to disposal by the Hays County Parks Department.

Swimming Fees*

Parks and Rec Fee Schedule*Fees occur during swim season (May 1-September 30) and ONLY for swimming. Entrance to Jacob’s Well Natural Area is FREE.

About Jacob’s Well

About Jacob's Well

 

 

A Few Facts About Jacob’s Well

    • Jacob’s Well Natural Area is a little over 81 acres.
    • Jacob’s Well is an artesian spring that releases thousands of gallons of water a day.
    • Jacob’s Well is the second-largest fully submerged cave in Texas.
    • The source of the water comes from the Trinity Aquifer, which makes its way from an extensive underground cave system.
    • The deepest part of the cavern system is 140 feet deep. The main cavern length is 4,341 feet and the secondary cavern, which branches off the main cavern, is 1,314 feet in length.
    • The water temperature stays a constant 68°F.
    • Jacob’s Well is the headwaters of Cypress Creek, which flows through Blue Hole Regional Park and feeds into the Blanco River.
    • More than 200 Native Indian groups populated Central Texas and were collectively known as the Coahuiltecans. Three of the most prominent Indian tribes that roamed this area are the Tonkawa, Jumano, and the Comanche.

History

Jacob’s Well Natural Area consists of five land surveys that all use the spring as a corner to tie the properties together. These surveys were conducted in 1847 by a prominent surveyor names Bartlett Sims. In the early 1850’s William C. Winters, a San Jacinto veteran and early settler of Wimberley, hiked up Cypress Creek searching for its source and found an overflowing spring. It is said that Mr. Winters exclaimed “like unto a well in Bible times.” Thus it was named ‘Jacob’s Well’. The property changed hands many times over the next 100 years and became a popular recreational destination. Jacob’s Well Natural Area remains a popular recreational destination today.

Tours and Amenities

GUIDED MORNING TOURS: Free to the public, offered October – April

When available, guided tours are led by park staff and/or dedicated volunteers. The guides will speak in-depth about the history of Jacob’s Well and the aquifer system that sustains it as well as the local wildlife and vegetation found here.

FREE guided morning tours are available every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Tours are not available during summer months. Guided morning tours last approximately one (1) hour and will lead you on various compacted granite and natural surface trails. While we do not consider our tours to be strenuous, you will travel up and down several inclines and walk on rock ledges. Please be aware of your own personal limitations.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

November 6, 2021
November 13, 2021
November 20, 2021
December 4, 2021
December 11, 2021
December 18, 2021

No Tours will be offered on November 27, December 25, or January 1.

      • Tours will depart from the Jacob’s Well Nature Center at 9 a.m.
      • Please email parks@co.hays.tx.usfor all other questions. For private tours, please contact us in advance. A minimum of 10 persons are required for a private tour.
      • Things to Bring: Drinking water, good walking shoes, binoculars, a love for nature

Other Park Amenities

Hiking Trails, Geocaching, Birding, Scenic Photography, Children’s play area, Picnic areas, Labyrinth, Sundial

Jacob's Well Dry Creek Tour

Education Opportunities

**The Nature Center will remain closed until further notice.**

Stop by and visit our recently opened Nature Center! Here you can find maps, historical photos of the well, our growing library collection, and knowledgeable staff!

Nature Center Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jacob’s Well Natural Area is happy to host school field trips, scout trips, home school groups and other groups. Please contact us for more information about tours, trips, or other educational visits to Jacob’s Well Natural Area. If you are interested in a field trip for your school or organization, please fill out this form and email to Katherine.Sturdivant@co.hays.tx.us.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing Educational Programs

**Free Family Fun Days are postponed until further notice.**

FREE FAMILY FUN DAYS are on the first Saturday of the month from October through April (except December) at Jacob’s Well Natural Area. Staff and Master Naturalist trained volunteers will facilitate fun and educational activities for children of all ages. Check back here or on the JWNA Facebook page for event information as they are scheduled — engaging activities, crafts, and hikes. Events will be held rain or shine. In the event of bad weather, the activities will be held indoors. Be sure to bring water and good walking shoes.

Tips for Visiting

    • Bring plenty of water – Jacob’s Well does not currently have a public drinking fountain so be sure to bring enough for the whole family!
    • You are welcome to bring snacks or a picnic – Jacob’s Well Natural Area does not provide any food. Coolers are allowed but there is not much space for large coolers near the Well. Picnic tables are located throughout the park.
    • Due to the sensitive nature of the park, BBQ grills are not permitted.
    • Wear appropriate footwear – there will be a 15-minute hike to Jacob’s Well from the parking lot and the area surrounding the Well can be steep and slippery.
    • The walk down to Jacob’s Well is not stroller friendly and does involve several sets of stairs – you may want to consider leaving strollers in the car.
    • Know your limits – temperatures often reach 95 to 100°F over the summer months.
    • Accommodations can be provided to those who need assistance reaching the Well. Please let an employee know upon arrival if you require this extra assistance.
    • Swim at Your Own Risk – there is no lifeguard on duty.
    • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to swimming so that it doesn’t come off immediately once you hop in.
    • Our parking lot is small so please consider carpooling if you are coming with a large group.
    • There is limited space in the swimming area – we recommend leaving large inflatable floats and pool toys at home.
    • The park gets very busy over the summer so we recommend making swimming reservations as soon as possible (at least 2 weeks ahead of time).
    • JWNA does not provide lifejackets, please bring your own if needed.

Contact Us

If you have questions about reservations or would like more information about the natural area, please call or email.
Parks information line: 512.214.4593
Park email: parks@co.hays.tx.us
Jacob’s Well Natural Area Official Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/JacobsWellOfficial/

Directions

Jacob’s Well Natural Area is located approximately 10 minutes from the city of Wimberley, TX. The entrance to Jacob’s Well Natural Area is located at 1699 Mt. Sharp Rd. Wimberley, TX, 78676

In Google maps, please search: Jacob’s Well Natural Area.

Hays County