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Tonkawa Falls to remain closed to swimmers this summer as drought drags on

Tonkawa Falls
Posted at 10:00 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 23:14:25-04

CRAWFORD, Texas — The Tonkawa Falls City Park is expected to be closed to swimmers for the remainder of the year as drought conditions leave the swimming hole's water levels dangerously low.

The popular Central Texas swimming hole typically welcomes visitors from all around Texas, and even some from out of state. The city told visitors on the park's Facebook page that the falls will not open this year at all, crediting the water levels and water quality.

Residents told 25 News the town has been much quieter than usual without the outside traffic coming to the falls.

"I can't believe there's no water down there. Because ever since I've lived here, we'd go down there," longtime Crawford resident Gail Bolin said.

While the park is still open to visitors, "no swimming" signs block them from getting near the water.

With fewer people heading into town, downtown businesses like Crawford Coffee Station said they are seeing less foot traffic. While the town may be seeing less business this summer, some locals are enjoying the quiet.

"There is a lot less traffic here in town this year. Usually when we'd try to take the back way home or whatever. Coming down the highway, we can actually get through there," Devin Groves said.

According to residents, the drought is impacting much more than just the falls. The city moved to stage three of its water conservation plan at the end of June, weeks ahead of many other Central Texas towns.

"It's affecting everybody, really," said lifetime resident Patti Dechaume. "It's just a rough summer for Crawford."

The town, like many in Central Texas, continues to hope that the rain is on its way.