Oakdale Park’s swimming pool, known as “The Plunge” was built in 1925, making it one of the oldest swimming pools in Texas.
It was dug by horse and mule teams. The Plunge holds 330,000 gallons of water, making it one of the larger swimming pools in Texas.
Originally, the pool’s water came from a well having the high mineral content prevalent at the time. Swimmers said the water smelled so bad you could hardly stand it when you went in, but after a while, you adapted to it. Now the water comes from the City of Glen Rose water system and is relatively odor free.
In the early days, many people didn’t have access to a swimming pool and didn’t own swimsuits. At Oakdale Park, you could rent a swimsuit for a quarter and gain admission to the pool for a nickel.
The Plunge differs from many campground pools in that it is a public pool. Per state law, it can only be open when sufficient lifeguards are present. Most of The Plunge’s lifeguards are students at Glen Rose ISD, so the pool’s schedule tracks the GRISD schedule. The regular swimming season kicks off with Splash Day, on the last day of the GRISD school year. The school year usually ends early on the last day, and as soon as the lifeguards arrive (around 1:00 p.m.), Splash Day begins. It continues until 7:00 p.m. On that day, admission is free. The swimming season continues until a few days before the new school year begins sometime in mid to late August. The pool is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. With advance notice and provided a sufficient number of lifeguards can be lined up, the facility is available for rent for after-hours parties.
If sufficient lifeguards can be secured, the pool is also open on the Saturday of Mother’s Day Weekend (from 1 to 6, while the Lone Star State Dulcimer Festival is in progress), on Saturdays and Sundays in August after school begins (regular hours), on the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend (from 11 to 7), on the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day Weekend (from 11 to 7), and on the 3rd Saturday of September (from 1 to 6, following the 4H Jackpot Show).
In 2018, Plunge Day falls on May 31st and the regular season ends on August 12th.
In the event lightning is detected nearby, substandard water conditions are discovered, or a shortage of certified lifeguards develops, guests will be directed to leave the water. If the situation can’t be readily rectified, the pool may be closed for the remainder of the day.