It's against a city ordinance to swim in the stretch of the Colorado River that Secret Beach abuts. Officially you shouldn't swim there. But it's a great place to wade. (Like that?)
The beach is located inside Roy Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park, 400 Grove Boulevard off of East Riverside Drive. Park near the ball fields and head down the trail on the opposite side of the lot. It's an easy 10-minute walk, mostly on sidewalk and then on dirt, to get to the secret part.
And oh, what a surprise.
The trees open up, the trail suddenly dead ends into an expansive sandy beach, and you'll be tempted to peel off your T-shirt and leap into the water. (But of course you won't.)
When I was there, people (lawbreakers!) were sitting on folding chairs set up in the shallow part of the river. Others were standing waist-deep in water. A few were swimming in the swifter part of the river channel. (Seriously, parents and non-swimmers should note that the water flow can be brisk and dangerous at times.) Dogs were frolicking around too, kicking up sand and splashing through the water.
Unlike popular watering holes on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which run dry when the rains turn off, this one doesn't.
City officials banned swimming at Secret Beach in October 2013. They also shut down a tubing business that was operating in the area. I didn't see any signs designating it as no swimming, but when I checked with city officials, they confirmed it's against the law.
For more information about the park, go to http://tinyurl.com/phtl82c.