It’s summer time in New York and if you have been here during this season, you will know that the humidity can be unbearable. I wake up every morning wishing I can just jump into a pool. The problem is, unless you live in a penthouse, join an expensive gym or know someone who has an awesome kiddie pool in their backyard, you aint’ gunna have that refreshing feeling.
This summer I promised myself that I would find the most beautiful swimming spots near and around New York City and guess what?! I was able to find them folks! I didn’t have to sneak into a luxury apartment building, check in a swanky hotel or blow up a nice kiddie pool in the backyard to do it either.
Before we get to the fun part, I just wanted to give a little reminder that if you do visit these amazing spots, please be respectful of the environment. Carry out what you bring in, be respectful of the locals and others visiting the area.
So here we go! Below are my top 5 favorite swimming spots. If the refreshingly cool water won’t get you there, the views will!
Location: Catskill Mountains, Hunter (town), New York
Highlights: Tallest 2 tier waterfall in New York.
I stumbled upon this beautiful 2 tier waterfall over 10 years ago. I had to crab walk my way up and down the falls since they did not have any built in stairs that would take you to the cascades. Today, you will find many visitors clamoring to get to these falls and luck is on your side because there is now easy access to the falls. Make sure to bring your hiking shoes and get ready for a little work before you arrive to the picturesque swimming spots under the falls.
Peekamoose Blue Hole
Location: Grahamsville, New York
Highlights: Clear blue waters that is perfect for diving.
Peekamoose Blue Hole is as unique as its name, a short walk from the parking lot is this crystal clear blue water, as cold as it is refreshing. It is the perfect place to cool off when the temperature is high. Park at the large parking area with a sign for the Peekamoose Mountain area, then cross the road and walk down a short path to the creek. Get there early because this incredible pool can get crowded during the summer.
Split Rock Falls
Location: Elizabethtown, New York
Highlights: Multiple steps of cascades where you can enjoy a refreshing swim.
Split rock falls is a unique swimming destination. It has multiple tears of cascades that you can enjoy. Go to the bottom of the falls and enjoy the calmer water or if you are up for an adventure, head up a little further and dive into the upper cascade. Be aware of the water current, make sure that it is safe before diving.
Location: Warren, Vermont
Highlights: Unique rock formations and perfect diving spots for the more adventurous.
Warren Falls is the only non New York State swimming spot that I included on this list. First, because I wasn’t able to make it to the others due to time constraints and second, it is one of the most beautiful spots that I have been to and I had to share with you! We arrived in Vermont and was immediately welcomed by torrential downpour. We got there early before more heavy rain came in, which gave us this whimsical effect. However, it came with extremely strong current and heavy cascades. Make sure to visit this incredible spot, but check the weather before you go!
High Falls Conservation Area
Location: Philmont, New York
Highlights: This hidden gem is still a bit off radar so no huge crowds of people is a win win!
The High Falls Conservatory Area is still a hidden gem, so there will be a lot less people compared to the others featured above. It is a nice and easy stroll to the main waterfall and you will also be met by the smaller waterfall along the way. If you want to get up close to the waterfall, make sure to hike along the stream, or you can continue to the higher ground where you can have a birds eye view of the falls.
Although I listed this area as a swimming hole and there are people who do swim here, I prefer to sunbathe instead of swim in the area. The water is a bit more cloudy and the algae from the falls creates brown bubbles that may not be too appealing. If you are more adventurous, you can climb up into the upper falls and there are beautiful pools that are more suitable for a nice cooling dip. Check it out and decide for your self if you would like to swim here. Even without the swim, it is still an incredible site to see and looks beautiful any time of the year!
Please use caution and common sense when swimming and diving in these locations. It is not uncommon for injury or even death to happen. So be aware and keep safe everyone!
Hope you enjoyed this list and visit them this summer. Comment below and let me know how your visit goes!