guide to 1,600 beautiful, natural places for a dip in the US and
Canada. A refreshing swimming hole or warming
hot spring in a river,
creek, spring or waterfall is the perfect complement to your favorite
outdoor activity or a refreshing break on a long road trip.
Come back and visit us often, we are always adding new
Please send us an email with comments, corrections or additions.
FOR YOUR MOBILE DEVICE - Click for info about use on Apple, Android and other phones and tablets.
2 million visitors (new record) to this website in 2014.
Please do your part to keep them clean and safe in 2015.
On the web for 19 years
To search for your specific interest (e.g., "springs" or "jumping" or clothing "optional"), go to a state page (see 2nd map below), hit F3 on your browser and enter your search word.
RESPECT - Please do not visit these beautiful, natural places if you cannot respect them. Trash, rowdy behavior, drunkeness, accidents and trespassing on private property are causing us to to lose access to more of them every year.
SAFETY - Swimming in natural places has inherent dangers. There are risks to life, limb and health involved. Caution can minimize but not eliminate these risks. The authors assume no responsibility for sickness, injury or death resulting from use/misuse of information contained herein. See our extensive SAFETY info below the map.
YOUTUBE - We link to some YouTube videos of swimming holes. These are NOT our videos and they sometimes show unsafe behavior. See our extensive SAFETY info below the map. More about YouTube.
NATIONAL MAP [NEW]
>> Anytime markers dont appear on the map, double click again to reload. <<
SAFETY FIRST!Most accidents/drownings in natural swimming places are due to strong currents, diving and/or alcohol. Do not let carelessness or peer pressure get you into a situation you cannot deal with. Each time you go, wade in gradually and check the current. Do not jump in until you have checked both the depth AND the current first. Look downstream - if the current is strong for a long distance or might pin you against a large object (e.g., bluff, large rock or downed tree) don't go in. Large rivers have hidden currents below the surface - assume large rivers are NEVER safe to swim regardless of how calm they look on the surface.
If you find yourself being swept away in a current, do not panic, do not fight the current and do not try to stand up (foot can get trapped in rocks) - float feet first downstream on your back. Let the current carry you until it becomes more gentle and/or until you calm down. Then, staying on your back and still feet first downstream, gradually use your arms to paddle to shore. If you swim or boat in creeks often, you should practice this maneuver until it becomes familiar.
NEVER DO THESE THINGS (even if others are doing them):
STATES MAP (OLD) (Works with all devices and browsers)
Click on State/Province below
Most unofficial, natural swimming places are not tested for water cleanliness. To see data on those that ARE tested, go to How's My Waterway? We have not checked all of our listings against this data. In many cases, you must be the judge.
If the watershed (upstream) includes farmland, ranchland or urban development, you must be careful. Even if the water is normally clean enough, AFTER A HEAVY RAIN sewage and toxic materials can be washed into the water.
In natural hot springs and in other still, warm waters a very rare but sometimes fatal aomeba infection has occured when water gets into a person's nasal passages.
To be safe, do not get water in your mouth, eyes, ears or nose. Do not submerge your head - wear a nose clip and pinch your nose closed if you jump into the water.
If you get into poison ivy/oak, wash the skin area with soapy water or rubbing alcohol as soon as possible and do not scratch.
Much of the information on this web site is derived from other sources - such as hiking and travel books, magazine articles, publications, emails from visitors and other Internet sites. Our intent is to relay this information as accurately as possible; we do not direct the public to use these swimming holes. The existence of private property or other matters of legality may have been inadvertently omitted or may be inexact in some cases.
We are not able to do an on-site visit to each place, and even when we do property ownership or legality is sometimes not evident. It is not our intention to cause negative impacts to private property owners or to increase their liability. When this is brought to our attention by bona-fide sources, we act promptly to add this information to the listing or otherwise resolve the matter on a case-by-case basis.
- See our huge campgrounds
web site USCAmpgrounds.info
and web app for mobile devices CampFone.
Are you a CWA? (Camper With Android?) - Get the excellent new app Kampnik
VisitGardens.info - Our new public gardens web site, about 1500 spectacular public gardens in the US and Canada.
DIRECTIONS - Read this before you rely on your gps or computerized map for directions.
PRINTING - Read this before you print swimming holes.
GPS POI/DATA FILE - 1600 swimming holes in a .xls file (updated 11/14 - will open as a spreadsheet). READ AND DELETE HEADER on file before using. (NOTE: Save it as a .csv file for direct input to your Garmin. For Tom Tom and other mapping software, most require the .gpx format - use GPSVizualizer to convert. For more information about how to input these to your GPS (Garmin, Tom Tom or Magellan), see POI-FACTORY (look under "TOP PICKS" for step by step instructions for your device) .
BEST SWIMMING HOLE JOKE
ABOUT EASTERN HOT SPRINGS - We are often asked, "Where are the natural hot springs in the east". There really aren't any very natural ones. You have to go west of Denver - we list some great ones!
NATIONAL STATIC MAP - This map will give you an idea of what areas have the most swimming holes and hot springs. It is NOT an interactive map.
Remember the "old swimmin' hole"? Well, many are still there and they are still lots more fun and naturally beautiful than a chlorinated swimming pool!
SwimmingHoles.info focuses on moving, fresh water spots - like creeks, rivers, springs and waterfalls. Also listed are some selected hot springs (in the west) and other swimming places on lakes, quarries or bays which have unique features that make them especially beautiful or fun for swimming. (Click on picture below for example listing.)
THE FINE PRINT: This web page is operated as a hobby only, with no income to the authors. The information presented is compiled from many sources with varying degrees of reliability. Local conditions also change over time. Accuracy of the information and the safety and legality of visiting these places cannot be assured. Our intent is to relay this information as accurately as possible; but we do not "direct" the public to use these swimming holes. Each visitor is personally responsible for safety and legality (including observance of private property) each time a place is visited. Also, inappropriate behavior continuously reduces our access to these special places - don't contribute to this tragic loss!
RELATED LINKS - See our HUGE collection of links to other web pages, books, articles and other information related to swimming places, hot springs, waterfalls, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities.
EMAIL US - firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a new swimming hole or hot spring for us, or better information about one we have - PLEASE - Good directions are VERY important, refer to a MAP to give directions!
COPYRIGHT - All the material on this web site is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office (Registration Number TX6-245-508, Date 5/23/2005) and may not legally be reproduced (except for personal use) without permission of the WebMasters.
Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Hillegass
EXPLANATION OF TERMS - clarification of our terms and descriptions.
SKINNY DIPPING INFO - The real skinny on finding these places! Youtube skinnydip nostalgia.
WORLDWIDE - Fabulous swimming holes outside the USA.
LAT/LON TIPS - We have latitude and longitude in the listing for every swimming hole. See GPS and GOOGLE MAPS TIPS for how to get these into your GPS.
YOUTUBE MOVIES -
* SWIMMING HOLES
* HOT SPRINGS
If YouTube one of our places, send us a link!
WALDEN'S PONDS - Swimming holes that are safe and fun for the whole family.
SPECIAL PLACES - Tube in a circle, swim with an alligator, dive into a waterfall!
BEST SWIMMING HOLE SCENES IN MOVIES -
ABOUT THE WEBMASTERS
Tom Hillegass has explored natural areas both near and far from his home in Alexandria, Virginia for over 35 years. With a patient wife and enthusiastic children, he has learned by experience how to have exciting (but comfortable) outdoor experiences. A pleasant swimming hole has cooled many a warm day for him. Tom is a retired engineer and a dabbler in idle pursuits far and wide; in the East- canoeing, hiking and camping; in the West - exploring deserts, mountains, river rafting and soaking in hot springs.
Dave Hajdasz owns and operates a financial services firm in Connecticut. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast who has enjoyed exploring fun and unique places such as caves, waterfalls and remote forests for the past 25 years. He's an experienced rock climber, kayaker, hiker, mountain biker and trout fisherman, though he always manages to get in a bit of swimming no matter where he goes. He holds the unusual distinction of swimming in 12 different natural bodies of water (one each month) in New England during the course of a year.