Your 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.
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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.
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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):
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.
LEGALITYMuch 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.
the "old swimmin' hole"? Well, many are still there and they are still
lots more fun
and naturally beautiful than a chlorinated swimming pool!
need to get into some cold water to enjoy many of these (but
not the hot springs!), but the cold doesn't
last while the warm memories of a swim in a beautiful setting certainly
FINE PRINT: This web page
is operated as a
hobby only. 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. My
intent is to relay this information as accurately as possible; but I
do not "direct" the public to use these swimming holes. Each visitor is
personally responsible for safety and legality (including observance of
time a place is visited. Also, inappropriate
behavior continuously reduces our access to these special
places - don't contribute to this tragic loss!
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.
EMAIL - firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a new
swimming hole or hot spring for me, or better information about one that is - PLEASE - Good directions are VERY important, refer to a MAP to
EXPLANATION OF TERMS
- clarification of terms and descriptions.
About the Author
Dave Hajdasz lives 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.