The northeastern state of Vermont is known for maple syrup, but it’s more likely the wide open spaces that will attract you to visit. A state for all seasons, go to play in the snow in the winter or relish the great outdoors in summer.
Vermont is one of the least populous states, so if you are looking to escape the crowds, this could be the state for you to explore. Hike, fish and of course swim and cool off at one of the many natural swim holes the state has to offer.
Here’s the best swimming holes in Vermont:
1. Bristol Falls, Bristol, VT
Bristol Falls is idyllic and popular when the sun shines. The falls drop into a long deep channel which is framed by rocks. Jump from the rocks into the refreshing water below and enjoy the simple pleasures of summer. The rocks provide perfect picnic spots too, so get there early to get a good one. If you’ve got younger children with you, you’ll find shallows a little further away from the falls. Parking is roadside and close by to the falls but it still can be a bit of a scramble so appropriate footwear is a must.
2. No Name Hole, Arlington, VT
Mill Brook provides this rather lazily named swimming hole. There’s a series of low falls from which you can slip into the pools beneath. The largest pool is after the first fall and while they are ideal for lazing in they’re not deep enough to jump into. The water is clear, and the rocks here are a vague pinky colour which gives and interesting hue to the area.
3. Dog River, West Berlin, VT
Dog River provides a natural water chute, swim hole, cliff jumping, and even a natural Jacuzzi beneath a 4-foot fall. At high water canoers enjoy a trip downstream too. This place is simply great fun. The area is wooded with hardwood and hemlock and attracts trout fishermen to fish in their native waters. Parking is close by but the banks are steep so do take care.
4. Dorset Quarry, Dorset, VT
While this hole isn’t natural in the sense that it was crafted by water and time, it’s far from being a municipal bath house. If you have a rabble of cliff jumping daredevils that need tiring out then this could be the ideal spot. Once a commercial marble quarry, it’s now filled with water with its edges providing jumping off points of varying heights to suit your level of comfort. With a depth of 60ft, you have little need to worry about a suitable splash landing depth, and there’s plenty of room to stretch out and watch the action.
5. Salmon Hole, Jamaica State Park, VT
This area is quaint and scenic with some great views and varying levels of hikes in the surrounds. Historically Salmon Hole was the site of the Indian Massacre in 1748 but is now a lovely swim hole. Conveniently located just half a mile from Jamaica the lazy pool has incredible views of Ball Mountain. Float around and relax, picnic under the shaded tree canopy and be lulled by the tinkling water sounds as you while away a warm summer’s day. There’s a trail that leads to the top of the falls where you can drink in more spectacular views.
6. Pikes Falls, Jamaica State Park, VT
Pikes Falls is great for kids; they’ll love sliding down the 10-foot long natural rock slide into the pool below. About 40ft wide and 10ft deep, you’ll find the pool large enough and not overly crowded. The water is clear with a vague, but pretty green hue, and the shoreline provides a pebble beach-like entry. Surrounded by trees but with very easy access it offers a great alternative to some of the busy spots around.
7. Lareau Hole, Waitsfield, VT
Pronounced ‘Lah-roo’ this spot is perfect for families and children of all ages. The large area boasts a shallow water area with beach-like entry as well as boulders perfect for jumping off into the deeper water beyond. For the explorers, a trail leads off to a small fall. There’s space to spread out and relax on the grassy banks and even a pizza joint across the road if you didn’t have time to pack a picnic.
8. Warren Falls, Waitsfield, VT
Popular with locals and visitors alike, Warren Falls is often regarded as one of the best places to cool off in the state. Part of the Mad River, there’s plenty of jumping off points where your adrenaline junkies can cannonball into the clear waters below. Maybe the falls aren’t the most impressive, but the pools and boulders provide the perfect summer playground. It’s easy to access and gets busy so do come early to grab your spot.
9. Marble Street Quarry, Rutland, VT
Another abandoned quarry, now filled with water, this spot attracts scuba divers as well as swimmers and those there to relax and soak up the great outdoors. The waters are calm reflecting the bordering trees and big sky. The average depth is around 90ft which means you can safely launch yourself into the clear water below.
10. Bingham Falls, Stowe, VT
Just north of the village of Stowe, Bingham Falls is a stunning area of natural beauty. There’s more than one fall, with many pools and cascades along the gorge. The narrow gorge intensifies the waters sound, so there’s an ever-present rumble. The largest fall plummets some 30ft into the pool below. Evergreens provide a frame to the falls resulting in some great holiday photos. The water is deep, clean and clear and overall the area feels pristine and well kept.
11. Terrill Gorge, Morrisville, VT
This spot often gets misnamed as Cady Falls so don’t get them mixed up. Two small falls splash into the large shaded pool here and give this place a wondrously magical feel. The falls drop around 5 foot into the pool below to accompany your visit with the constant melody of water. The almost perfectly oval pool is about 35ft by 25ft and around 15ft deep. There’s around a 10-minute hike to access the pool which smaller children would struggle with.
12. Jeff Falls, Jeffersonville, VT
Located on the Brewster River you’ll see signage calling the area Brewster River Gorge, but however, you refer to it this small spot is rather delightful. The water is clean and clear and has some lovely but small pools below the fall. Care should be taken when the water is high as it roars over the boulders. The falls are located on private property, but access is permitted for those who respect the natural environment.
13. Gibou Road Hole, Hectorville, VT
The swimming hole at Gibou Road is truly a place to get away from the crowds. It’s private and calm and even has a covered bridge upstream. It seems that clothing can be optional here. There’s a shallow pool and a large rock bowl for lazing in and many rock formations and boulders to explore.
14. Three Holes, Montgomery, VT
Three Holes is in Trout River, and the name gives a fairly clear idea of what you might expect to find. There are three waterfalls, the largest (11ft high) is the furthest upstream and also has the largest pool with the most shade. The surrounding cliffs provide jumping off points. The next pool is fed by an 8ft high fall. Here you will find that the pool is no bigger than a Jacuzzi. The last fall is just 6ft but feeds into a pool in which you will find a large rock perfect for chilling. Be aware suits are optional. This spot has a bit of a party reputation so choose your time to visit accordingly.
15. Four Corners, North Troy, VT
This hole gets its name from the nearby store and not its topography although it is oblong in shape. It’s surrounded by rock to occupy those who like to fling themselves into the water below. There’s a rope swing that will suit only the most daring; for most just watching this will have their heart racing. The pool itself is around 35 yards across ensuring plenty of space in the green waters. Here suits mostly stay on.