Remember the exhilaration of the rope swing, the wind through your hair as you leapt into the frigid water, the tingly thrill as onlookers cheered you on? If you’re anything like us, swimming holes are one of your favorite summer pastimes--which is why we rounded up seven of the best natural pools in the country. What’re you waiting for? Take the plunge.
Enfield Falls, NY
Ten miles outside Ithaca lies this gorgeous Finger Lakes offshoot inside Robert H. Treman State Park. After hiking through Enfield Glen, cool off underneath the lower falls in a natural swimming area complete with diving board and lifeguard.
Little River Canyon, AL
Located atop Lookout Mountain in the Southern Appalachians, this group of blue-green pools is set within steep canyon walls that reverberate ambient sound. (So maybe don't gossip too loudly, OK?)
Hamilton Pool, TX
Once an underground river whose dome collapsed, this carved-out stone pool is a popular spot for out-of-towners and Austin locals alike. Just make sure to book a reservation in advance, since it's required in the peak months from May to September.
Beaver Falls, AZ
Part of the picturesque Havasu Creek Waterfalls and located six miles downstream from the village of Supai, this turquoise swimming hole is not easy to reach, but well worth it for the seclusion and natural beauty of the surrounding Grand Canyon.
Sliding Rock, NC
Be prepared to wait in line to try out the naturally occurring waterslide in Pisgah National Forest. A 60-foot-long slick slab of rock will plunge you straight into the cold water. Don’t be surprised if you want to ride it just one more time.
Madison Blue Springs, FL
This freshwater spring bubbles up from Florida’s crystalline aquifers into a 25-foot-deep stone basin. The crystal-clear water is the same used in Zephyrhills bottles (but maybe hold off on taking a sip unless you came equipped with a filtration kit).
Diana’s Baths, NH
Located in the White Mountains on the edge of Bartlett, its easy access and scenic views make this swimming spot perfect for all ages. Just try to arrive early since it tends to get crowded in summer months.