7 Swimming Holes Near NYC You Never Knew Existed
We love Astoria Park Pool, but let’s be honest: Sometimes it’s nice to swim somewhere that isn’t surrounded by concrete. These seven swimming holes near NYC are just a hop, skip and a cannonball jump away. Don’t forget your swimsuit.
1. Enders Falls in Granby, CT (2.5 hours from NYC)
This gorgeous swimming spot is hidden inside Enders State Forest in northern Connecticut. Follow an easy hiking trail with new stone steps and a wooden railing, and your natural pool awaits, surrounded by five different waterfalls, all within a half-mile of one another. Basically, a nature enthusiast’s dream!
2. Highlands Natural Pool in Ringwood, NJ (1.5 hours from NYC)
Swimming laps at the gym is fine, but sometimes we want to cool down without that burny chlorine feeling in our eyes. That’s when we take a mini road trip to this totally natural swimming pond in North Jersey's Wyanokie Highlands. Plus, the Olympic-sized pool has its own designated children’s area, making it perfect for the whole family.
3. Split Rock Falls in Elizabethtown, NY (4 hours from NYC)
OK, this one is admittedly a bit of a schlep, but after you make the four-plus-hour drive and brave the slippery rocks, you’ll understand. Swimming holes don’t get more gorgeous than this, people. Oh, and did we mention one of the two pools is mid-waterfall? But don’t just take our word for it—explore this breathtaking swimming hole and see for yourself.
4. Vernooy Kill Falls in Kerhonkson, NY (3 hours from NYC)
Feel free to bring your pups (on leash) along on this moderate 3.5-mile hike to an idyllic set of waterfalls, with a wooden bridge at the base for unbelievable photo ops. When your coworkers ask you what you’re doing this weekend, you can now say, “Oh, just swimming under a waterfall. NBD.” Just watch out for bears!
5. Lake Tiorati in Southfields, NY (1 hour from NYC)
Super easy day trip, anyone? Just hop on the Metro-North to get to Harriman State Park—there’s even a shuttle bus that’ll drive you right up to the lake. And don’t forget to check out the meadows and rolling, wooded hills in the park, as well as the yummy summer berries ripe for picking while you're there. Best weekend ever.
6. Canopus Lake in Carmel, NY (1 hour, 15 minutes from NYC)
Just a short drive due north of the city lies one of Hudson Valley’s most picturesque lakes, complete with a sandy beach (and lifeguards). Located within Fahnestock State Park’s 14,000-plus acres, visitors can camp, rent a rowboat, go fishing or go on a nearby hike—just make sure you get in the car or on the train early, because this spot fills up quickly.
7. Peekamoose Blue Hole in Sundown, NY (2.5 hours from NYC)
This ancient whirlpool is the reward of a short hike in the Catskills, which is beyond worth it, in our humble opinion. The stunning blue water will make you forget you’re still in the state! FYI: You will need a $10 permit to visit any part of the Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor.
Discover more beautiful spots in New York State by subscribing to our mailing list here.