It’s the end of July, and our little state, normally known for snowstorms and frigid temperatures, is hot and humid! For most Vermonters, it can be difficult to beat this crazy heat wave. Luckily, we’ve got the inside track on some of the best swimming holes in Vermont sure to cool you off!
Bristol Falls, Bristol
Located along the New Haven River off Lincoln Road, Bristol Falls is a dramatic, 15-foot waterfall surrounded by rocks that drops into a deep, misty pool. This spot is great for adventure seekers who want to jump in the cool water, but if you’re more of the “chill and float” type, Circle Current is just up the river!
Parking: Bristol Falls swimming hole (also known as Bartlett Falls) is located on Lincoln Road, just off Route 116 in Bristol. Parking for Bristol Falls is on the right. Parking for Circle Current is up the road on the right, just past parking for the falls.
No Name Hole, Arlington
Now we know that it sounds rather lazily named, but No Name Hole has one of the coolest features we’ve seen in a swimming hole. The rocks are a vaguely pinky color, and when the sun hits the water just right, the hue makes this place look magical! We recommend heading here if you want to splash around a bit and sun yourself on the smooth boulders lining the riverbed.
Dog River, West Berlin
Dog River is not just a swimming hole; it also has a water chute, and even a natural jacuzzi protected by the Vermont River Conservancy. Dog River also has a natural abundance of trout, which attracts fishermen, and when the water is higher in the spring, canoes and kayaks hit the water for a relaxed journey. We definitely recommend checking out Dog River and all the different activities it has to offer!
Journey’s End, Johnson
“Journey’s End” is a spectacular swimming hole and waterfall carved in the bedrock of Foote Brook, a cold water, steep stream flowing to the Lamoille River. The protected property contains 25 forested acres along 2,500 of Foote Brook, and helps protect the high quality trout habitat in the Brook, and deer yards, songbird habitat, and forested buffer along Foote Brook, with an access corridor from Plot Road. A favorite for families and nearby college students alike, Journey’s End is one of the best spots to beat the heat this summer!
Dorset Quarry, Dorset
The next couple of places are both abandoned quarries, one of Vermont’s most unique offerings. As swimming holes go, Dorset Quarry is spacious. It’s about 120 yards long and 30 yards across, with plenty of smooth rock terraces to lounge on and jump off. National renown has made this swimming hole a destination spot for locals and tourists.
Marble Street Quarry, Rutland
Our second abandoned quarry has a cool secret: below the surface, there is a 1,200-foot network of underwater caves, which makes this spot a must-see for divers. There’s even a spot nicknamed “The Crystal Cave” because the water is so clear, you don’t even feel like you’re underwater!
Bolton Potholes, Bolton
We knew we would be remiss to write a post about swimming holes and not mention the Bolton Potholes. Anyone who grew up in Chittenden County spent time at the Potholes, splashing around in the cool water. Called the “potholes” because of their fascinating round shape, Bolton Potholes is made up of 5 waterfalls that each create their own pool of water. The last one also has a rocky beach. As one of the closest swimming holes to Burlington, it can be very popular on warm summer days.
These are some of our favorite spots to beat the heat, and we are definitely in need of it this time of year! One thing we want to make sure to mention is that none of these places are regulated by a lifeguard or anything similar, so if you do visit these places, make sure you stay safe! In addition, most if not all of these places are fully surrounded by nature and have no janitorial staff so please, if you do create trash while you’re there, pick it up and bring it home with you. Let’s keep the Green Mountain State green!
What’s your favorite place to cool off? Let us know!