When I started visiting swimming holes with my father, I never had to worry about their locations. I just swam wherever he brought me. When I finally got old enough to drive, I had a burdensome time locating these out of the way spots. Many of the crowning swimming holes are discovered off the beaten path. Over time, I learned a few different ways to find these warm weather gems. Here are three tips to finding a local swimming hole.
This is probably the easiest way to find a swimming hole. And yet, many people are too afraid to ask strangers where they are stationed. I was one of those people. Once I got over my fear of speaking to strangers, I found that many locals are more than willing to share their local haunts. In my experiences, it's been harder to stop the conversation than it is to get it started. The best bets are local mom and pop convenience stores and gas stations. Stay away from bustling storefronts, as the workers there cannot be bothered.
Buy a Book
Another great tool that often gets overlooked, especially now in the age of the internet, are books. Although there aren't as many brick and mortar bookstores as their once was, they still exist and are common in tourist areas. Visit the bookstores local section. Typically you'll find books on hiking, waterfalls and swimming. This is a good resource, and one that helped me find several swimming holes over the years.
This application is hit or miss, but can pay off big if you're willing to do the research. There is a plethora of swimming holes waiting to be discovered, and Google Earth is the application to do it. With Google Earth, you can explore locations across the world in stunning clarity. In order to use this properly, you'll need to have a water source starting point. For example, I used the Saco River in North Conway, New Hampshire. From there, you just follow the river until you find a spot that seems suitable for swimming. The only downside is Google Maps cannot tell you if swimming is prohibited or not. Still, it's a great tool that should be explored.
Of course, another way to learn about swimming holes is to ask family and friends. Many of my yearly visits are to areas that I visited with family since I was a kid. Swimming holes remain a premium past time for outdoor enthusiasts like me. There is nothing better than a dip in an ice cold river, surrounded by nature's beauty.
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Ryan Drew is a 30 year old outdoor enthusiast from New England. Follow him on http://www.Twitter.com/OhthatDrew.
- Swimming & Diving
- swimming holes