With Memorial Day gone, the unofficial start of the summer has begun. One of my all time cherished things to do in the summer is to visit swimming holes. These areas are typically set far from bustling traffic, and enveloped by Mother Nature. In 2007, I coursed through West Virginia on my way to Tennessee. During this road trip, I was certain to visit almost a dozen swimming holes. Here are the top three West Virginia swimming holes to visit this summer.
Spotted along the Seneca Rocks and creeks in the Monongahela National Forests are numerous swimming holes to bound into on a hot summer day. But if you are in that area, you'll definitely want to seek out Cave Hole. This swimming holes is located below the towering rocks. You'll feel like you're beneath the skyscrapers in Times Square. Besides the colossal rock formations, there are plenty of stone ledges for sun bathing, or laying out and reading a lengthy book. There is room for maybe two dozen people, but anything above that and it will get very congested. If you're into rock jumping, this area won't be for you. But I highly suggest visiting the district, if only for the views.
Although I've only visited this swimming hole once in the early fall of 2007, Whitaker Falls remains one of my favorite swimming holes of all time. On the day I visited Whitaker Falls, the autumn sun was shining brightly, making the emerald green waters look even more inviting. This swimming cavity reminds me of a location you'd see in a travel magazine or website. It's not overly busy, but there is beauty in its simplicity. The area is amusing for people of all ages, as it encompasses rocks to jump from, natural water slides, and falls you can swim behind. Some swimming holes are good for a dip, but Whitaker Falls makes for a fun filled day trip. You can spend hours here and not even realize it. Pack a lunch and enjoy the day.
Brush Creek Falls
Brush Creek Falls is a swimming hole that seeks the would-be adventurers. The swimming hole features a waterfall the is approximately 20 feet above the main swimming area. Plenty of locals jump from the top of the waterfalls edges, though I wouldn't suggest it unless you are completely confident there are no jagged rocks below. But there is plenty of surface space for swimming as well, and the surrounding nature is tranquil and inspiring. Unlike Whitaker Falls, Brush Creek Falls isn't an all day affair. But it is definitely worth seeking out if you are in the area and have the time.
Touring swimming holes is a great past time, and usually it's free. But just because these areas are natural wonders, that doesn't mean they are without risk. Please be sure to read all signs, check water depth, and follow all safety procedures before swimming in unknown destinations. This will ensure that your summer is filled with prosperous times and great memories.
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Ryan Drew is a 30 year old New England resident and avid outdoor enthusiast.