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THE BEST SWIMMING HOLES NEAR PHILADELPHIA

8 PLACES

UPDATED OCT 3, 2019

With the city of Philadelphia cracking down on dumpster pools (classier than they sound) and community pools more crowded than ever, it might be time to chase some waterfalls. Thankfully, there are numerous natural watering holes a short drive away from the city. Escape the humidity and cool off in one of these swimming holes near Philly.

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HANNAH ABRAMS

FITT PHILADELPHIA CONTRIBUTOR

We can’t stress the awesomeness of the Delaware Water Gap enough as the perfect location for a summer hike. But it’s these beautiful waterfalls leading to a natural pool that are the true noise-makers (see what we did there?). For those looking to go a step beyond the doggie paddle, there are two cliffs for your best cannonballs.

While there’s plenty of family-friendly swimming, Dutch Springs also features a SCUBA diving facility. Yeah that’s right: If you currently find yourself in a cubicle dreaming of snorkeling in Hawaii, you can see all the rainbow trout and goldfish you want at this swimming hole (without the risk of falling coconuts). Bonus points if you can tell us what SCUBA stands for.

A little bit further than the other spots but worth the trek, 52-acre Locust Lake is the ideal spot for a day of flipping your fins (too many Disney references?). Nestled into the side of Locust Mountain, it’s got views that would even impress Drake. Oh, and did we mention the nearby store sells ice cream? Fitt Tip: if this lake gets too crowded, Tuscarora State Park is nearby.

What once was a secret among Philadelphians is completely out in the open now. While the name might be intimidating to some, it’s a destination spot for cliff jumpers and a refreshing hideaway for any Wissahickon hikers. However, as much as a visit to this 15-foot well of water has become a summer tradition, there's a catch: due to some mistreatment of the area and concern for public safety, Friends of Wissahickon, the parks department, and our local authorities say you can't swim here anymore. It doesn't stop people from trying, but it's something to know.

A gigantic park with plenty of parking and picnic tables, this lake features rental boats, canoes, and fishing. There are even grills available for all those grilled pineapple kebabs you’ve been craving (we can’t be the only ones). And if you want to add some extra cross training, there are 15 miles of surrounding hiking trails.

Close to the quaint town of Saint Peter’s Village, this swimming hole features a swing (break out the GoPro) and relatively deep water for a refreshing dip. There’s also a camp nearby if you want to turn your swimming excursion into a weekend getaway. You can even go sailing on Hopewell Lake, or get a history lesson at the nearby Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Fitt Tip: if you have any idea what disc golf is, there’s a disc golf course open year round.

While most people associate New Jersey aquatic life with the shore (and Snookie), there are also beautiful swimmable lakes in the Garden State. Bellmawr Lake features a water slide, picnic tables, and even mini golf if you feel like doing your best Tiger Woods impersonation. There’s also a beach bar for lakeside refreshments.

Often referred to as a tuber’s paradise, this lazy river is perfect for a day on the water. You’ll be feeling like Pocahontas (without all that John Smith nonsense) the second you get your inner tube or canoe in the river. Head to the Anson B. Nixon Park afterwards for a free summer concert series and two fishing ponds. Isn’t summer the best?

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