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THE BEST SWIMMING HOLES NEAR PITTSBURGH

7 PLACES

UPDATED OCT 24, 2019

With rope swings, cliff jumps, and even natural water slides, these local swimming holes will give you the thrill you want and the cool you need. Adventure is calling, friends!

author

RYAN DEER

FITT PITTSBURGH CONTRIBUTOR

Who doesn’t love a waterfall? When it leads to a pool for your gang to hang around all day…that, friends, is called an oasis. Jackson Falls in Apollo, PA is downright beautiful, too. With three different waterfalls leading to a shallow pool, it’s the best opportunity to splash, doggie paddle, and search for hidden treasure behind the waterfall. To find them, take the Rock Furnace Trail and listen for the falls!

Say whaaat? Natural waterslides? Twice as refreshing as a backyard slip-n-slide and likely twice as daring, you really haven’t lived until you’ve drifted down the creek beds in Ohiopyle State Park. Depending on how high the water is that day, you can ride 100 feet or more across the natural rock face. Be right back, we’re going back to the top.

Charge your GoPro. Blue Hole, part of Jacob’s Creek in Perryopolis, features a small waterfall and a HUGE jump into the deep swimming hole. And it’s pretty much a rite of passage for locals. Clamber up the rocks again and again to vault off of the natural diving platform (figure of speech – never dive into a creek or river). You can however, lay out for one mean belly smacker.

Now, you wouldn’t want to confuse Blue Hole with Blue Hole. Who would do that? This particular Blue Hole is in Dunbar, PA, a little over an hour from the city. And while not particularly blue, it is one of the best swimming holes for miles around. Here, your crew can lounge around the pool, bob up and down in the water, or recline on the natural waterfall that feeds it.

If you find yourself soaked with sweat during a hike or bike on the Montour Trail, steer yourself toward Robinson Hole, just off the path in McKees Rocks. It’s long been a tradition to swing on a rope and fly into the waters below. But you’ll have to settle for just the refreshing dip – the surrounding trees (and swing) are no more.

Rock Falls is the wading pool of swimming holes. This Slippery Rock favorite…is basically a bunch of slippery rocks. A low waterfall cascades water over smooth rock structures – perfect for sunning yourself or sliding down into the shallow pool. Plus, there’s a pond for swimming and fishing a short walk away. Blow up your water wings and float all day at this ideal summer hangout only an hour away from Pittsburgh.

Okay, okay. We can read. “No Wading” in the Point State Park Fountain. But that hasn’t stopped thousands of Pittsburghers from splashing around on a 90-degree day. Maybe you can just dip a toe…

Note: These spots could be dangerous or on private property. Take caution if you choose to check them out.

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