9 Refreshing Swimming Holes in Pennsylvania

Posted by
Brittany Varano
July 17, 2023

Swimming Holes in Pennsylvania
Ohiopyle State Park. Photo: Mark Shotter

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Dive into the incredible swimming holes of Pennsylvania this summer and experience the natural wonder of The Keystone State.

When warm weather finally makes an appearance, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a swim. And better yet, there’s something special about wading into a naturally occurring swimming hole. Whether it’s a peaceful creek or a basin beneath a waterfall, there are plenty of unique places to relax and cool off in nature around the state.

A quick note: some of Pennsylvania’s iconic swimming holes, like Peace Rock, Devil’s Hole, and Nay Aug Gorge, are technically off limits due to safety concerns, and trespassers risk a ticket. Always research if conditions are safe and if swimming holes are currently open to the public before going.

Here are the coolest Pennsylvania swimming holes that should be on your radar this summer!

1. Rattlesnake Rock


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  • Nearest town: Morris
  • Hike to swimming hole: Near parking

Rattlesnake Rock is a peaceful swimming spot in north-central Pennsylvania. The rock itself is a flat outcropping into the Pine Creek Gorge and is named for some of the local snakes that inhabit the area. On a hot day, the water around the rock (and further down at the public boat dock) offers a refreshing place to cool off, launch a paddle board, or cast your fishing line.

The rock is found along the Pine Creek Rail Trail, a noteworthy hiking trail that stretches over 60 miles through the Appalachian Mountains and an area dubbed “The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.” You can also find it at the West Rim Trail’s southern terminus. The rock and swimming hole are easy to find and clearly marked on Google Maps. Even better, the Rattlesnake Rock access point features a large, paved parking lot.

2. Creek Falls, aka Blue Hole on Jacob’s Creek


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  • Nearest town: Perryopolis
  • Hike to swimming hole: 1.5 miles

The Blue Hole on Jacobs Creek is a popular swimming spot known for its towering cliffs and impressive waterfall. Many come to hang out for the day with friends and indulge in the thrill of cliff diving from the top of the falls.

Although well-known amongst locals, it takes some know-how to reach the Blue Hole. Visitors should park on Chinatown Bridge Road beneath a railroad bridge that’s down the road from a local sportsmen’s association. From here, you’ll begin your hike northwest along a railroad track toward the Creek Falls pin on Google Maps. Take care while hiking, as the trail crosses an active railroad track.

Related read: 9 Awesome & Pet-Friendly Cabin Rentals in the Poconos

3. The Other Blue Hole

  • Nearest town: Middlecreek Township
  • Hike to swimming hole: Near roadside

In western Pennsylvania’s Forbes State Forest sits another swimming spot simply called “the Blue Hole.” This hidden beauty is named for its turquoise waters that glitter under dappled sunlight and change colors with the seasons. The pool is fed by a little creek that follows Blue Hole Road and is only waist-deep, making it great for wading.

This Blue Hole is about an hour and twenty minutes southeast of Pittsburgh and is surrounded by other noteworthy attractions like the nearby Mount Davis, the state’s highest point, measuring 3,213 feet. The forest is also home to the historic Barronvale Covered Bridge and idyllic Cole Run Falls, both of which aren’t far from the Blue Hole.

4. Meadow Run Natural Waterslide


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  • Nearest town: Ohiopyle
  • Hike to swimming hole: Near parking

You’ll find the Meadow Run Natural Waterslide nestled in the scenic Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania. Every summer, locals and visitors alike flock to take turns sliding down the ancient sandstone that’s been smoothed and carved over the centuries. At the end of the slide, you’ll splash into the cool waters of the Lower Youghiogheny River.

To reach this famous swimming hole, you’ll want to hike the Meadow Run Trail in Ohiopyle State Park. This three-mile loop passes two waterfalls and the natural water slide. If you’re not up for a hike, the natural slides are conveniently just a short distance from the official Meadow Run Trail parking lot. But get there early! The lot fills up quickly on sunny days.

Related read: 10 Luxury Cabin Rentals in the Poconos for an Extravagant Vacay

5. Jackson Falls


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  • Nearest town: Apollo
  • Hike to swimming hole: <1 mile

Made up of three levels, Jackson Falls is an exciting adventure in western Pennsylvania. To find the falls, begin your journey on the Rock Furnace Trail, located about 45 minutes from Pittsburgh in the Roaring Run Recreation Area. The main trail is paved and marked as easy. However, the falls and swimming holes are actually off an unmarked trail that branch off from Rock Furnace, requiring careful attention.

But if you follow the creek and the small path created by others, you should find it easily. The swimming hole beneath the falls is about five feet deep, and locals have made a make-shift ladder out of a tree. Visitors should park in the lot at the trailhead. Watch out for “no trespassing” signs, as some areas around the Roaring Run Recreation Area are private lands.

6. Worlds End State Park

  • Nearest town: Forksville
  • Hike to swimming hole: Near parking

Tucked away in the Allegheny Plateau near Forksville, Worlds End State Park boasts a breathtaking swimming hole along Loyalsock Creek. The clear and calm mountain waters offer a refreshing place to cool off after exploring the park’s beautiful scenery.

One reviewer shares, “World’s End is beautiful! We swim here every summer. Bring tubes and float down the creek or swim in the deep roped-off area.” Additionally, no visit to World’s End is complete without taking the time to enjoy the jaw-dropping views from Loyalsock Canyon Vista and High Knob Vista, two lookout points that’ll make you feel like you’re truly standing at the top of the world.

Related read: 12 Super Fun Weekend Road Trips From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

7. Lyman Run State Park

Lyman Run State Park pa
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  • Nearest town: Potter County
  • Hike to swimming hole: Near parking

A 45-acre artificial lake offers a relaxing place to swim with family and friends at Lyman Run State Park in northern Pennsylvania. Enjoy sunbathing and taking a dip from a stretch of sandy shore that’s bordered by the shade of cherry and maple trees. The lake is particularly great for paddle sports like kayaking, canoeing, and SUPs.

For a unique experience, combine your visit to Lyman Run with a night of camping at nearby Cherry Springs State Park, known for its exceptional stargazing opportunities. The park’s remote locale in the Susquehannock State Forest and its high elevation set the scene for some of the darkest skies in the eastern United States.

8. Milford Beach


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  • Nearest town: Milford
  • Hike to swimming hole: Near parking

Milford Beach is a family-friendly swimming spot in northeastern Pennsylvania, situated along the scenic Delaware River in the Pocono Mountains. The beach’s sandy shores and surrounding grassy areas make it an ideal place to sunbathe and picnic. As part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area, visitors must pay a small fee to enter.

However, there are convenient facilities on site, including restrooms, picnic areas, a pavilion, and lifeguards on duty during the summer. The beach also features a boat and canoe launch and is near the Joseph M. McDade Recreational Trail, where you can warm up before your swim with a hike. Nearby Milford is a quaint resort town that offers a chance to experience the charm of the Gilded Age and acts as the state’s “gateway to the Poconos.”

Related read: 10 Peaceful Cabin Rentals Near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

9. Rock Run Waterfalls

  • Nearest town: Williamsport
  • Hike to swimming hole: Near parking

Rock Run is a hidden gem in the McIntyre Wild Area that offers a unique and adventurous place to swim. Comprising three falls, this popular spot for swimming is surrounded by striking rock formations and deep gorges beautifully accented by bright blue-green water. As breathtaking as the scenery is, the water can be pretty chilly, making it best on hot days.

The swim area is accessible by parking along the road and hiking a short distance to the creek. Please exercise caution while swimming, as water levels fluctuate, and some areas may have strong currents. Pack appropriate footwear for walking over rocky terrain and ensure you leave no trace to protect the natural habitat and keep it clean for the next visitors.

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