Cool Off with Adventure at DC Area Swimming Holes

David Hatef

Cool Off with Adventure at DC Area Swimming Holes

It’s the middle of summer and that can only mean one thing - it’s hot! Here in DC, temperatures customarily hit well over 90 degrees, making it hard to find ways to beat the heat. But if you are looking to stay cool and enjoy a little getaway with the whole family, we’ve got you covered. Our list of watering holes a short distance from the District make for a fun adventure, while making a splash in the great outdoors.

With a name like that, there’s gotta be a good swimming spot in this town, right? Of course, there is! Secluded under a bridge, Seneca Creek offers a shaded hollow making it a perfect place for a dip. Swim in the hole or float down the creek in the naturally clear, refreshing cool water. 

Shenandoah National Park
Best known for having a 93-foot-tall waterfall, Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is filled with adventure including streams and three refreshing swimming holes, one of which is over seven feet deep. The sloping rock wall connected to the creek is often used as a waterslide at the sunny spot. Everyone is sure to have a great time!

Patapsco Valley State Park
Come for a hike and stay for a swim in this beautiful Maryland park. Filled with footpaths and mountain-biking trails, you can also go for a swim in the more than 32 mile stretch of river streaming through the park. If you’re looking for a swimming hole, head north off of Routh32 to McKeldin. You will find the deepest ones hidden there. 

Beaver Dam
If you love to dive, look no further than the Beaver Dam Swimming Club. This freshwater quarry is over 40 feet deep and just north of Baltimore. There is a diving board, rope swing, rolling log, and so much more! Pack a lunch and stay for the day. There are also courts for a game of volleyball to round out your day of activities.

Cunningham Falls State Park
The gorgeous 78-foot-tall waterfall in this Maryland park flows into catch pools at the bottom. Enjoy a swim in the cool mountain water and enjoy the view of Maryland’s tallest waterfall. There are plenty of rocks to sit on and sunbath or sneak up the side to enjoy the torrents of water on your back. 

Whether you decide to escape for the day or a long weekend, these local “cool” spots are perfect for enjoying the late days of summer before getting back into the fall routine. Perfect for a family adventure or a romantic trip, there is an opportunity for everyone to beat the heat and enjoy the natural beauty within a short distance of DC. 


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