The Five Best Swimming Holes Near NYC

This is just one installment of 37 Things a Man’s Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September.

Chlorine? Good on that.

Summer means swimming holes.

Ideally situated on the sandy-beach bend of a lazy river. Probably with a barbecue nearby. And adjacent to a tent beneath a giant maple, if possible.

With that in mind, these are our five favorite swimming holes within driving distance of NYC.

Float on.

Canopus Lake
A glistening jewel nestled in the 14,086-acre Fahnestock State Park spanning 1.5 miles, the lake is open for boating, fishing and, certainly, swimming — especially on the sandy beach next to the woods at the lake’s northern tip. Hike or rent a rowboat to work up a sweat pre-dip. (map)

Pine Meadow Lake
Nestled among the thousands of miles of trails and lakes in Harriman State Park, Pine Meadow is the sweet spot for hikers in need of a refreshing dip. Follow the Pine Meadow path across creek and up along a mountain ledge to some of the clearest water the area has to offer. An excellent spot for adrenaline junkies to cliff-jump, if that’s your thing. (map)

Enfield Falls
When your co-workers ask what you did this weekend, you want to be able to say, “Oh, not much, just swam in some waterfalls.” Not too shabby. One of the lower falls in Robert H. Treman State Park, Enfield is regarded as one of N.Y.’s best swimming holes. It’s good for the fam, as there is a lifeguard on duty. It’s also situated right next to Ithaca, where you’ll find other waterfalls, gorges and assorted summertime activities. (map)

Millstream Swimming Hole
A great and oft-overlooked spot right outside of Woodstock. A perfect, clear and cool place to lamp out pre- or après-rock show. (map)

Peekamoose Blue Hole
Located in the Roundout Creek in the Catskills, a swimming hole like no other. Hike five miles and you will be handsomely rewarded with stunning blue water just begging for a dive. (map)

Photos courtesy of: Canopus Lake – Glenn Kraeck , 
Esopus Creek  Millstream 
Peekamoose Blue Hole – Monroe