6 waterfalls in Pennsylvania you can swim in

6 waterfalls in Pennsylvania you can swim in

Natural Water Slides at Ohiopyle, courtesy of Alex Byers/GO Laurel Highlands.

By Kalena Thomhave

July 10, 2024

Pennsylvania has relaxing swimming holes featuring waterfalls and natural cascades where you chase away the dog days of summer.

Pennsylvania is home to dozens upon dozens of beautiful waterfalls that you can chase throughout the year. However, many Pa. waterfalls don’t allow swimming — a major bummer because swimming near waterfalls is relaxing, scenic, and extremely fun — but we get it: It’s a safety thing. You could get injured or damage the environment around the waterfall. 

But don’t shrug your shoulders and head south in search of waterfall swimming holes in West Virginia. There are indeed a number of waterfalls and cascades in Pa. where you can swim and beat the heat this summer. Just be sure to always go with a friend, keep abreast of water conditions, and consider bringing a life jacket or other flotation device. Even if you don’t wear it, you could use it to pull a friend to safety if needed. Aim to stay safe as you cool off in Pa. swimming holes this summer!

We’ve done our best to make sure all of these sites are open for swimming, but be sure to check websites before you leave and follow any signs at the site that caution or bar visitors. You can also check out this long, old list of swimming holes in Pennsylvania — some sites listed are now closed but you can get an idea of where you may find swimming holes and waterfalls in your area. 

1. Meadow Run, Ohiopyle State Park – Ohiopyle

Meadow Run is actually a 14-mile tributary of the Youghiogheny River. But the stream itself includes a long ribbon of cascading waterfalls, which visitors to Ohiopyle know as the Natural Water Slides. You can take a dip down the slides, carved through sandstone. Find Meadow Run’s Natural Water Slides within Ohiopyle State Park — the attraction has its own parking area.

2. Big Falls Swimming Hole, Tioga State Forest – Morris

One of the best swimming holes in the state is found in rural Tioga County, just south of the town of Wellsboro. The turquoise water of Big Falls Swimming Hole — beautifully blue-green because of limestone deposits — is fed by the waters of Stony Fork Creek via a short but lovely waterfall. Bonus: You can jump into the swimming hole on a rope swing!

3. Seven Tubs Recreation Area, Pinchot State Forest – Wilkes-Barre

Located in Luzerne County, Seven Tubs Recreation Area offers what the name suggests: Seven “tubs” of water in which to relax! Back in the day, glacial meltwater helped form seven pools of water that are now perfect for swimming. Wheelbarrow Run, a tributary of Laurel Run, cascades through the seven tubs. Note that due to overcrowding, picnicking and camping are not allowed at the site. You can see the tubs via the 0.3-mile main loop trail. A parking area is located off Bear Creek Road.

4. Rock Run, Loyalsock State Forest – Ralston

In Lycoming County, you can find Rock Run, a beautiful stream within the McIntyre Wild Area in Loyalsock State Forest. Rock Run, along Old Loggers Path, is dotted with waterfalls and excellent areas to take a dip. You can visit Upper Rock Run Falls, which features a 10-foot waterfall above a blue pool, as well as Lower Rock Run Falls, and Middle Rock Run Falls. Upper Rock Run Falls and Middle Rock Run Falls are the most popular swimming holes, but your experience at Lower Rock Run Falls may be quieter and more relaxing. You can find a small parking area along Rock Run Road.

5. Paint Township Swimming Hole – Paint Township

The popular swimming hole in Somerset County’s Paint Township can be found on Paint Creek near Johnstown. Many locals spend the summer cooling off in the waters of the creek, and the swimming hole features a decent waterfall. However, this is an informal, locals’ swimming hole; the waters can be dangerous if it has rained recently, with the waterfall becoming more like whitewater rapids. Be cautious, and don’t enter the water if you’re not sure if it’s safe. You can find the swimming hole near Cottage Lane and Carpenters Park Road in Paint Township.

6. Blue Hole – Dunbar

The Blue Hole in Dunbar is a well-known swimming hole in Pa. — though it’s also one of multiple Blue Holes in the state. (Hey, it’s a good name for a swimming hole!) A waterfall along Morgan Run flows into this swimming hole, which is surrounded by a rocky ravine on three sides. You can get to the Blue Hole by parking along Camp Carmel Road and following a dirt path down the hill. 

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.6 waterfalls in Pennsylvania you can swim in6 waterfalls in Pennsylvania you can swim in


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