Dive Into Nature: Discover 8 Must-Visit Swimming Holes in Pennsylvania This Summer

A visitor to Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle, Pa. enjoys the natural waterslide at Meadow Run Sunday, May 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

By Ashley Adams

May 3, 2023

Pennsylvania is home to some amazing bodies of water that will cool you off in the summer heat. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous trip down a natural waterslide, or a lazy float down a crystal-clear creek, our state has it all when it comes to swimming holes.

Tired of the same old rectangular pool you usually use to cool off in the summer heat? Want some different fun in the sun? 

Pennsylvania is home to some amazing natural watering holes that deliver a refreshing cooldown, with our state’s beautiful landscape providing the backdrop.

So skip the overcrowded public pools and water parks this summer and head to any one of these eight great swimming holes in the state to wash away the summer heat and humidity.

Meadow Run Natural Waterslide, Ohiopyle

Who needs a man-made waterslide when we’ve got a natural one right here in Pennsylvania? Follow the Meadow Run Trail in Ohiopyle State Park and it’ll take you to two waterfalls and this natural waterslide. Be prepared to get a few bumps and bruises along the way since you’ll be sliding down sandstone that’s millions of years old. There’s no lifeguard on duty so slip and slide responsibly.

Perkiomen Creek, Montgomery County

Whether you like an outdoor adventure on a kayak or canoe, or just want to cool yourself off, Perkiomen Creek is the body of water for you. The creek offers 18 miles of navigable waters from south of Green Lane to its junction with the Schuylkill River near Oaks.

Raccoon Creek State Park, Hookstown

Spend a hot summer day at Raccoon Creek State Park where you can sunbathe on the sand of the 500-foot beach then wade into Raccoon Lake to cool off. The beach features a concession stand and bathhouse. The whole family will enjoy a day at this great swimming hole.

Lake Erie, Erie

There are so many options to choose from at the biggest and most impressive body of water the state has to offer. Lake Erie boasts 11 sandy beaches for you to lounge on, all of which lead straight into the blue body of water.

The beach at Lake Erie (Shutterstock)

Salt Springs State Park, Montrose

Not only can you cool off in any one of the three waterfalls at Salt Springs State Park, but you can also hike down numerous trails and pitch your tent for some overnight camping fun. This destination is ideal for a weekend getaway or just a day trip to beat the summer heat.

Lackawaxen River, Masthope

Take a dip in this cool body of water flowing through the Poconos. If you want some fun on the river instead of in it, try a day of kayaking. Fishing is also a popular activity for those who frequent this body of water.

Black Moshannon State Park, Philipsburg

Park your beach towel or beach chair in the perfect spot on the sandy beach at Black Moshannon State Park. You can soak up some sun before taking a dip in the cool lake water. Swim at your own risk, though, as there are no lifeguards on duty at this beach.

Rock Run, Williamsport

Backpacker magazine has gone as far as to say Rock Run in Loyalsock State Forest has some of the best swimming holes in the entire US. The waters of this stream are crystal clear and pass through incredible gorges and flumes, and over waterfalls. Take a plunge down the falls or float idly down the stream. Whichever you choose, we have a feeling you’ll agree with Backpacker magazine.

Author

  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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