When you’re in the Catskills, swimming holes aren’t hard to find. Head toward any direction and chances are you’ll find a freshwater swimming spot. With so many fresh, swimmer-friendly bodies of water it’s easy to miss the best-hidden gems, which is why we’d like to suggest the following as our favorite swimming spots.
1.) Peekamoose Blue Hole
Is as quaint as it sounds, if you’re looking for a less busy freshwater hole in the middle of woods, look no further. This is the ideal place to dip, whether you’d enjoy using therope swing or prefer to casually wade in. You do need a permit for weekends and holidays but you can easily get one here!
Nearest Campsite: Mountain View
Directions: Peekamoose Blue Hole, Peekamoose Road, Denning, NY 12740. Go NY-17 W. To Heiden-Thompsonville Rd. Take exit 107 towards NY-42 to Peekamoose Rd.
2.) Split Rock
Is like the swimming holes you see in romantic films and think, “that can’t be real.” But it is… and it’s wonderful. If you are looking for a good picnic spot and a place to jump in the water, then Split Rock Hole is the move.
Nearest Campsite: Lothlorien
Directions: 3197 US-44, Gardiner, NY 12525. Take NY-299 towards US-44 E. the Mohonk Preserve will be on your right. Then just a short hike to the hole.
3.) Kaaterskill Creek
Directly west of the quaint village of Catskill, is a beautiful creek and swimming hole. I suggest that you stop in town, get a cup of coffee at 394 Main, and then walk to the creek. Nearby is also the famous leap, Fawn's Leap which you can do the short leap or the full shebang!
Nearest Campsite: Schoharie Creek
Directions: Go to the town of Catskills and walk west of the town to the creek.
4.) Millstream Swimming Hole
At the center of rock ‘n’ roll history is a lovely little swimming spot, excellent for a casual day trip. I imagine that during the 1969 music festival the swimming hole was filled with bohemian beatniks looking for a quiet retreat.
Directions: Millstream Swimming Hole, Woodstock, NY 12498. Take NY- 375 to Millstream Rd.
5.) Otter Falls
Is in Sundown New York about half of a mile from Giant Ledge trail parking area. Just ask anyone in the Catskills about otter falls and get ready for a long-winded opinion. The falls are gorgeous and arguably the most popular swimming hole. It’s a beautiful little place that is very easy to get to.
Nearest Campsite: Pond View
Directions: Go to Panther Mountain Trail, good luck finding an address. If you get lost, most likely any camper or local knows the place. Then take a short hike to the falls.
6.) Pratt Rock
Is in Prattsville, New York about 5 minutes from your campsite. All of the locals convene here on hot summer days for a nice spot to take a cool dip and relax. The rocks are perfect for picnicking and the water is perfect for cooling down!!
Nearest Campsite:The Farm
Directions: Heading south east on NY-23 E coming out of Prattsville, you will turn left off the highway just out of town and you’ll see it!
Photos by See/Swim, lightningleslie.wordpress.com and Wikipedia