We're in the dog days of summer and nothing breaks the heat quite like a dip in a fresh, cool spring. Marshall - our resident swimming hole expert - shared a handful of his favorite spots in New Hampshire and Vermont. Now you know what you're doing this coming weekend...
Smith Easton Recreation Area - North Conway, NH
You can jump from an old 30-40ft (60-70ft if you jump from the top trestle) high railroad bridge. It's deep enough for the jump and has a soft sand bottom. But you have to curl up once you hit the water to avoid really stomping the landing! For the faint of heart, there's a rope swing attached to the underside of the bridge that's fun to play around on.
Franconia Falls - Lincoln, NH
These falls are fairly close to Lincoln, NH (near Loon Mountain) along the Kancamagus Highway. It's about a 1.3 mile walk on an old railroad bed that follows the Pemigewasset River into the woods. There are two swimming holes here. The lower one has a natural rock slide that you can sit in and it launches you off a 10ft cliff into a deep pool. Further up, there's a big "punchbowl" with rocks on all sides that you can jump off. Heights range from 10-30ft, not manageable even for those a little less confident with heights.
Bingham Falls - Stowe, VT
Easy to access right off Rt. 108 in Stowe. The path is a rather slippery descent from the road down through the woods, but it takes you right into the belly of the West Branch Little River. It has a cascading waterfall that has carved a deep (15-25ft) pool out of the rock which makes an awesome swimming hole to paddle in. Even better, the pool is surrounded on all sides by drops of varying heights. The larger drop to the left of the waterfall requires a dangerous scramble to get to, but the jump is worth it.
Warren Falls - Warren, VT
This place is a total playground. There are three main pools with ample jumping opportunities surrounding each. There's also a logjam that spans the lower pool, providing a unique jump for those who have the balance and nimble prowess to tip-toe out to the middle.