June 18, 2006

Favorite Swimming Holes

I admit this post has only passing meaning to Burleigh Mountain but I thought I would share it anyway. The reason I thought to post it here was that I was all sweaty and sore after working on the mountain the other day and what I really wanted to do was find a swimming hole somewhere and jump in. This led me to realize that I hadn't ever been to the swimming hole on the Pemi down the street from school. So Friday I hopped in the truck and drove down to scout it out. Pretty sweet! This whole thing helped me remember a sort of running list I was working on years ago of my favorite spots to jump in the water.

What follows is that list including the latest entry for the New Hampton rope swing. All the map references are to the handy Delorme Atlas of New Hampshire that I couldn't do without when driving around our fair state.

Most of the spots were found when I was working for Outward Bound and used to spend a lot of hot and weary time with groups of young people in the woods. Most of these spots are near areas I used to frequent with kids and were handy when they needed a break. More frequently actually it was I who needed a break. In those days I was doing a lot of rock climbing for 2 week trips. I would come in as a site manager and climb with a group in the middle of their trip. It was frequently crazy hot and humid and it was great to snag a dip on the way home.

Enjoy and please - add to the list by clicking the 'comment' button at the end of this post.

By the way I found the picture at the top of this post here. There are also directions there to the Rumney Village Store swimming hole - check it out!

Baker River – Map 39 F-8
A little swimming hole for cooling off after climbing at Rumney. No reason to linger but to cool off it’s great!

Directions: From the parking lot at Rumney walk west (away from town or toward the 5.8 crag) along the road. On the left is a small pull off. Walk downhill to the river and a big rock.

Access: Seems public access, just don’t park along the road. This annoys locals and risks not only swimming but climbing in Rumney.

Breezy Point – Map 38 A-7
A must if you are in the Moosilauke region. Awesome water carved rock channel and a swift flowing river. Multiple heights to jump into the river, a place for kiddies to splash around and cold water!

Directions: From Rumney drive on Rt25 north (away from Plymouth) to Rt118 east. Drive several miles down Rt118 to Breezy Point road on your left. Turn in here and park on the other side of the bridge. The swimming is in the river just downstream of the bridge. Breezy Point Road is also the trailhead for the Carriage Path on Moosilauke.

Access: Parking is definitely an issue in this popular spot so make sure you don’t park where you shouldn’t. This place is popular so you’ll probably have an audience as you quiver and quake deciding if you should jump or not.

Connecticut River – Map 32 I-2
Probably a little out of the way and hard to get to, but this rope swing is worth the trip if you can find it.

Directions: From the center of Hanover head west and downhill to the Connecticut river along the Appalachian Trail. Just shy of the bridge across the river head Right toward the Dartmouth Canoe Club and Rowing Clubs. Park here and carry your boat to a put in north (upstream) of the parking lot. Paddle upstream a mile or two to an obvious and huge rope swing on the right (east) bank of the river.

Access: As the sign emphasizes Darwin is your life guard here. Be safe and have fun. There is probably a land route to this spot too. Last I heard this rope swing had been removed and then replaced. Not sure if it’s still there.

Stone Pond – Map 20 D-1
Very convenient if you after hiking Mt. Monadnock especially via the Dublin, Halfway House or Pumpelli trails.

Directions: From the Dublin trailhead on Monadnock head back to the Marlborough Road by the golf course. Instead of turning right to go back to Dublin and 101, turn left. The pond is a few miles down on the right. Sandy beach, changing room and raised grills.

Access: Technically available to town residents only with a dump sticker. Midweek or for a brief dip nobody will hassle you.
Tannery Falls – Map 38 F-1
Very convenient if you are climbing in Lyme at Pickledish or hiking on the AT near the Dartmouth Skiway. A nice spot with a mini natural water slide and a nice pool to paddle around in.

Directions: From the church in Lyme drive up the Grafton Turnpike (toward the Dartmouth Skiway and Pickledish) one mile to a dirt pullout on the right side of the road. From where the AT crosses the Grafton and Canaan Turnpikes drive toward town (west) for two miles to the same dirt pullout on your left. Park and cross the road, walk down a steep trail to the big pool.

Access: Seems to be very public access. No big area to lounge around at so this is more of a quick dip kind of a spot.
Livermore Falls – Map 39 G-12
Awesome cascades, a sandy swimming hole, rope swing and for the more daring rope and bridge leaps into the Pemigewasset River. Convenient from Rumney, and points north in the White Mountains.

Directions: Take US93 to exit 25 for Plymouth and Holderness. Take a right off the exit and cross the green bridge (over the Pemi). At the three way intersection take a right onto Rt3. Follow Rt3 almost to the end of Plymouth. Just past a tire dealership is a pull off on the right. Pull off the road at a dirt pull off on the right and follow the trail downhill to the river. There is also access from Rt175. The cascades and sandy beach are upstream and the rope swing, cliff and bridge jumping are more down stream.

Access: Seems to be pretty public access.
Saunders Bridge – Map 38 E-6
Just up the road from Rumney and a little more adventurous but still pretty PG. A little sand bar and a fun rope swing along the Baker River. The river is usually pretty shallow but a deep section under the rope swing make this one worth while if you have a little time after climbing.

Directions: From Rumney get back on Rt25 and head north (away from Plymouth). After you cross the Rumney / Wentworth town line drive a few more miles and look for Saunders Hill Rd. on your left. Park at the pull out on the left just before the green bridge. The swimming hole is on the right (upstream) side of the bridge. The rope swing is just upstream from the sand bar by the rocky face.

Access: Public access, few folks are ever here.

Rumney Village Store
Supposedly a great swimming hole and natural water slide on the Stinson Brook near the Rumney village store. Haven’t been there yet.
New Hampton School Rope Swing
A nice spot for a quick dip and a good rope swing. The Pemi is pretty clean and the area is very dog friendly.

Directions: From Main St. in New Hampton head west. Turn left on Old Bristol Rd. Drive on this road until you go down a dip with a swamp on either side of the road. Park at the pull out shortly after this on the right. Walk along the road until you come to a yellow gate on the left side of the road. Head right at this point up the bank and follow the well trodden trail across the power lines and down to the swimming hole.

Access: Public access, dog friendly, frequently visited.

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