Summer vacations are best spent on the water. Not in chlorinated, over-crowded public pools, but in real, natural swimming holes where kids can play?and relaxed parents can float lazily. These five swimming areas near campgrounds are what New England summers are all about.
This intimate body of cold mountain water is easy to get in and out of thanks to the flat rocks around the edge resembling a man-made swimming pool.
Camp at Cold River
This relaxing pool on the West River, sometimes called the "Salmon Hole," is a nice, spacious spot to bring the family, slide down the waterfall and admire the view of Bald Mountain.
Camp at Winhall Brook
Of the 4,300 acres of land in this year-round recreation area, 135 acres are surface water with five ponds. Crow Hill Pond is the only official swimming pond with lifeguards on duty from mid-June until Labor Day.
Camp at Pearl Hill State Park
Located on the south shore of Mashapaug Pond, this open area of Bigelow Hollow State Park has everything from a flat sunbathing rock to a sandy shallow for wading. Bring some food and set up shop at one of the picnic areas.
Camp at West Thompson Lake
Tucked tightly in a small corner of Acadia National Park, this small and quiet cove is a short walk down a path from one of the parking lots. Book your camping reservation ahead of time in the park.
Camp at Blackwoods Campgrounds