10 Appalachian Trail Swimming Holes


Hiking the Appalachian Trail is one of the best activities that nature lovers can enjoy in the United States. Covering more than 2,000 miles of 14 states, it is a favorite amongst people who are looking for the best hikes in the world. If you ever find the need to cool down, there are plenty of options for a relaxing dip at one of the impressive Appalachian trail swimming holes.

Whether you are looking for an isolated spot or a crowd favorite, there are many Appalachian trail swimming spots? Clueless about where to go for a cold dip during your hike? Read on and we’ll list down the top spots to check out.

Jack’s River Falls

Before going here, you must spend time in training for hiking. You will cover a total distance of 18 miles (back and forth), so prepare your body!

A part of the Cohutta Wilderness, Jack’s River is one of the most remote in Georgia. It may not be easy to reach, but it is also one of the most rewarding Appalachian trail swimming holes, especially once you are rewarded with the view of the 80-foot waterfall.

Martha’s Falls

Located 111 miles from the west of Atlanta, this swimming hole is a part of the Little River Canyon National Reserve. Martha’s Falls is also known as Hippie Hole and Little Falls.

This is an easy hike, which makes it perfect even for beginners and families. The water is also safe even for the little ones, although it is important to keep an eye on the kids when they are swimming. The rapids can be dangerous, especially after a rain, which makes adult supervision necessary.

Rainbow Falls

This 150-foot waterfall is a part of both the Gorges State Park and Pisgah National Forest. You can reach Rainbow Falls about 55 miles from Ashville through a strenuous hike that is mostly suitable only for those who are experienced.

If you are not happy with what you see at the Rainbow Falls and you still have the energy to hike, extend your walk by half a mile and you will reach the Stairway Falls. The trail can be muddy and slippery, so make sure that you are wearing high-quality hiking shoes.

Sliding Rock

Another popular swimming spot on the Appalachian side of North Carolina, Sliding Rock has a natural waterslide that is perfect if you are hiking with kids.

However, if you are planning to visit the Sliding Rock, brace yourself for the crowd. It does not matter if you visit on a weekend or weekday. Chances are, this is going to be full because of its popularity.

Midnight Hole

For the best Appalachian trail swimming spots in Tennessee, you can never go wrong with Midnight Hole, which is a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

If the urban legend is to be believed, no one has ever reached the deepest part of the water. The water might be falling only from a six-foot cascade, but the bottom is pitch-black. Despite the depth, the water is exceptionally clear, so make sure to pack your swimming snorkels to see the best of this swimming hole.

Riley Moore Falls


If you are looking for Appalachian trail swimming holes that are easy to access, the Riley Moore Falls is another great choice. The length of the hike is only one mile, which will take about only 45 minutes to complete.

At a height of 12 feet, Riley Moore is one of the shorter waterfalls in the south. However, what it lacks in height, it makes up for its water volume. There is also sand on the edge of the water, making it a great choice for an impromptu beach trip.

Cascade Falls

A part of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia, this 69-foot waterfall is another popular choice for the best Appalachian trail swimming spots. This is best for adults and experienced hikers since the trail can be quite challenging.

To reach the Cascade Falls, you have to take the Cascades National Recreation Trail, which has a length of four miles. Pack your Appalachian trail food so that you won’t get hungry on your way!

Lonesome Lake

Another part of one of the best hiking trails in the USA, the Lonesome Lake Trail has a distance of 3.1 miles. The route is popular for being heavily trafficked, so brace yourself for the crowd, especially if you are going in the peak season.

Aside from swimming, trout fishing is another popular activity that you can enjoy while you are in Lonesome Lake. Don’t forget your fishing rods and cast nets, among other fishing must-haves. You might just end up being surprised by the fresh catch you can take home!

Dismal Falls

Do not be fooled by the name of this another popular choice for Appalachian trail swimming holes. There is nothing dismal about this 15-foot waterfalls, which is part of a 50-foot wide creek.

This trail is perfect for all skills, including beginners. This is great even for kids. You can access the falls at only about 1.5 hours from Roanoke.

Devil’s Bathtub

Do not be discouraged or scared by the name of this swimming spot. Accessible via a 3.5-mile hike from Southwest Virginia, there are 15 water crossings along the trail, but the most popular is the Devil’s Bathtub. This Instagram-popular spot can get crowded, so it is best to visit in the middle of the week.

This is also the perfect destination if you would like to try cave diving on the Appalachian Trail. While it is not as challenging as more popular cave dives, the bottom of the kidney-shaped pool is an experience that you should not miss.

Globo Surf Overview

The Appalachian trail swimming holes provide the perfect respite from a tiring hike, especially during a hot day. From Georgia to Maine, there are many places where you can cool down, including uncrowded spots. Pay attention to our recommendations above to find the perfect place for a relaxing swim

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  1. Swimming Appalachian, TheTrek.co
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!