Best Swimming Holes In Maine

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: December 6, 2022
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Due to the state’s varied topography and bays, you can find swimming holes in Maine close to secluded beaches, along rivers that run through canyons, and at the foot of waterfalls. Our favorite Maine swimming holes and hidden bays are ideal for an adventurer who wants to cool off, whether you want to trek a few miles to a peaceful pool or pull over on the side of the highway for a quick dip. Let’s take a look at the places that made the cut! 

Tumbledown Pond 

High between Little Jackson and Tumbledown Mountains is where you’ll find Tumbledown Pond. Small springs come into the pond from every direction. Tumbledown Brook, which is its outflow, finally drains into Webb Lake and West Brook towards the south. The shoreline of the pond remains underdeveloped. 

Tumbledown Mountain can be a challenging trek because of the hilly sections. The reward, though, is definitely worth the work if you’re prepared for it. The Brook Trail, which is just below two miles long and a little easier to reach, is what we advise. When entering the area from Weld, the parking lot for this path will be the first thing you encounter. 

To the right of the parking lot is the trailhead. You can prepare for the water to be chilly, but you should also anticipate getting exactly what you desire. Maine has many swimming holes, but this one is particularly exceptional.

From Byron Road, a multitude of foot routes leads to Tumbledown Pond. In the summer, the pond is open for fishing, however live fish are not permitted as bait, and ice fishing is prohibited.

Tumbledown Mountain, Maine with Tumbledown Pond on the left
Tumbledown Mountain is a popular hike that can take you to Tumbledown Pond, an exceptional swimming hole in Maine.

©Tim Pierce, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons – License

The Tubs

The appropriately called Tubs, a collection of flowing natural pools approximately the size and shape of several bathtubs, offer trekkers and day hikers traversing Stratton’s Bigelow Preserve a nice break. 

You can swim alone in one of the tiny pools or with friends in a hot tub-sized pool at the Tubs, which are a short distance off the Appalachian Trail and close to the Little Bigelow lean-to campgrounds.

Rattlesnake Pool

A short, pleasurable climb will get you to Rattlesnake Pool, a picturesque swimming hole near Blueberry Mountain in Evans Notch. The pool is bordered by luxuriant greenery and is incredibly clear. 

Don’t let the name scare you off – you won’t find any rattlesnakes in the water! The train is well-marked and it’s a great place to bring the entire crew! We do advise packing plenty of bug spray due to the excessive woodlands.

The ideal starting point for your walk is Route 113 close to Gilead; turn toward Stone House Road. The road changes to Shell Pond Road. You can park in a guarded area a few miles further. Be sure to follow the leave-no-trace guidelines because this route and Rattlesnake Pool are both on private property.

Rattlesnake Pool, Maine
Rattlesnake Pool is a picturesque swimming hole near Blueberry Mountain in Evans Notch, Maine.

©Chris Rycroft / Flickr – License

Ledge Falls

Deep inside Baxter State Park, there are a number of manmade waterslides called Ledge Falls, one of the attractions of a drive down the main park road. You should be prepared for some company, especially kids, inflatable water toys, and inner tubes. 

There won’t be many waterfalls per se, but you may expect to see rapids, slides, and micro. A swimming and splashing playground may be found below this waterfall, and New England has some of the best of these locations.

Several of the little ponds and slides can be hostile or downright dangerous during high water levels because the currents can be powerful here. The park road offers an excellent view of the falls. A hundred feet south of the waterfalls lies the parking area.

Ledge Falls, Baxter State Park, Maine
Deep inside Baxter State Park, there are a number of manmade waterslides called Ledge Falls.

©James W. Thompson/

Gulf Hagas

A tourist to Gulf Hagas can discover and enjoy about a dozen natural features in just under nine miles of trekking, including two picturesque rivers: Gulf Hagas Brook and the West Branch of the Pleasant River, four waterfalls with official names, dozens of unnamed cascades, alluring swimming pools, and a gorge frequently referred to as “The Grand Canyon of Maine.” 

It is not shocking that the waterfalls of Gulf Hagas are among the most visited in the state given their abundance of natural features and opportunities for swimming and exploring. Of all the falls on the trek, Screw Auger Falls is the most picturesque. Gulf Hagas Brook plunges 15 feet in a punchbowl structure at this waterfall into a deep, shadowy pool that is surrounded by a bucket granite wall. 

Gulf Hagas falls in Northern Maine
Gulf Hagas falls are among the most visited in the state given their abundance of natural features and opportunities for swimming and exploring.

©Stephen G. Page/

Even though the pool is small in comparison to other iconic swimming spots in Maine, the five or six people it can accommodate at any given time find it to be rather invigorating. Although cliff jumping can appear alluring here, fallen trees occasionally linger in the shadowy lake. 

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Gulf Hagas Falls Maine
Gulf Hagas is also known as the Grand Canyon of Maine

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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