The 10 Best Dog Friendly Swimming Holes in the United States

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: September 6, 2023
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Pups need fresh water to cool off in too, especially when the weather swelters. But sadly, they’re not always welcome in the water. Thankfully, there are spots dedicated to satisfying your pup’s desire to dive right in and splash away! Discover the 10 best dog-friendly swimming holes in the United States!

The 10 Best Dog-Friendly Swimming Holes in the United States

1. Mark Twain National Forest

Location: Missouri

In the Mark Twain National Forest, you and your pup can enjoy a beautiful hike on the Blue Spring Trail. Don’t be discouraged when you make it up there, however. There are parts of the trail that are drab, and you may question whether there’s a reward at the end of the hike. However, you only need to make it just under a mile before you realize it’s completely worth it. There is a natural spring with turquoise blue water and your dog is free to jump in!

Mark Twain National Forest of Missouri

Mark Twain National Forest is located in Missouri.

©Randy Kostichka/

2. Smugglers’ Notch State Park

Location: Vermont

This dog-friendly swimming hole isn’t just a body of water. It also has a 25-foot waterfall! It’s a quick 20-minute hike to get to Bingham Falls and throughout the park, your dog can enjoy streams and ponds as well. It’s the kind of environment that keeps on giving.

Smugglers’ Notch State Park

Smugglers’ Notch State Park is an ideal destination for your and your pups to enjoy!


3. Tanner Park

Location: Utah

Let your dog cool off in Salt Lake City at Tanner Park. There are a couple of different swimming holes within the park and your pup can take their pick! The whole park spans 10 acres and there are multiple trails you and your canine companion can enjoy alongside other pet parents and adventure-loving pups.

Types of water dogs

Dogs can enjoy the water at Tanner Park in Utah.


4. Bark Central Dog Park

Location: Florida

Florida heat and humidity take a toll and when your dog needs a swimming hole to enjoy along with new friends, head over to Bark Central Dog Park. The dog park spans 15 acres and is a comfortable place for both large and small dogs because there are separate sections for each. Amenities include restrooms and picnic tables. There are lots of shady places to enjoy while you watch your furry best friend enjoy the naturally filtered swimming ponds.

Croatian sheepdog plays in water

Bark Central Dog Park has different sections for large and small dogs.

©Damir Kutlesa/

5. James Island County Park

Location: South Carolina

There is a man-made dog beach at James Island County Park. Whether your dog wants to enjoy the four acres of grass, or they want to run into the water and splash around, this is the perfect summer excursion. Let them get messy because before you head home, you can use the on-site dog wash station to spruce them up before they hop in your car.

Boardwalk at James Island County Park, SC

Enjoy the boardwalk and the water with your pooch at James Island County Park.

©Megan Eve/

6. Timber Creek Pooch Park

Location: New Jersey

It’s all in the name! This dog park has a nine-acre fenced-in section where your pooch can play off-leash. The park is located within a much larger 128-acre wooded park where your dog can enjoy the water. The park has tons of trails, just make sure to leash your dog when you explore them!

Boston terrier dog on brown terrace - shallow depth of field

Your pup has a safe place to enjoy off-leash at Timber Creek Pooch Park!


7. Gunpowder Falls State Park

Location: Maryland

This park is located in the northeast region of Maryland and you and your pup can enjoy the trails that run alongside Gunpowder River. However, it isn’t until you get to Long Green Run (which is a feeder stream) that you can let your pup dive in and do their best doggy paddle. If your dog is adventurous, they can use the rock beside the deep pool to jump off of and make a splashy entrance.

Early autumn color along the Gunpowder River in Gunpowder Falls State Park, Maryland.

Gunpowder River is an excellent choice for pups in Maryland.

©Jon Bilous/

8. Tom Harvey Memorial Dog Park

Location: Ohio

Ohio has tons of dog-friendly swimming holes that your pup can enjoy but one of the top places to take your pup is Tom Harvey Memorial Dog Park. There are trails along with plenty of grassy areas for your pup to explore. There’s also a pond for dogs in the park. There are several benches throughout as well, where you can rest and enjoy your dog’s utter happiness while they swim.

golden retriever's face

There’s nothing quite like a happy pup!


9. Jefferson National Forest

Location: Virginia

At Jefferson National Forest, Devil’s Fork Loop Trail is a must. Now, if you and your dog are expert hikers, you can do the full seven-mile loop. However, if you’re just there for swimming, you only have to hike out a little over 1.5 miles. The water is a gorgeous blue-green color, and your pup can run in and out throughout the hike. Don’t give up until you get to the swimming hole, however. That’s the best part!

Appalachian Mountains in Virginia

While your pup plays, you can enjoy the views in Jefferson National Forest.


10. Stodder’s Neck Dog Park

Location: Massachusetts

Stodder’s Neck Dog Park is where the water is crisp, and your dog can enjoy running and splashing in Weymouth Back River. Throughout the park, there are several off-leash areas as well where your favorite canine can run to their heart’s content.

Wet dirty Irish Setter dog running fast and jumping on muddy puddle with water splashes on green field on spring day

It’s splash and play time for pups when they visit a swimming hole in Massachusetts.

©Alex Zotov/

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Denis Moskvinov/

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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