The Best Swimming Holes in Connecticut

Enders Falls
Jennifer Yakey-Ault/

Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: August 11, 2023

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Beachfronts are popular places to cool off in the summer, but if you want to skip the crowds, try one of Connecticut’s swimming holes. You can take a relaxing soak after a nice lunch, unwind with some time spent sunbathing by the gravel ledge, or, for the more daring, leap off high cliffs or tube down raging rapids. 

Be sure to read the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) site for updated safety precautions before getting in the water. If you’re ready to know the best spots to beat the summer heat, take a look at the state’s top swimming spots listed below.

An overview of the Best Swimming Holes in Connecticut.

Enders Falls, Granby

Blurred, misty water of a waterfall at Enders State Park in Granby, Connecticut, with reflections of the falls and autumn leaves in the dark water.

There are multiple waterfalls with swimming holes at Enders Falls, Granby.

Five unique waterfalls make up the excellent Enders Falls group, some of which have well-liked swimmable ponds. The initial set of waterfalls is a 6-foot cascade, which is excellent but not a reliable indicator of what comes further down. 

The next falls can be somewhat viewed upstream at the river level, where the trail continues for a little while. The third waterfall is a 30-foot horsetail and drop combo that spreads broadly downward between rocky, towering gorge walls. It is best viewed by traversing the stream. In the water below these cascades, which are flanked by hemlock trees and dense moss on all sides, fishing is very popular.

Only a short distance downstream from the third waterfall is the fourth location. Here, the stream plunges 12 feet to a reservoir below after dropping from an overhanging lip. Maybe the least picturesque of the group’s falls is this one. On the opposite end of things, the fifth and final waterfall is a must-see. 

The drops come to an elegant close with this 15-foot two-segment dive. The moderate-sized lagoon at the foot of the falls is surrounded by a cluster of tiny boulders and is probably less busy than those above. If you want to get the most out of this magnificent location, make sure to stop by all five waterfalls.

Salmon River, Colchester

Salmon River, Colchester, Connecticut

The Salmon River in Colchester provides refreshing swimming holes.

Are you looking for a more secluded area to cool off during summer? Salmon River and other nearby conservation areas are home to a variety of paths, and they are situated in the towns of Colchester and East Hampton. 

This cycling path travels through a constrained valley on dirt forest roads, woodland roads, and an abandoned railroad bed along the Salmon River’s east bank. Hikers, fishers, and water enthusiasts all enjoy the area’s beautiful scenery. Day Pond State Park is adjacent to Salmon River’s eastern end.

It is less crowded than many swimming holes, and even better, there is lots of space to spread out. The most populated and accessible area is beneath the covered bridge. Nevertheless, there are numerous additional small places you can claim as your own if you continue along the blue route along the river.

Riga Falls, Salisbury

A beautiful swimming hole is tucked away in Mt. Riga State Park.

You’re sure to fall in love with the charming small swimming hole hidden inside the eternally beautiful Mt. Riga State Park. Even though Riga Falls is a little waterfall, it is nonetheless incredibly beautiful. Take a dip in the refreshing water while taking in the peaceful sounds of nature. The magnificent waterfall is just wonderful during Connecticut summers. 

The nearby boulders are fun to climb for the daring. Be cautious if you decide to investigate the area. The rocks can get slick, as is well known. Of course, Mt. Riga State Park has much more to offer than this gorgeous waterfall swimming spot.

Mashamoquet Brook State Park

Mashamoquet Brook State Park is idyllic for swimming, camping, biking, and boating.

Are you looking for a weekend getaway? Mashamoquet Brook State Park is perfect for those looking to unplug and camp near sparkling waters. Mashamoquet Brook State Park provides camping, biking, boating, and swimming along with a wealth of historical significance. There are restrooms, picnic pavilions, and tables available. 

For swimming, there is a little beach and pond, and beyond the pond is a sizable stone pavilion constructed around 1940. Many visitors enjoy exploring the caves and caverns before taking a dip in the refreshing water. 

This place has plenty of outdoor activities to keep people of all ages busy and entertained throughout the day. Spend the evening cooking hot dogs and s’mores over a campfire after a long day on the water. 

Bigelow Hollow State Park

Bigelow Hollow State Park, CT

The calm, clear water of  Bigelow Hollow State Park is perfect for swimming, kayaking, boating, and scuba diving.

Beautiful recreation space can be found at Bigelow Hollow State Park. You’ll enjoy visiting the more than 9,000 acres of Nipmuck State Forest, which is found in Union and is accessible from route 171. There are numerous hiking paths that are miles long, which are ideal for getting a sweat on before jumping in. 

The calm, clear water of the 18-acre pond is perfect for swimming, kayaking, boating, and scuba diving. Grab your underwater camera and take some amazing fish photographs while relaxing at the end of the tiny pier. The nicest aspect is that you hardly ever have to interact with anyone, much less large groups.

Summary of the Best Swimming Holes in Connecticut

NumberSwimming Hole
1Enders Falls, Granby
2Salmon River, Colchester
3Riga Falls, Salisbury
4Mashamoquet Brook State Park
5Bigelow Hollow State Park

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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