These 5 Waterfall Swimming Holes In Massachusetts Are Perfect For A Summer Day
What could be better than cooling off beneath the sparkling spray of a local waterfall? Check out these amazing Massachusetts swimming holes that are fed by some of the state’s most spectacular cascades.
NOTE: We’ve included only waterfall swimming holes that have no known restrictions on swimming. There are plenty more Massachusetts waterfalls that feature pools, but where swimming may not be safe or legal.
The swimming at Umpachene Falls Park is among the best. The Umpachene River flows over a stepped series of smooth rocks and into the Konkapot River. The pool at the base of these cascades is wide and not too deep, but definitely deep enough for a good swim. There are tables and swings in the adjacent park, so be sure to bring provisions for an afternoon outside.
The official parking lot for Umpachene Falls Park is restricted to New Marlborough residents. However, there is additional parking just a few steps from the official lot.
This waterfall offers more of a wading experience than a true swimming hole, but the beauty of the cascades alone is worth the trip. The falls plunge in a series of 60-foot and 80-foot drops.
It will take you about 20 minutes to reach the falls, and the trail is mostly downhill. However, there are plenty of other, smaller cascades in the area that might merit a bit of exploration, so plan your time accordingly.
Parking is available only steps away from a series of smaller cascades. If you’d like to take a dip, you’ll have to trek along the trail a bit.
The tallest drop at this waterfall is 10 feet, so it hits that sweet spot between roaring cascade and measly trickle. There are actually multiple waterfalls spread out over half a mile of gorgeous Appalachian Trail terrain. One of the best natural swimming spots in the state can be found at Sages Ravine. The water is deep, clear and refreshing.
To reach the falls, you’ll need to hike about 1.7 miles. The trail is uphill and can get a bit steep at times, so bring sturdy shoes. Parking information can be found at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Northwest Cabin.
This spot in the Chapel Brook Reservation features a series of waterfalls, with the total drop height being around 45 feet. The pool at the base of the cascades is usually pretty cool, and is best at the peak of summer. There are several smaller pools and rivulets further downstream, which tend to be a bit warmer.
Pony Mountain is also nearby, which offers spectacular views of the valley beneath. For the more intrepid explorers, Chapel Ledge is a granite cliff with a sheer face that’s perfect for rock-climbing.
The hike to these falls is also a breeze, coming in at just under 0.2 miles of mostly downhill terrain.
Close to the town of Adams, Pecks Falls is actually two waterfalls that are right between Gould Road and West Mountain Road. The water drops about 12 feet before cascading an additional 50 feet through a narrow break in the stone. The upper falls permit swimmers to splash around in the cool water.
To reach these falls, you’ll have to hike about five minutes to the lower falls, and another ten minutes to reach the upper falls. The hike is mostly uphill, but isn’t too strenuous. You can park in an area just off of Gould Road, about 0.3 miles up the road.
For a larger list of the best waterfalls in Massachusetts, check out our selection of beautiful and hidden local cascades.