Virginia July 27, 2016
This Swimming Spot Has The Clearest, Most Pristine Water In Virginia
Temperatures are rising here in Virginia, and that means one thing: it’s time to cool down. Sure, air conditioning can be quite refreshing and in some cases completely necessary. But there are few things more restorative than a natural swimming hole. If you’re up for a bit of a hike, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most pristine swimming spots in the state. Enjoy the lovely surroundings of the George Washington National Forest as you meander your way towards this oasis just outside of New Market.
The trek to Emerald Pond begins with a 3 mile hike that wanders through lush forest. Keep your eyes peeled for wildflowers, especially this time of year. To begin, you'll start at the aptly named Wildflower Trail (blazed white). In .3 miles, you'll reach an intersection and take a right to the Massanutten South Trail (blazed orange). After another mile or so, you'll want to take a right at the next intersection towards the Bird Knob Trail (blazed white).
At this point, you’ll arrive at a breathtaking vista of the Harrisonburg Valley. This tends to be a busy section of the trail, as many people take the out-and-back trail to the overlook. The trail will eventually begin to descend towards an old logging road. Take this road for .1 miles and your paradise awaits.
The gorgeous spring-fed swimming hole is nestled in the mountain hollow. Despite being a mountain pond, the water is an inviting temperature and definitely refreshing if you've made the hike. Resisting a dip will be nearly impossible. So kick off your shoes, wade into the water, and enjoy the natural surroundings.
The reflection of the trees shining in the pond's clear emerald waters makes for an unforgettable setting. Even these beautiful pictures don't quite do justice to the deep greens and blues reflected in the water. It's really no mystery how this pond got its name. Can you imagine a better place to spend a summer afternoon?
The map above shows the outlined Emerald Pond Loop, which is 8 miles total for those who wish to continue hiking after seeing the pond. Click
for an extensively outlined hiking guide, courtesy of HikingUpward.
Looking for more places in nature where you can cool off this summer? Be sure to check out
These 11 Must-Visit Swimming Holes In Virginia.