5 Swimming Spots That Keep Stowe Cool

by STOWE AREA ASSOCIATION

On hot summer days, Vermont cools off in rocky rivers and sparkling lakes. Hike out to a secluded spot or sunbathe in a state park at one of our favorite Stowe swimming holes.

5 Swimming Spots That Keep Stowe Cool

Jeff Falls (Jeffersonville, VT)

Jeff Falls is an enchanting, secluded spot in the woods with a series of small pools and potholes that have been carved out over time. Bring a friend or two for a beautiful swim in the deep main pool or bask on the sunny, shallow beach. Jeff Falls is easy to find with a pull off on Route 108 and nearby parking, but please be considerate — this gem is on private land, and public access depends on visitors keeping it clean.

Swimmers on the beach at Lake Elmore in Elmore, VT.

Lake Elmore (Elmore, VT) and Waterbury Reservoir (Waterbury VT)

If you have kids or a picnic in tow and are partial to the beach, there are two beloved state parks an easy drive from Stowe. Spend all day at Lake Elmore on the big, sandy beach, or explore the hiking trails between dips in the lake. For great boating, rent a kayak, canoe, or paddle board at the Waterbury Reservoir, an 850-acre, man-made body of water in Waterbury Center. With entry costing just a few dollars per person, either of these swimming spots is a summer steal.

Ranch Brook (Stowe, Vermont)

The Ranch Brook is situated on the Adam’s Camp property, 513 acres of hardwood forest conserved by the Stowe Land Trust. Interlaced with recreation trails, this area is a public haven for biking, hiking, fishing, and yes, swimming. Take Ranch Brook Road off Route 108 and make a day of it exploring the woods and splashing in the water.  

A covered bridge over West Branch River in Stowe, VT

Bootlegger’s Basin (Jeffersonville, Vermont)

Take a day trip to Smuggler’s Notch Resort for a swim at Bootlegger’s Basin. In the winter, this man-made pond is used for snowmaking, but in the summer it is open for swimming. The resort summer camps use the basin during the day, but it is open to the public in the evening. Bring a float and enjoy breathtaking views of Mt. Mansfield while you cool off.

Our complete Stowe Area Swimming Guide has specific driving and hiking directions to each of these swimming holes. Streams and rivers in Vermont can vary in current speed, temperature, and depth, so remember to use your best judgement and be cautious when swimming and hiking. With good weather and a friend, Stowe swimming holes are the coolest summer destinations around.