Summer can get hot in North Conway, and there’s nothing more refreshing than taking a swim in the river! The water is cool, the current is mild, and often there’s a nice beach or a rope swing to add to the fun. Here are our top 5 North Conway swimming holes! Just click the name of each destination to see it listed on Google Maps!
This is the most accessible and versatile swimming hole on the list. Just 2 minutes from downtown North Conway, this spot on the Saco has a large grassy area for frisbee or a picnic. Sit back and while the day away watching tubers float down the river. It’s also a popular launch point for canoe trips, so you’ll see many adventures starting up on the other side of the bridge. Just a short walk up a wooded trail on the far side of the grassy field is an excellent rope swing. Parking is free but the lot fills up quickly – additional parking is available on the roadside. Just make sure ALL FOUR TIRES are off of the pavement to be legally parked.
This is a bit of a local secret that has become more popular over the years. There are no signs pointing out Little Eddy to passersby, so you have to know what you’re looking for. Turn onto Passaconaway Road, then drive about 4 miles and look for a dirt parking area that fits 3-4 cars on the right side of the road. In the summer, you’re likely to see a few cars already parked there. From the parking area, walk down a steep hill through the woods to the sandy beach and rocky embankment. In addition to the cool, clear water, there is a fun rapid to sit in. If you swim aways up the river you will find a large slab of rock for cliff-jumping. Don’t get too crazy with it unless you’re able to observe someone else jumping first so that you know where to aim with your landing!
This is one of the most popular hiking and swimming areas in the Valley. You will have to put a bit of work in to reach the swimming area here, as it’s about a mile up the trail. However, the trail is very well-maintained and gradual, and the walk is definitely worth it. There are beautiful waterfalls to relax by, as well as crystal-clear pools to bathe in. Parking fills up EXTREMELY quickly, so it’s highly recommended that you arrive as early as possible. If the lot is full, consider visiting a different swimming area on this list, as parking rules are strictly enforced due to the high amount of traffic here.
If you’re staying near Storyland, this is a great option for a mid-day swim break. It’s just a short drive from the quintessential New England town of Jackson. This is a great choice for families with kids, and there are a few picnic tables available to have lunch on. You can even sneak behind the falls and sit on a stone seat to look at the falls from a different perspective. As with all other swimming holes on this list, the water is cool, clean, and as refreshing as could be.
This is easily one of the most popular areas for river swimming in the Valley, and it’s no mystery why. It’s located in an absolutely beautiful part of the Kancamagus Highway, and the falls themselves are amazing. There are several pools to swim in, and you can stand under the falls to feel them crashing down on you. For many years, this has been a real hot spot. There is a large parking area (for a $3 fee per car) that has plenty of space for the number of visitors the area draws.
Need a place to stay during your visit?
Pinkham Vacation Rentals has over 50 properties to choose from. Visit our website today to find the perfect place to stay during your awesome North Conway vacation!