Connecticut's Best Swimming Holes! Last Updated: May 2023
Sure, beaches are a favorite, but when looking to avoid the heavy crowds, visiting one of Connecticut’s swimming holes allows for just as much fun — whether it’s a refreshing dip after a picnic lunch, a relaxing afternoon tanning by the rock bed or for adrenaline junkies, jumping off high boulders or tubing on the rapids. Before making a splash, be sure to check the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) website for new safety guidelines. Here is a list of some of the best swimming holes the state has to offer.
Mashamoquet Brook State Park
Located in Pomfret, the name “Mashamoquet” is Indian for "stream of good fishing.” Rich with history, legend and lore, Mashamoquet Brook State Park with its “Wolf's Den,” offers hiking, camping, fishing and swimming for the whole family.
Burr Pond State Park
Located in Torrington, you can go swimming, have a picnic, then hike the trails along the Blue Trail that goes around the entire pond.
Lake Waramaug State Park
Located in Kent and named after an Indian chief of the Wyantenock tribe, Lake Waramaug offers camping with beautiful vistas, the opportunity to walk or bike around the 7-mile shore and rent canoes or kayaks, fishing and picnicking.
Gardner Lake State Park
On the border between Bozrah, Montville and Salem in southeastern Connecticut, Gardner Lake State Park is located on the lake’s south shore in the Town of Salem. Boating, fishing and swimming are all popular activities.
Mt. Tom State Park
Enjoy the spring fed lake and sandy beach at Mount Tom State Park in Washington Depot, then afterwards, hike the trail to the stone lookout tower for some memorable views.
Chatfield Hollow State Park
In Killingworth, relax by the cooling water, then hike the trails in search of Indian caves and explore the rocky legdes.
Gay City State Park
With over 1,500 acres of endless outdoor activities including swminning and fishing, you can even explore the extinct mill town ruins, located in Hebron.