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America's Best Swimming Holes

Little River Canyon, Alabama

Jon McLean/Alamy

Little River Canyon, AL

In northeastern Alabama, the Little River snakes across the top of Lookout Mountain before plummeting into the 12-mile-long Little River Canyon. Bordered by broad-faced cliffs, with large blocks of sandstone jutting from the water, this canyon—at 600 feet, one of the deepest this side of the Mississippi—is home to a handful of perfect swimming holes. Just downstream from the Alabama Highway 35 bridge, follow the boardwalk to the bottom of Little River Falls for an easy-access dunk when water levels are low. (High water means dangerous currents.) Or start at Eberhart Point and hike 0.75 miles to the canyon floor to Hippy Hole, where a series of cliffs serve as springboards for daredevils.—Alice Bruneau


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