America's Best Swimming Holes
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America's Best Swimming Holes

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Jon McLean/Alamy

Nature’s swimming pools are key to beating the summer heat. Fortunately, you’ll find them everywhere, from New York to California.

Little River Canyon, AL

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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

America's Best Swimming Holes

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

Jon McLean/Alamy
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