The Ibex Guide to New England Swimming Holes

Warren Falls: photo credit Michael Sipe

We’re a New England company so we talk about a lot of things associated with the north east- things like firewood, maple syrup, variable weather and hiking with dogs. We rarely talk about swimming holes. Yet, because it is the height of summer, because we’ve really enjoyed our June and July to the fullest, we’re breaking the very first rule of swimming holes as we bring you, the Ibex Guide to New England Swimming Holes also known as Rules of For Not Ruining A Good Swimming Hole.

1. You do not talk about swimming holes. Especially the secret, out of the way ones like the little pool in (location redacted). Swimming pools are like directions in New England, if you have to ask for them, then you haven’t been around long enough to get an answer. Silence in this matter is golden. You can’t get there from here. Loose lips sink ships.

2. Don’t be an idiot. YES, there are countless absurdly high cliffs to jump from, to swan dive off of, from whence to cannonball in a blazing pile of summertime glory, but don’t be an idiot. Enjoy jumping, diving, cannonballing and caterwauling into water but leave behind the Dirk Danger dives. Show off doing something that’s less likely to get you killed. Like stand-up paddle boarding on glassy calm lakes. We came here to get cool, not fear for your life.

3. No suit. No problem. Depending on location, swimming holes often require jean shorts or a birthday suit as the most appropriate attire.

4. When possible, run, bike, hike or paddle to the swimming hole. It isn’t just about leaving the front seat of your Rambler puddle free, it’s also a matter of maximizing the swimming hole enjoyment. Show up bloody hot and ready for a break and that first jump (see rule 2) and post jump chillout (rule 3) are going to feel that much better. Reminder: toss your Arrivee Bibs on a line, inside-out, immediately after washing when you return home.

5. Pack snacks. Suggestions include: summer sausage, cheddar cheese, crackers and chocolate. Water makes one hungry. Just be sure to follow rule number six:

6. Leave no trace. Because swimming with a collection of post-lunch trash is no one’s idea of a great summertime experience. Pack it out, brochachos.

7. If you bring a beverage, it should be in a can. There are countless great things to drink from cans. (Looking your way, Heady Topper.) Nothing will bring a great swimming hole down faster than a bloody foot with a glass shard in it so skip the old timey Coke bottles. Keep it clean, people.

8. Bring post-swimming wool. Yes, we’re biased but it really does make a difference. The smoothing temperature effect of a Seventeen.5 tee post dip is delightful beyond measure and will keep that fresh feeling on you longer.

9. Push the season. Soaking the legs in your favorite pool during peak foliage or stepping in after an early spring ride is amazing. Those that arrive early and leave late win the party.

10. Avoid routine. You have your go-to spot, but there are others. Find them.

Just don’t ask us how. We follow Rule #1. (Mostly.)