The Best Swimming in Virginia

Looking for the best swimming in Virginia? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Virginia. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top swimming spots in and near Virginia

  • Duffield, Virginia

    Hike the Devil's Bathtub

    5.0
    3.96 mi / 250 ft gain
    The Devil’s Bathtub is a deep pool of blue-green water known for being a great swimming hole and a beautiful natural feature. This hike is a 3.2 mile out and back hike with 250 feet elevation gain. There are at least 15 stream crossings, so extreme caution should be taken during periods of mediu...
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  • Ripplemead, Virginia

    Hike to Cascade Falls

    4.9
    4 mi / 800 ft gain
    The 66' Cascade Falls located in Giles Count is arguably one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia. This classic hike is 4.0 miles and gains 800' in elevation.Located in Pembroke, Virginia, access the trail head by taking Cascade Drive (VA-623) off of US-460 and drive 3.3 miles to the par...
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  • Natural Bridge Station, Virginia

    Swim at Arnold Valley Pool

    4.7
    Arnold Valley Pool might be a couple hundred feet from the road but most people don’t even notice when they pass by. This swimming hole is located on the same road as Devil’s Marbleyard and is the perfect place to cool off after the intense hike at the Marbleyard or on any hot summer day. The swi...
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  • Amherst, Virginia

    Swim at Panther Falls

    5.0
    0.7 mi / -100 ft gain
    From Lexington or Buena Vista, Virginia, take Rt. 60 east for several miles. As soon as you pass under the Blue Ridge Parkway, look for a gravel road on your right marked Panther Falls Road. This is a fairly bumpy gravel road, so take it easy. Follow Panther Falls Road down the mountain for just ...
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  • Crozet, Virginia

    Hike Moorman's River

    4.6
    2.5 mi
    Along the hike, there are four "official" swimming holes to jump in, but you can make your own at any time. Go in the springtime for a great waterfall at the end the feeds into a swimming hole, and in the fall for a wonderland of foliage. The official name of this hike is Moorman's River, but an...
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  • Raphine, Virginia

    Hike to Saint Mary's Falls

    4.7
    4.4 mi / 300 ft gain
    Saint Mary's Wilderness is one of Virginia's largest designated wilderness areas and is an old iron ore mining area. There are two ways to get to Saint Mary's Falls and this Blue Ridge adventure will start you off at the parking area off Saint Mary's Road.  Once on Saint Mary's Road, you will dr...
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  • Stanley, Virginia

    Hike to Rose River Falls

    4.5
    4 mi / 853 ft gain
    Rose River Falls is often overshadowed by it's more popular cousin, Dark Hollow Falls, as both hikes begin at the same trail head. But because Dark Hollow Falls is such a short and well known hike, it can get extremely crowded. It is also one of the few trails in Shenandoah where dogs are not al...
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  • Syria, Virginia

    Hike Cedar Run Falls Trail

    4.7
    2.6 mi / 1000 ft gain
    Cedar Run Falls is located in the central district of Shenandoah National Park.  This is a pretty waterfall that flows into a deep swimming hole.  There are two ways to get to the Cedar Run Waterfall: from the top of the mountain off of Skyline Drive and from the bottom of the mountain off of Wea...
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  • Rustburg, Virginia

    Explore the Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center

    4.3
    If you love everything outdoors, the Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center is the place for you! You can do almost any activity you can think of here. If you aren't affiliated with Liberty University, you can't rent their equipment, but you can bring you own to use. The main attraction is the lake wh...
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  • Pearisburg, Virginia

    Photograph Dismal Falls

    4.5
    0.1 mi / 0 ft gain
    Explorers in Southwest Virginia run into a common problem: local hikes and waterfalls are often saturated with college students out enjoying a warm day. While it's wonderful to have so many people appreciating the beauty of the Jefferson National Forest, it can be difficult to find a remote, quie...
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  • Crozet, Virginia

    Hike to Jones Run Waterfall

    4.0
    2 mi / 800 ft gain
    This little known waterfall is located close to the more popular waterfall, Doyles River Falls. Staring at the Jones Run parking area turn left downhill following the blue blazed Jones Run trail. After 1.7 miles you will reach the main waterfall. You can either stay here and enjoy the waterfall o...
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  • Lyndhurst, Virginia

    Hike to Shamokin Falls

    4.3
    2.2 mi / 950 ft gain
    Starting from the Dripping Rock Parking area at MP 10 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, head north on the white blazed Appalachian Trail (trail leading into woods from parking lot- don't cross the road). In about 20 steps the trail splits- go right. In another 20 steps or so the trail splits again but t...
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  • Madison, Virginia

    Hike Bear Church Rock via the Graves Mill Trail

    3.5
    8.5 mi / 2250 ft gain
    Starting at the Graves Mill Parking area, head up the yellow blazed trail that is marked by a big cement marker. The trail will follow closely beside the gorgeous Rapidan River. Hike for half a mile until you come to the intersection of the Staunton River Trail. Turn left (do not cross the river)...
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  • Goshen, Virginia

    Hike Goshen Pass

    4.5
    5.6 mi / 1200 ft gain
    The parking for the trailhead is down an unmarked gravel/dirt road about 1.5 miles upriver from the Virginia Wayside rest area on Route 39 West. You'll see the swing bridge out across the river and the road will be immediately after this on your right. The road goes back about 200 yards to the pa...
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  • Eagle Rock, Virginia

    Canoe or Kayak the Upper James River

    4.3
    Put in at the Horseshoe Bend Boat Ramp near Buchanan, VA. The pin on the map will take you right there. Takeout will be at the boat ramp in downtown Buchanan, approximately 9 miles down river. This ramp is located just above the Rt. 11 bridge.Twin River Outfitters uses this ramp also, so there's ...
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  • Lyndhurst, Virginia

    Camp at Sherando Lake

    4.0
    Sherando Lake is a beautifully maintained dog/family friendly campground situated between two lakes. Upper Sherando Lake is available for fishing only but the larger, 25 acre, Lower Sherando Lake offers swimming, fishing, kayaking, and relaxing on the beach.  The campground is divided into three ...
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