Find me the hidden swimming holes of New England
August 21, 2006 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Looking for your favorite fresh water swimming holes within 50 miles of Boston.

I cycle in the Greater Boston/Easter Mass. area and am looking for swimming holes (quarry, lake, pond, river) that could easily be incorporated into a bike ride. According to Google Earth, Massachusetts is infested with inland bodies of water, but apart from the ones listed on, I can't tell which ones are suitable for swimming.

The ideal swimming hole would be:

  • Within 50 miles of Boston
  • Scenic
  • Fresh water
  • Warm (for New England anyway)
  • Uncrowded
  • Near or accessible from a good bike route

    Walden Pond is a good example of what I'm looking for, except for the uncrowded part. If you have hidden favorite that doesn't match all the criteria, feel free to mention it.

    It doesn't have to be official (in fact unofficial might be preferable) but not somewhere a prohibition is actively enforced.
  • posted by justkevin to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
    Mass Swimming Holes

    I know there's a quarry in Westford, but couldn't tell you exactly where. I've been swimming in the Medford/Malden area as well.
    posted by Constant Reader at 8:16 AM on August 21, 2006

    Best answer: Spy Pond in Arlington is not officially sanctioned by the town, but not actively enforced either. The word around town is that a lot of work has been done on it and it is swimmable now. From a recent hot Sunday, it's not terrible crowded.

    There's also Lake Cochituate in Natick. I'm not sure how crowded that place gets as I haven't been in ages, but remember it as nice.

    You can also swim in the Mystic Lakes -- there's Sandy Beach Reservation in Winchester.

    And I've heard of folks swimming in Houghton's Pond in Milton, but I've never been.
    posted by jdl at 8:25 AM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

    I just remembered Crystal Lake in Newton (although it tends to get crowded) and Wright's Pond in Medford (in case you live in Medford b/c I think it's residents only).
    posted by jdl at 8:35 AM on August 21, 2006

    The lake at Wellesley College is a lot like Walden but not crowded.

    Walden is not crowded the whole way around - just that beach area.
    posted by Amizu at 9:03 AM on August 21, 2006

    I'd love to add info on lifeguard status and/or ability for flotation devices. My son is 2 and he's an amazing swimmer for his age but he needs to wear a lifejacket or use a pool noodle before he is strong enough to hold himself up.
    posted by bkdelong at 9:04 AM on August 21, 2006

    Best answer: Someone set up a nice map of boston swimming holes.

    Also, this Saturday there is a meetup near MIT at the Cambridge Brewing Company - do hope you can come.
    posted by enfa at 11:04 AM on August 21, 2006

    I remember a place called Diana's pool a bit north of Willimantic, CT. A nice little area under a small waterfall. I can look it up for you in a few weeks when I get beagle working on my computer.
    posted by GregX3 at 6:24 PM on August 21, 2006

    White Pond in Concord, just down the road from Walden Pond. There's only two narrow public access points, and you can't park at the beach unless you're a member, but arriving on a bike shouldn't be a problem, I would think. Beautiful, deep, and clean -- good fishing, too.
    posted by libraryhead at 6:43 AM on August 22, 2006

    But then you knew that... If you feel like biking up to Andover, I know a pool you can use.
    posted by libraryhead at 6:48 AM on August 22, 2006

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