This blog post was created by Markus and Leslie Lewis, guests of the Moose Lodge and Cabins and amazing artists!


Ok, so I know your life – it’s our life, too! You run and work and everything is hectic and now you get a chance to get away. You found a great deal on Bretton Woods Vacations and you can escape to the fabled White Mountains! After all, it’s a short drive from Boston. You’ve checked in and the crisp summer air is amazing! So much better than the stifling heat of the city. But this getaway, this adventure needs to be short on time but long on fun. Some swimming would be great. There are soooo many swimming holes you can check out!  Or maybe a pool? The choice is yours. The hustle and bustle of a water park, or a few hours to relax… forest bathe… and take a dip in a pristine pool?

Image of Upper Falls in Bretton Woods NH

Upper Falls – Scenic as it is Refreshing!

If a natural swimming hole is your choice, you can check out the top ten swimming holes on … they are all awesome! But, this weekend, we, I mean you, already have  a plan! Instant relaxation! You’re staying at a slopeside vacation rental in Bretton Woods (not for the ski-in ski-out of course, but have you seen those views?) and your accommodations are fabulous, or perhaps you’re at one of the amazing log cabins that Bretton Woods Vacations manages. Whichever it is, you grab some snacks, towels, and maybe a good book and hop back in the car. It’s a short drive, less than 10 minutes from Bretton Woods with gorgeous views and maybe a bear or a moose along the way.  We head straight to the road that leads to the Cog Railway (called Base Station Rd)  and make  a beeline for Upper Ammonoosuc Falls. At first glance, it may feel it’s going to be way to busy but you have to see it. Just look for all the cars parked on either side of the road. You must walk across the bridge, watch some jumpers and hear the rushing water. Maybe you will jump too! No way… it really is scarier than the photos show – and fair warning, accidents do happen. Be safe! So you hold on to a birch and watch the next brave kid. Ok that’s enough… you need some peace. Get back in the car and backtrack a few pullovers to the spot that has a dirt hump. Park there. Hike in… well walk in, to the left, just a short walk. And find the best secluded spot (pictured below). It even has great jumps if you dare… but it has more! It has peace. Plunge pools. Fish. And sometimes just a few people, but not many. The keyword… Relax!!!! When early evening comes, you return to Upper Falls. No need to jump. You can climb down to the bottom on the trail to the right of the cliffs. There you can have a great evening swim, making your way up to the falls, fighting the current, feeling the fresh cold water reset your nerves. Don’t forget to submerge – it’s like a tonic! You will sleep like a baby tonight, ready for tomorrow’s adventures in the White Mountains.

Spectacular as it is, Upper Falls is not the only options. There are swimming holes everywhere!  You will want want to discover them for yourselves on your fabulous White Mountains getaway. But, here are a few more of our favorites.

Heading towards Gorham, under the suspension bridge at the beginning of the quiet  Great Gulf Wilderness Trail are a series of flat, sunbaked rocks at the edge of the rushing stream. A perfect spot to picnic, soak your feet, read or doze off to the sound of the water.

On route 16-A in Intervale is a hidden gem for indoor swimming. The White Mountains Aquatic Center is a public indoor swimming pool. There’s an entrance fee, but most find it well worth it. A well cared for spot with the option of swimming lessons, this place rates a lofty 4.5 Google Star rating.

Whit Mountain Aquatic Center

White Mountain Aquatic Center in Intervale


Zealand Falls

 Want to feel like a real hiker? The Zealand Trail reaches Zealand Falls with easy to moderate grades. And the reward….Zealand Falls is a breathtaking series of waterfalls and pools with a magnificent view. No toddlers, no beer cans, just pristine forest, cared for by the amazing staff of the State Park. And to add to your badge of accomplishment you can grab a snack and a patch in the Zealand Falls Hut, high up on the trail, adjacent to the top of the falls – a 5.4 mile round trip. Easy to get to, just drive up Zealand Road to the lot at the end of it, and start your slow and  easy ascent through woodlands and spectacular ponds to some great falls.

Zealand Falls

Beautiful and Refreshing Zealand Falls

Well there you have it, our favorite swimming holes. For other ideas, check out Bretton Woods Vacations’ Summer Activities page. Now, all you need to do is carve out some time and get outside! Summer is brief in the Whites. Grab it while you can!


Markus+Leslie Lewis