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6 Best Swimming Holes Near Buffalo

Adventure, City Guide, Family Friendly, Things to Do

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Written by Kayla Milligan

Published on July 28, 2021
Stony Brook Falls State Park / Photo from seeswim.com

Looking for fun, unique swimming holes near Buffalo and Western New York? Of course you are.

Sick of mooching off your friend for his/her pool all Summer? (It’s okay, we all do it). Swimming holes are an awesome option to cool off off and enjoying the outdoors on a hot, summer day.

You might think you have to travel to Ithaca or the Finger Lakes region for a good swimming hole, but there are actually a handful of spots within 2 hours of Buffalo that are just as great! So, we’ve compiled a list of the closest ones to Buffalo within WNY so you can hit a swimming hole whenever you please.

As a word of caution, be mindful of any signs posted so that you are not in any restricted areas and keep track of weather patterns in the area so there are no chances of flash flooding while you are there. Be responsible and respectful to the area – leave no trace. Have fun, Buffalo!

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1. George Bridge

Scottsville, NY // 1 Hour from Buffalo

Part of Oatka Creek, this swimming hole is right near Rochester. This area is also a great spot to picnic! Get more info via seeswim.com.

Location: Coming from Scottsville on Route 251, cross George Bridge and the parking lot will be your first left. 

2. Zoar Valley

Gowanda, NY // 1 Hour from Buffalo

Zoar Valley is a beautiful and vast park with swimming holes, hiking, fishing, scenic overlooks, and much more to explore! Anyone who has been to Zoar KNOWS how magnificent and dreamlike the park really is. The breathtaking swimming holes and views of Zoar will leave you coming back every Summer!

Valentine Flats trail and Forty Road parking lot is the only way to safely access the gorge. Some areas of Zoar Valley are privately owned (including upstream from Forty Road access point) so please be mindful of any warning signs and prohibited areas. Zoar Valley can have powerful currents at times so use your best judgment before entering the water for a swim or float.

Location: 

Valentine Flats Parking: 10112 Valentine Flats Rd, Gowanda, NY 14070

Forty Road Parking: 10229 Forty Rd, Gowanda, NY 14070

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3. Wiscoy Falls

Portageville, NY // 1 Hour from Buffalo

This gorgeous swimming hole and waterfall just south of Letchworth State Park makes for a perfect day trip with friends! Wiscoy Falls is made up of two big waterfalls and several smaller falls, a vast creek great for swimming, a dam above the falls, and a bridge to view Wiscoy Creek from above.

The only safe place to park near the falls is a small dirt lot located north of Wiscoy Rd. Bridge.

Location: 11615 Wiscoy Rd, Portageville, NY 14536

4. Stony Brook State Park

Dansville, NY // 1.5 Hours from Buffalo

Stony Brook is a unique swimming hole on this list because there is a lifeguard on duty between Memorial Day through Labor Day in the designated swimming area. The scenery of the park and swimming hole is incredible. Besides swimming, the park has a picnic area, restrooms, grills, playground, hiking trails, and many big and small waterfalls to find! Stony Brook State Park is great for those who want the feel of Enfield Falls swimming hole in Ithaca, NY but don’t quite want to drive 3 hours for it. 

Location: 10820 NY-36, Dansville, NY 14437

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5. Skinny Dip Falls

Westfield, NY // 1.5 Hours from Buffalo

Although there are many places to swim throughout Chautauqua Creek Gorge, Skinny Dip Falls seems to be where everyone likes to go. Hmm.. wonder why. If you decide to visit this swimming hole, be prepared to see naked people. You’ve been warned!

There is also (conveniently) a gigantic rock that lets you know when you are entering the “Nudist Area”. About a mile after that rock is where you will find Skinny Dip Falls’ swimming hole. If you are feeling daring and free-spirited, this might just be the swimming hole for you! 

Parking is located at the end of Taylor Rd. For more info and in-depth instructions to get to Skinny Dip Falls, visit falzguy.com.

Location: Taylor Rd, Westfield, NY 14787

6. Wintergreen Gorge

Erie, PA // 1.5 Hours from Buffalo

Wintergreen Gorge is six-miles long, filled with multiple swimming holes, waterfalls, and hiking trails that will provide you and your friends with hours of entertainment! According to Penn State University, “[the Gorge] was carved from shale and sandstone by Fourmile Creek during the end of the last Ice Age more than 11,000  years ago.” This surreal prehistoric swimming hole will make you never want to settle for community pools or your friend’s above ground ever again!

Location: 3399 Cooper Rd, Erie, PA 16510

Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

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Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/kaylamilligan/" target="_self">Kayla Milligan</a>

Written by Kayla Milligan

Kayla recently graduated with a 4.0 from UB as a Communication major and Chinese minor. She lived in China for half a year, skydived, white water rafted, drove an ice cream truck, and is always up for a new adventure!
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