7 Swimming Holes, Waterfalls, and Natural Waterslides to Hit Near Pittsburgh


Adventure’s calling, friends. And while your neighbor may have that sweet above-ground pool, nothing says summer like piling in the car for a road trip to a secret swimming hole. Rope swings, cliff jumps, and even natural water slides (move over, Sandcastle), these local swimming holes will give you the thrill you want and the cool you need.

Jackson Falls

Jackson Falls
image via @joecwad

Who doesn’t love a waterfall? When it leads to a pool for your gang to hang around all day…that, friends, is called an oasis. Jackson Falls in Apollo, PA is downright beautiful, too. With three different waterfalls leading to a shallow pool, it’s the best opportunity to splash, doggie paddle, and search for hidden treasure behind the waterfall. To find them, take the Rock Furnace Trail and listen for the falls! Apollo, PA – 45 minutes away

Meadow Run Natural Rock Water Slides

Catherine Forman Fb Image
image via Catherine Forman Facebook

Say whaaat? Natural waterslides? Twice as refreshing as a backyard slip-n-slide and likely twice as daring, you really haven’t lived until you’ve drifted down the creek beds in Ohiopyle State Park. Depending on how high the water is that day, you can ride 100 feet or more across the natural rock face. Be right back, we’re going back to the top. Ohiopyle, PA – 1 hour, 25 minutes away

Blue Hole in Jacob’s Creek

image via Johnny Airesman – Youtube

Charge your GoPro. Blue Hole, part of Jacob’s Creek in Perryopolis, features a small waterfall and a HUGE jump into the deep swimming hole. And it’s pretty much a rite of passage for locals. Clamber up the rocks again and again to vault off of the natural diving platform (figure of speech – never dive into a creek or river). You can however, lay out for one mean belly smacker. Perryopolis, PA – 1 hour, 1 minute away

Blue Hole

image via Aaron Woods – Youtube

Now, you wouldn’t want to confuse Blue Hole with Blue Hole. Who would do that? This particular Blue Hole is in Dunbar, PA. And while not particularly blue, it is one of the best swimming holes for miles around. Here, your crew can lounge around the pool, bob up and down in the water, or recline on the natural waterfall that feeds it. Dunbar, PA – 1 hour, 10 minutes away.

Robinson Hole

image via hallucingenic420 – Youtube

If you find yourself soaked with sweat during a hike or bike on the Montour Trail, steer yourself toward Robinson Hole, just off the path in McKees Rocks. It’s long been a tradition to swing on a rope and fly into the waters below. But you’ll have to settle for just the refreshing dip – the surrounding trees (and swing) are no more. McKees Rocks, PA – 20 minutes away 

Rock Falls

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 image via rock falls online

Rock Falls is the wading pool of swimming holes. This Slippery Rock favorite…is basically a bunch of slippery rocks. A low waterfall cascades water over smooth rock structures – perfect for sunning yourself or sliding down into the shallow pool. Plus, there’s a pond for swimming and fishing a short walk away. Blow up your water wings and float all day at this ideal summer hangout. Slippery Rock, PA – 1 hour away

Bonus: Point State Park Fountain

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image via @redhead15014

Okay, okay. We can read. “No Wading” in the Point State Park Fountain. But that hasn’t stopped thousands of Pittsburghers from splashing around on a 90-degree day. Maybe you can just dip a toe…

Note: These spots could be dangerous or on private property. Take caution if you choose to check them out.