Top 6 Swimming Spots Near BTV
One of the best parts about living in or visiting Burlington is: Lake Champlain. Though summer may not be Vermont’s longest season (*sigh*), Vermonters sure know how to take advantage of every second of warm weather. In addition to the tons of great swimming holes all over Vermont, we’ve rounded up some of the best (and most accessible) spots to dip your toes in within walking/biking/skateboarding/rollerblading distance of downtown Burly.
Between the warm sand, clear water, and the super accessible creemee stand, its hard to go wrong with a trip to North Beach. This is one of Burly’s most classic swim locations, and a hubbub for UVM students. It’s only a 5 minute drive from campus, or a half-hour walk, and its pretty easy to catch a bus from the Cherry Street location downtown (find the schedule for the Route 7 bus here, hop off at the High School). They also have quite a few grills set up along the beach, so why not bring some friends and some hamburgers and make it an occasion for a picnic?!
Farther down North Avenue than North Beach, in-the-know folks also love Leddy Park, the slightly quieter alternative to North Beach. Although it isn’t quite as built-up as North Beach, Leddy has easy (free!) parking, sandy beaches, and quick access to the Lake with far fewer crowds. There are a couple grills over there as well, if you’re in the mood for a cook-out!
This park and beach in the South End is another quieter and more family-friendly alternative to North Beach or Leddy. Throw a frisbee or play some pickup soccer in the park and then head down to the waterside to sunbathe on the big rocks that line the shore or hop in for a cool dip. You can easily reach it by heading south from downtown on the Burlington bike path, or take Route 5: Pine Street a little ways down to help you get there.
Bike Path Beach
Although I’ve never discovered whether this spot has an official name (some call it “Bum Beach”), there is a sandy strip with Lake access on the bike path between downtown Burlington and Oakledge, that is a personal favorite both for its proximity to downtown as well as its quality of swimming and sunbathing. If you’re up for a little adventure, take a walk on a sunny day and see if you can find it!
For the cliff-jumpers, the thrill-seekers, the hikers, and the nature-lovers; Red Rocks is the swimming location for you. Red Rocks is a forest park located in the South Burlington area, which has a ton of cliffs which look over Lake Champlain. For those who prefer terrifying heights and dizzying jumps, there are a few spots which students like to hike over to (its a very leisurely “hike”) to jump into the water, but there are also many spots where those of us who just prefer to cool off in more secluded and natural locations than a beach can ease in slowly.
Lone Rock Point
Farther North than North Beach (but not as far as Leddy) is a beach at the base of the geologic structure at Lone Rock Point. If you took Geology 001, you probably took a field trip out here in colder weather, but this is actually a sweet spot for swimmers and rock enthusiasts alike during the summer months. Check out the map here if you’re up for a little hike and an off-the-beaten-path swimming adventure.
Find your own way…
The beauty of Vermont is that there are always more beautiful spots that you can find, so if you’ve got the time and the energy, just try following the edge of the lake or the edge of a river until you come across the perfect spot to dive in! There is no shortage of swimming holes or nature explorations, and this weekend might be one of your last opportunities to wear a bathing suit, so don’t let it pass by…
Also, check out this video on swimming holes in VT from our friends over at Seven Days for even MORE inspiration…Happy Swimming! XOXO!