Hidden waterfalls and swimming holes in America that are well worth the trek.
You’ve heard about hidden waterfalls and swimming holes, but you might not know exactly where they are. Well, you’re in luck because we’ve found some of the top hidden waterfall and swimming hole destinations in our backyard worth exploring. These wonders are brimming to the full in more popular destinations, but this article is going to tell you about it in areas that you probably didn’t expect.
Hamilton Pool, Texas
This preserve was created when a dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion thousands of years ago, making this a natural pool. The Hamilton Pool is highly monitored and you’ll be well aware of bacteria levels (if any), or recent rainfall, that will affect whether or not you will be able to swim in the pool. If there are no warnings, then it offers swimming all year round. Check the Travis County Parks website to keep up to date. There are life vests provided by the pool, even if there is no lifeguard.
On the way to the fascinating pool is a hiking trail. From the parking lot, all the way to the pool is a trail that is a steep, rugged, uneven, and quarter-mile long. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes! If you want to know a little more about the preserve and the surrounding greens, there is a guided hike tour that lasts for about an hour. The tour starts with the dry uplands and descends 80 feet into the canyon which features a diversity of plants and animals. On the tour, you will learn about the pool’s history and how it was formed until you reach the pool itself.
Opal Pool, Oregon
Feast your eyes on the turquoise colored water that is Opal Pool. Of course, before you get to the pool you’re going to need to go on a bit of a hike. There is no actual ‘trail’ per se, but you might just consider it a scenic road. You would be traveling on a gravel road which then eventually drops and passes along the recently designed “half-bridges” in a steep-sided canyon. From there you can see several small creeks. The hike itself is called the Lollipop Loop since there are different paths you can take. The best view to witness the Opal Falls is from several vantage points on the west bank of the creek.
Alamere Falls, California
This kind of waterfall is quite rare since it flows directly into the ocean. Water cascades over a 30-foot tall cliff onto the south end of Wildcat beach within the Phillip Burton Wilderness. There is a 13-mile round trip hike that is required but the view is definitely worth it!
There are three trailheads to park at to hike to Alamere Falls: Bear Valley, Palomarin, and Five Brooks. While this may be a beautiful place, do not get too close to the cliff and do be careful of erosions. It is also important to take note that there is no actual “Alamere Falls Trail,” a short cut to the falls. The website has warned that this is not an actual trail and poses many hazards: crumbling, eroding cliffs, massive poison oak, ticks, and no cell phone service.
You will put yourself in danger and damage natural resources by trampling on plants. The National Park Services here take this area very seriously so stay safe and protect the nature around it!
Lower Lewis Falls, Washington
Lower Lewis Falls is an accessible area with a fairly flat riverside route which makes for a lovely early hike. It feels fresh with flowers and greenery, including ancient forest peculiarities: pine snap, coralroot, and gnome plant. You’ll see these on your hike leading to the main attraction: the waterfall. The Falls stand at 43 feet high and 200 feet across. You can also find vanilla leaves here! The viewpoints of the falls are very limited but from the points where you can see, you will be able to see all the features that the falls have to offer.
Blue Hole Falls, Tennessee
Located at Cherokee National Forest, Blue Hole Falls is actually a series of four separate waterfalls located just within three feet of each other. The name, Blue Hole Falls, comes from the deep blue pool in front of waterfall number 3 (the main fall).
It is an easy destination to get to, and you’re not feeling a hike then you’re in luck: there’s no hike involved! It is a walk but can be a little dangerous so do take caution. The area is also compact so you won’t have to worry about getting lost. If you wish to go into the pool, you will have to go back to where you first entered and walk a different path.
Buttermilk Falls, New Jersey
This is New Jersey’s highest waterfall, which stands at 1104 feet in elevation change. It is also a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked looped trail, so if you ever do visit here to come prepared. To get to the waterfall itself, you will have to make a climb to the top of Buttermilk Falls and then continue to make a steeper climb up to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail for a view of down below. There is also a wooden walkway to the top. It is a moderately difficult hike so be prepared! Swimming, wading, and jumping in and around the waterfalls is prohibited.
Bond Falls, Michigan
Bond Falls goes over ancient fractured volcanic rock and drops about 50 feet. The water pools at the bottom, which creates a little island with a bridge for you to stand in the middle and get a closer look at the scenery. The water levels are also controlled by a dam. It is also a great place for hiking and having a picnic. There are little shops near the falls for you to grab some food and enjoy the view while eating.
Admire the beautiful things that mother nature has to offer at these hidden waterfalls in America!