Trip Reports » USA-PA-Tour de Swimming Hole
Memorial Day 2012 was forecast to be hot. Why not collect a little info on swimming holes and link them together in a little tour? I did a few internet searches and collect some previous notes and came up with a route. What was most intriging was that I did not have exact locations on the swimming holes… more like references like ‘a couple of miles above such and such a town there is a deep hole and a rope swing in such and such creek… this was going to be treasure hunt. I didn’t find them all that I had info on, but I found most of them, and a couple that wheren’t referenced.
Of course, the first one was kind of a dud, the water was too low:
The bonus with the first swimming hole was that I had to ask a guy at a hunting camp where it was. He gave me good intructions and also asked me if I had ever been to Stone Camp. No, I have never been to Stone Camp. Him, somewhat incredulous “You never been to Stone, Camp? You have to go.” So he gave me some more instructions… So I follow the trails that lead to Stone Camp. Upon arriving, there are vehicles and activity, basically one guy was shoveling coal and the rest where shooting the breeze. Not knowing what to expect, I ask for permission to ride through, the guys at the camp say no problem… I stopped and started to make small talk. After about 5 minutes, the offer of a beer is extended, which I politely refuse (it was only 10:30 AM). I spent the a good part of an hour talking to the guys at the camp, had a tour and learned the history of the camp, it was founded in 1924 (carved into the rock). Under the rock was eventually closed in and then the protruding addition was added.
- Stone Camp – The chimney out does many formally trained architects!
Next stop was Benezette. This swimming hole was found by chance.
Found this one outside of Emporium, the pool behind the dam is silted in, but the tailwaters are 6+ feet deep.
- Near Elk County Fairgrounds
We won’t count the beaver pond as potential swimming hole.
A rope swing:
The pool at the lower campground at Kettle Creek State Park might show promise, but I didn’t check the depth.
Now we are geting somewhere:
The bold jump:
A late afternoon T-storm force a quick pitch of the tarp tent… the storm turned into a steady rain, so this spot was camp for night 2, deep in the Rhododendron, but total concealed only 50 feet off a paved road!
Overnight storms clear out and the morning holds promise for no rain:
I couldn’t locate the nearby swimming hole, so I asked one of Hell’s Angels for directions:
One of the little girls told me where the dam I was looking for, but told me to ask her mom for good measure. The mother told me how they were swimming in the hole the day before and that the dam was for the long since gone gun powder industry.
The last potential swimming hole was on a inviting stream named Mosquito Creek. This creek is fed by bogs, so the water has a tanin, tainted color to it:
So there it is. These route was in the north Central PA state forests, Moshanon, Elk, Sproul.