For 469 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway follows the ridgeline of the Southern Appalachians, connecting Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina with Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Along that stretch of two-lane blacktop are countless trails and backroads -- some of which lead to ice-cold swimming holes.
Christa Albano Sugar Hollow near Charlottesville, Va. Easy to reach and there’s a rope swing. Hold on to your swimsuit!
Dusty Allison The Wilson Creek area south of Grandfather Mountain has holes so deep and bath-like, the only thing missing is my Old Spice Body Wash.
Leah Woody Blue Hole in Rawley Springs, Va. It has a big rock to jump off and the water was always deep and cool.
Charles Leonard Ever since a fated July afternoon in Shenandoah’s White Oak Canyon, I’ve had a special place in my heart for “thunderstorm trail running.”
Martha Evans Lake James, N.C. Awesome water for swimming and paddling with killer views of Shortoff and sweet views as the sun sets over the Black Mountains. Graham Averill Flat Laurel Creek, Pisgah, N.C. Huge boulders, one swimming hole after the other.
Will Harlan Solitude, scenery, and deep swimming holes abound along Pisgah’s Staire Creek.
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