These Maine (and one New Hampshire) hikes are the perfect combination of woodsy exploration and a cool late-summer dip.
1. Mousam Way North & Indian’s Last Leap, Sanford
Hike through Riverside Cemetery and along the Mousam River to get to Indian’s Last Leap, a cool swimming hole. Or wade into the family-friendly waters at Springvale Park. There are multiple places to park at various parts of the 3.9-mile trail network, allowing you to hike a longer or shorter distance, depending on what you’re up for. Part of the trail is pavement and crushed gravel, and in the woods the trail becomes more rugged. Park right at Springvale Park for access to the river at the popular family beach, or hike less than 0.5 miles to Indian’s Last Leap swimming hole.
2. Tumbledown Mountain, Weld
The 1.9-mile Brook Trail will take you straight up to the pond near the summit, where you can lounge near the water or get in for a swim. (With all the sweating you’ll do on your way up, it’ll feel great to cool down in the pond.) Or take the Loop Trail for added challenge (in the form of steam crossings, rock scrambling and Fat Man’s Misery—a narrow fissure in the mountain you’ll have the pleasure of climbing through.
3. Blueberry Mountain & Rattlesnack Pool, Evans Notch
The emerald-colored water of Rattlesnake Pool is mesmerizing. It’s also really cold, but plenty of bold hikers plunge in. If you hike the entire 3.9-mile loop (starting on the White Cairn Trail to Blueberry Ridge Trail and then to Stone House Trail), the pool will be a welcome reward. But you can also skip the loop and hike straight to the pool via the Stone House Trail. Both trailheads are accessed from Stone House Road.
4. Swan Island, Richmond
Located at the head of Merrymeeting Bay, just off the coast of Richmond, Swan Island is a 4-mile-long, half-mile-wide island that isn’t far out to sea, but feels remote once you’re on it. It’s open to the public from May to October and offers easy-going trails (ranging from 0.5–2 miles), kayak rentals and a fine spot for swimming on the east side of the island near the camping area. You could paddle yourself to Swan Island—it’s a stone’s throw from the mainland—or take the 5-minute ferry offered by IFW. (To reserve a spot on the ferry, call 207–547–5322 or email email@example.com.
5. Lonesome Lake Trail, Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire
Follow the Lonesome Lake Trail and be rewarded with supreme views, a sweat-inducing hike, and a refreshing swim in Lonesome Lake. The trail is a 3.1-mile loop, but you can extend the hike by taking other trails to or from the trailhead, located in the Lafayette Campground in Franconia Notch State Park. It’s a moderate hike—so you will earn that dip! And feel free to pop into the AMC Lonesome Lake Hut.