In the height of the summer heat, when the sun is shining and all the world is green, a day could not be better spent than in a beautiful outdoor lake, stream or swimming hole. Surprisingly, Baltimore county is dotted with just such areas for recreation and appreciation of the beauty of nature. If you are in the mood to get your feet wet, and spend an afternoon luxuriating in the cool of an outdoor pool, we suggest you consider one of the following locations.
Beaver Dam Swim Club
The Beaver Dam Swim Club has two swimming pools, however this is not what makes it one of the most popular swimming spots in the state. The real attraction here is the vast swimming hole created by a marble quarry which is now flooded into a beautiful lake surrounded by rocks and trees. Complete with rope swing, peers, floating logs and platforms on which swimmers can play, the quarry is also lifeguard, making it not just an ideal swim spot, but one of the safer ones, as well. Head out to Beaver Dam, and make a whole day of it. If you get tired of swimming, there are outdoor picnic tables, as well as basketball and volleyball courts.
Patapsco Valley State Park
The Patapsco Valley State Park is a section of land that stretches for 32 miles along the Patapsco River. Because the main feature of the park is the river, there is a lot to do in this park related to water activities. The park provides ample opportunities for boating, fishing and, of course, swimming. In fact, most of the Patapsco River is open for swimming except for a few restricted areas (with signs posted for your convenience). One of the most beautiful State Parks near Baltimore, the ‘Daniels Area‘ of Patapsco is especially recommended for swimming activities. This is largely because of the Daniels Dam, which creates a natural pool in which to swim. The areas 300 feet above and below the dam are closed for swimming, but other than that, come out and enjoy!
Rocky Point Beach And Park
In Rocky Point Park, there sits a 300 foot beach. From Memorial Day until Labor Day, this beach is packed with picnickers and swimmers as they enjoy the large, lifeguarded swimming area and bathhouses. The area has a first aid station for your protection, and also includes a picnicking area with tables in a nice shaded grove. If you get tired of swimming, Rocky Point Beach also has a fishing pier and playgrounds. Or relax in the nice pavilion provided by the park. When it comes to outdoor recreation, Rocky Point has you covered.
Gunpowder Falls State Park – Hammerman Beach
The Hammerman Beach in Gunpowder Falls State Park is a gorgeous location to spend a day relaxing in the sand and looking out across the water to where the Gunpowder River empties into the Chesapeake Bay. Sidle on up to the concession stand to enjoy a snack, and when you’re ready, slip into the cool beautiful waters to take a swim. If you feel like being more adventurous, you could always rent a kayak or paddleboard from the location right on the beach, and get further out into the water to really take in the view. If the sand gets too hot for you, there is plenty of place in the shade of the surrounding trees. Just make sure to get there early if you want to get a prime spot on the beach.
Hart-Miller Island State Park
Hart-Miller Island requires a little work in order to get to, as it is only accessible by private boat, but it is well worth the effort. The island is located on the Chesapeake Bay, near the mouth of Middle River, and is practically untouched by human hands – making it one of the most scenic places to swim in all of Baltimore County. When you hitch a ride out, aim for the Western Shore. This is where the safe mooring is, along with a 3,000 foot beach for swimming and recreation. The State Park also includes Hawk Cove and Pleasure Island – other great locales for swimming, camping and general recreation.
Despite its remote, untouched atmosphere, the island is lightly staffed, and offers camping, hiking, biking and concessions: all the best amenities one could hope for in a remote island.
Related: Best Public Pools In Baltimore
Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.