The Carolinian’s favorite summer swimming holes

By Mary Windsor, Staff Writer

Published in print Aug.20, 2014

As mid-August rolls around and the weather outside grows hotter, muggier, and overall unbearable by the day, it is easy to want to stay inside and hide in the comfort of cool air-conditioning.

When it’s so hot that the mercury mocks the head of the thermometer like an angry fist, a body of water is the best place to find refreshing and cheap solace. Seek some refuge from the summer heat and a little excitement among the various places Greensboro and the surrounding areas has to offer you in aquatic facilities and activities. You can’t beat the heat, but you can escape it.

Lake Brandt Marina

Does the thought of swimming in a lake make shivers run up your spine? Same here. Lake Brandt offers many above water commodities such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. All are rentable for fewer than twenty dollars and for all day use.

Although it is illegal to fight off the heat by taking a dip in the lake, it’s invigorating to feel the wind in your hair and face as you glide over the water propelled by only yourself and a small watercraft.  There’s a small island about a quarter to half mile into the lake where you can stop to reward yourself, take a rest and have a snack before getting back on the water.

Lake Brandt also offers “Night Paddles” throughout the summer, a guided tour (kayak and canoe) on the lake between the hours of eight to ten to catch a view of the sunset over the water. The next “Night Paddle” event is being held August 20th at Lake Brandt, from eight to ten, and prices ranging between eight and twenty-two dollars.

The Greensboro Aquatic Center

The Greensboro Aquatic Center located on Lee Street, provides a variety of recreational swimming pools and activities.  Daily admission into their competition pool, used for lap swim only, and recreational swim pool is five dollars. They also offer a range of water and fitness classes throughout the year and participants and welcome to drop in at any time during the session.

All classes are five dollars per meeting and range from Aqua Zumba (Beginner – High Intensity) to Deep Water Exercise (Moderate to High Intensity). The lap lanes in the competition pool are designed to take several swimmers at one time and have Olympic dimensions.

Upper & Lower Cascades at Hanging Rock

Up for a bit of a drive and worthwhile hike during the last summer months? The Upper and Lower Cascades at Hanging Rock are calling your name. These secluded natural pools and small waterfalls are the perfect antidote to crowded pools that propagate such things as children running on wet pavement, the constant shrill of a lifeguards whistle, and over priced concession stands. 

Each trail leading to a waterfall is no more than a mile from the parking lots and all are found on an easily accessible trail fit for any level of hiker. At the base of the falls, there is an ample plunge pool whose water comes from the Cascades Creek waterway. The water is a frigid delight and promises to effortlessly cool anyone down after a sweaty trek.

We suggest visiting the Lower Cascades, as they are the most spectacular of the two. Use extreme caution, as the stones that surround both falls are slippery and require steady footing.

Hanging Rock Lake

Besides multiple trails, waterfall attractions, and camping sites, Hanging Rock offers a twelve-acre lake open to the public. It features a sandy shore before transitioning to a hilly grass area. The lake is open during the summer months with a five-dollar fee per day. evening time slot. There are two diving boards elevated on a wooden dock that guests are able to swim out to. Canoes and paddleboats can be rented to explore more of the lake other than the swimming area.

Grab a pair of trunks, whether it is for exercise, a cooling drip as temperatures rise, or just for the fun of splashing around, these sweet summer spots are easy ways to combine adventure, sight-seeing and swimming fun.



Categories: Features, Mary Windsor

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