Cool off at one of these Maine swimming spots

By Lynne Fort, Bangor Daily News Staff

With temperatures set to climb into the 90s today and much of the state under a heat advisory, many Mainers will be trying to stay cool. What better way than diving into one of Maine’s many watering holes?

Here are some choice swimming spots for Mainers to visit.

Branch Lake, Ellsworth

Though this swimming spot is much less of a hidden gem now than it was just a few years ago, when the city of Ellsworth installed a boat ramp and improved the access road, Branch Lake is still an absolutely lovely place to swim (and it’s free). The water is crystal clear, and except for a few big boulders, the lake bottom is nothing but gravel and sand. 

Swan Lake State Park, Swanville 

While it does require a state park pass or a day-use fee, Swan Lake is a great, family friendly place to swim, tan on the beach or enjoy a picnic. 

Monroe Falls, Monroe

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can visit Monroe Falls, where you can jump from a 35-foot cliff into the water below. The swimming hole is located off North Center Road in Monroe, and there is a small parking area by a closed bridge. It is free to use, but it is privately owned and the landowners ask that people only swim between dawn and dusk. 

Sandy Point State Park, Stockton Springs

Somewhere in between river and ocean swimming, Sandy Point features a long, sandy beach that’s got some of the gentlest cold water swimming in the state. As another state park, you’ll need a pass or to pay a fee. 

Sebec Lake, Dover-Foxcroft

You can access this Piscataquis County gem via Peaks-Kenny State Park, meaning there is a fee for use. But the beautiful scenery surrounding the lake and its clear waters are well worth checking out. 

Lake St. George, Liberty 

You can access the lake via public areas at Marshall Shore or the Stevens Pond boat launch, both in Liberty. Recent accessibility improvements in these spots make this a great choice for all ages to swim safely.

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