During the cooler months, we all dream of relaxing by the pool or splashing around with friends and family. One of the easiest ways to beat the summer heat is by jumping in the water. Luckily, the Valley has some great swimming holes, including community pools and lakes.
The ocean may be far away, but beautiful freshwater and sandy beaches aren't. Doubling Gap Lake at Colonel Denning State Park offers fresh, cool water for swimming and a beach perfect for enjoying the sun or playing in the sand. The 3.5-acre lake also presents a scenic mountain backdrop and offers a relatively easy hiking trail through the woods around the lake. It is open from 8 am to dusk from late May through mid-September. Swim at your own risk.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park offers two great swimming locations. Much like Doubling Gap Lake, Laurel Lake features a sandy beach and mountain backdrop. Laurel Lake spans 25 acres and is open from 8 am to sunset. There are no lifeguards on duty. Swim at your own risk. Fuller Lake is also located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park and has lifeguards on watch from 11 am to 7 pm. daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Both lakes open in early May and close at the end of September. Pine Grove's other offerings include hiking, biking, and fishing. Swimmers are urged to exercise caution because of extreme depths and cold subsurface water temperatures.
Little Buffalo State Park, in nearby Newport, features a state-of-the-art swimming pool with depths of up to five feet, two waterslides, and a sprayground. The pool has an ADA-accessible ramp and is open weekends only, beginning Memorial Day through the second weekend in June, daily through mid-August, and weekends through Labor Day. Hours are from 11 am to 7 pm. A seasonal snack bar has hot and cold foods and beverages. A fee is charged for pool use and is payable at the pool in cash only. Discounts are available after 4 pm. TIP: The pool often reaches capacity on holidays and weekends. Mid-week swimming is often less crowded.
If you're more into diving boards and slides, there are some fantastic options around Cumberland Valley for you to check out.
The Boiling Springs Pool, located on Mountain Road, offers four pools, three waterslides, and a full-service snack bar with both hot and cold food. There are several large grass-covered areas for relaxing. In 2023, it is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend but is closed when school is in session. Hours are from noon to 7 pm (open at 11 am for season pass holders). Nearby, guests can enjoy a leisurely stroll around Children's Lake.
Another great pool location is the Hampden Township Pool. The 550,000-gallon pool features a double-flume waterslide, a zero-depth entry tot pool, an interactive spray ground, a concession stand, a pavilion with picnic tables, and a newly-renovated bathhouse. Swimming lessons, Deep Water Aerobics, and other classes are offered at the pool. In 2023, the pool is open on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, and will re-open for the season beginning on June 3, 2023. When Cumberland Valley School District starts its school year, the pool will only be open on weekends. The pool's final weekend of the season is Labor Day weekend. The pool is open daily from 11:30 am to 8 pm.
The Carlisle Community Pool is situated on 3-acres and offers a large “z-shape” main pool ranging from three to 12 feet in depth and featuring a giant twisting water slide, Aqua Climb wall, lap swimming area, and diving board, two large shade shelters, and grass space for activities and sunbathing. Young children can enjoy a wading pool with a teacup water feature. A fenced-in recreational area includes a lighted pavilion with eight picnic tables, two charcoal grills, basketball, volleyball, and shuffleboard. You may bring your own coolers, lawn chairs, and shade tents (must be staked to the ground). Non-resident rates are available. In 2023, the pool is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. It is closed on weekdays while Carlisle Area School District is in session. Hours are daily from 12 pm to 7 pm.
The Mechanicsburg Area Community Swimming Pool touts a 22-foot tall water slide. There is a concession stand, and non-residents are welcome. The pool opens is open for Memorial Day weekend and the following weekend (June 3 and 4, 2023) from 12 pm to 6 pm. It re-opens for the season on June 10, operating daily from 12 pm to 8 pm.
The Shippensburg Pool remains closed for the 2023 season while funds are raised to construct a new pool facility.
The Camp Hill Borough Municipal Pool is open Memorial Day weekend and then re-opens on June 7, 2023, and remains open daily until Labor Day. Hours are 12 pm to 8 pm. Resident and non-resident daily rates are available as well. For inclement weather and pool closures, call 717-909-3887.
The Lemoyne Community Swimming Pool is only open to season pass holders and their guests for the 2023 season. No walk-in admissions. Season passes can be purchased at the Lemoyne Borough Office by anyone, regardless of where they reside. The pool is open from Memorial Day weekend daily through Labor Day weekend but is not open when school is in session. The pool features a water slide and other fun features. Hours are Monday through Friday from 1 pm to 7 pm; weekends and holidays from 12 pm to 8 pm.