The Vermont River Conservancy (VRC) anticipates swimming holes throughout the state will see many visitors with the warm weather upon us. VRC’s core mission is protecting public access to places along rivers that are well-loved by community members and visitors alike. However, VRC’s Executive Director Steve Libby emphasizes the importance of swimming hole visitors to follow state guidelines regarding recreating on public land during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Vermont River Conservancy sees the unique role swimming holes play in communities throughout Vermont,” Libby says, “these are places to enjoy the peace that a river can provide, to cool off on a hot day, and to recharge your mental well-being during these unsettling times. VRC protects swimming holes for public enjoyment, but we rely strongly on the respectful behavior of visitors to ensure these sites can remain open during the pandemic, and are cared for and maintained for years to come.”Visitors to swimming holes protected by VRC will find signs guiding proper use of the site during the Covid-19 pandemic, including:
- Don’t go to public swimming holes if you are sick.
- Avoid crowded trails and swimming holes that do not allow a minimum of six feet of distance. If a parking lot is crowded, please go elsewhere.
- Leash your dog.
- Avoid risky activities, so as not to put more strain on hospitals and emergency responders.
- Be mindful of the popularity of these sites and don’t linger too long, to make space for others to be there.
- Do not wear a mask while swimming, but do bring a mask with you for walking along the trail.
If you enjoy Vermont’s swimming holes, please consider a donation to VRC to help protect special places along our rivers for public use for years to come.