We Looked At The Swim And We Jumped Right In: West Dummerston

We went to Vermont in search of family friendly hiking and swimming, and we found them both.  On our last morning at the Brattleboro North KOA I walked into the cozy camp store and asked Beverly to recommend a good swim. She pulled out a list culled from swimming holes.org/vt and highlighted two of them.  Then she grabbed a photocopied map and highlighted the exact route to both locations.  If you ever find yourself in the Brattleboro area on a warm summer day and you want to go for a swim, go see Beverly.  She will get you there.  I promise.

We decided to spend our morning at the West Dummerston Covered Bridge, which was just a short drive from the campground.  This classic New England bridge crosses the West River and, according to swimming holes.org, has “deep swimming places” and “a pretty strong current” but is “apparently safe as families swim there.”  I liked that word “apparently.”  It gave the swim just a small whiff of danger.  Good family-friendly danger.  Just the perfect amount of danger for our crew of campers.


The swim was even better than we anticipated.  The water was comfortable without being cold, and the mulit-colored rocks on the bottom of the riverbed created a lovely canvas of greens, golds, and browns.

The boys threw some of those rocks and cooled off their feet…

Everyone took turns floating down the river and under the bridge.  The current was strong enough to give you a good ride, but gentle enough for it to be relaxing.  The water under the bridge was at least five feet deep.


Stephanie and I were able to float the river over and over thanks to her mom.  Lynne held Wes in our carrier and explored the banks of the river.

Joe celebrated the day as the crew explored the rocks under the bridge…

And, once again, Joe and Ashley’s dog Suzy proved that she loves a good swim just as much as we do, or maybe even more.

The Brattleboro leg of our Vermont trip couldn’t have been better.  We ate good food, met interesting people, enjoyed a great campground, hiked Mount Putney, swam under a covered bridge, and enjoyed the simple pleasures of being a family on the road.  Fall is coming soon, we could feel it approaching each night around the campfire, but as we floated down the West River on that perfect August day it seemed like summer could last forever.

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