13 Top Swimming Lakes Near NYC

top swimming lakes in nyc
Getty Images

13 Swimming Lakes Near NYC

These 13 top swimming lakes near NYC are a great way to soak up the sun if you’re looking to try something new this summer. 

These lakes are perfect for a day getaway, weekend, or even a week with many attractions for visitors to unwind and relax.

Psst… Here are the Best Water Playgrounds and Sprinkler Parks in NYC!

New York Swimming Lakes

Canopus Lake – Caramel, NY

1498 Route 301, Caramel, NY, 10515

Canopus Lake is located in Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park. Lake goers are not only welcome to swim in the lake, but fishing by boat is permitted as well with proof of a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Lake Welch – Stony Point, NY

800 Kanawaukee Road, Stony Point, NY 10980

Lake Welch is a man-made lake in the wooden hills of the Ramapo Mountain. Visitors at this lake are allowed to grill, hike, swim, and boat launch. In the winter, the lake allows ice fishing and snowmobiling. The rules of the lake note that pets and alcohol are not permitted.

This is a great lake to enjoy the cool breeze and also camp in the Beaver Pond Campground that is in close proximity to the lake.

Lake Tiorati – Southfields, NY

2300 Seven Lakes Drive, Southfields, NY 10975

With Lake Tiorati being nestled between meadows and wooded hills, the visitors of this lake can enjoy beautiful nature scenery while going for a swim. Along with swimming, this lake offers fishing, boating, and picnicking. Like Lake Welch, this lake also offers ice fishing in the winter.

If you have furry friends, they are permitted at this lake, but only dogs. Your pets must be on a leash not more than six feet at all times, they must display a rabies tag, and they are not allowed in the buildings or bathing areas. 

North-South Lake – Haines Falls, New York

County Rt. 18, Haines Falls, NY 12436

North-South Lake is known as the biggest and most popular state campground in the Catskill Forest Preserve. This lake offers amenities such as seven camping loops, 219 tent and trailer sites, two lakes, two picnic areas, a playground, and many more.

North-South Lake also has historical sites visitors can see like Alligator Rock, Kaaterskill Falls, and the former site of Catskill Mountain House.

More activities the lake goers at North-South Lake can tend to are fishing, hiking, swimming, watchable wildlife, and boating as long as the boats are not motorized. Only rowboats and canoes are permitted at this lake.

Greenwood Lake – Warwick, NY

7 Windermere Ave, Greenwood Lake, NY 10925

Although Greenwood Lake is only open to residents in the Town of Warwick, it is known as the largest body of freshwater that is 50 miles northwest of New York City.

Residents visiting this lake have access to restrooms, a lifeguard supervised swimming area, a children’s play area, a volleyball court, and a picnic area. Dogs are not permitted, and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent.

Lake Taghkanic – Ancram, NY

1528 Rt., 82, Ancram, NY 12502

Lake Taghkanic offers plenty of recreational activities for lake goers to partake in while enjoying the relaxing green forests in the Lake Taghkanic State Park. Along with tent and trailer campsites, this lake also offers cabin and cottage lodging facilities.

While at the lake, visitors can also check out the boat shop, playgrounds, snack/souvenir shop, campground store, and picnic pavilion. There is a pet policy in place that allows visitors to bring a maximum of two pets either crated, or on a leash not more than six feet in length. 

New Jersey Swimming Lakes

Lake Marcia – Sussex, New Jersey

1480 Rt. 23, Sussex, NJ 07461

Lake Marcia is located in High Point State Park. This park has 50 campsites, and the spring-fed Lake Marcia where visitors can go for a swim. Swimming in this lake is only permitted from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

The lake also offers amenities like a bathhouse and a concession stand with refreshments for visitors. Entrance fees to Lake Marcia are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

Highlands Natural Pool – Ringwood, New Jersey

180 Snake Den Rd., Ringwood, NJ07456

Highlands Natural Pool is open to the public for swimming, picnics, hiking and recreation. 

This lake offers five recommended hiking trails like the 3.0-mile loop which takes you past the Roomey and Blue mines, or the 5.5-mile loop that goes up over Carris Hill and along the ridgeline to Wyanokie High Point.

Highlands does not permit open fires, wood-burning, or portable charcoal grills. Day passes can be purchased at the entrance. 

Lake Wawayanda – Hewitt, New Jersey

885 Warwick Tpk., Hewitt, NJ 07421

Lake Wawayanda appeals to visitors because of its serene ambiance. At this lake, you can take in the scenery of steep mountains while hiking, swimming, camping, or boating. The hiking trails at this lake include over 60 marked trails including a 19-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail throughout the park.

Lake Wawayanda goers are able to swim from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day with lifeguards on duty. While sailboats and sailboards are permitted in this lake with a boat rental facility and launching ramp close by, there are no rentals available inside the park. 

Lake Hopatcong – Landing, New Jersey

260 Lakeside Blvd., Landing, NJ 07850

Known as the largest freshwater lake in New Jersey, Lake Hopatcong is open to residents and visitors offering boating, sailing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, water sports, and more. Lake goers can enjoy these activities not only during the summer, but year-round.

Visitors can also find many restaurants located by the lake as well for lunch or dinner. Located only 40 miles from New York City, this lake is proven to be a great escape for visitors to unwind and relax.

Round Valley Recreation Area – Lebanon, New Jersey

1220 Stanton Lebanon Rd., Lebanon, NJ 08833

The Round Valley Reservoir has swift waters for swimming, boating, fishermen, picnickers, and camping. While enjoying these activities, Lake goers can take in the beautiful scenery for a tranquil evening.

This lake is the only park that offers wilderness camping, with the campsites on the eastern side of the lake only being accessible by camping. Swimming is only not permitted in the main reservoir. Picnickers at this lake can enjoy three locations of scenery while enjoying a meal.

The first two locations are East and North with cool, shaded grassy areas and the third being West located on a hill overlooking the waters of Round Valley.

Connecticut Swimming Lakes

Bantam Lake – Morris, Connecticut

East Shore Dr., Morris, CT 06763

Bantam Lake is home to many activities like water sports, a ski club, fishing, swimming, camping, winter sports, and boat launches. Visitors can also attend events happening at this lake by checking out the event calendar on the website.

Along with the many activities and events taking place at Bantam Lake, lake goers can enjoy a meal at the many restaurants located near the lake.

Lake Waramaug – New Preston, Connecticut

30 Lake Waramaug Rd., New Preston, CT 06777

Another lake known for its breathtaking scenery is Lake Waramaug. At this lake, the view comes with camping, boating, lake fishing, swimming, and kayak/canoe rentals.

With this lake being open from 8 am to sunset, visitors can spend the day here soaking up the sun and can enjoy a beautiful sunset to end the day.