Birmingham’s hidden treasure: swimming hole

Cahaba River

It’s that time of year again- when summer is barely hanging on by a thread and the crisp breezes of fall are fast approaching. Before you run out of warm weather, you may want to check out one of Birmingham’s most exciting (and unknown) attractions. While the Cahaba River is a beautiful location to fish, swim and boat, if you don’t have access to these amenities, what are your options?

Two words: swimming hole.

Just 20 minutes from Samford University, a hidden swimming hole is perfect for a group of friends and a sunny Saturday afternoon. Located on Grants Mill Road off of Interstate 459 toward Atlanta, this attraction is surprisingly easy to find. After parking in the gravel lot (which is next to a large bridge on your left) you’ll head down to the river. Even the walkway is paved; no hiking necessary!

About half a mile down the walkway, the swimming hole is fully equipped with a rope swing and a small bank to keep towels, bags and other belongings. While the water is pretty chilly — as most river water is — the temperature is not bad at all in the sun. A word of caution: I would recommend wearing shoes while swimming as the occasional sharp rocks and pebbles don’t feel too great on bare feet.

Perhaps the biggest thrill at this attraction is the rope swing. Guaranteed to provide a fun time, the swing is in a prime location. The water is the perfect depth — for the average person, your head has to be under the water in order to feel the bottom with your feet. Just climb up the side of the relatively steep embankment, get a firm grip on the rope, take a leap of faith and give it your best Tarzan yell!

While I’ve never seen any snakes in this certain area, I’m sure they are there. The same goes for spiders and large fish; just make sure to keep a good eye out!

For more information, visit Alabama Swimming Holes.

By Abby Colella