Area waters offer summer fun

by Chris Haffenreffer | 7/5/01 5:00am

As the summer means a quiet time on Dartmouth's social scene, many students are forced to look for more creative and original ways of entertaining themselves.

Many students have gravitated westward to the Connecticut River in an attempt to enjoy themselves. Days are centered around a trip down to the swimming dock, the rope swing or a quick drive to the Ledges in West Lebanon.

The swimming dock maintained by the College on the Connecticut River is an extremely popular spot among those who simply wish to lounge around and catch some rays. Obviously a short walk from campus and a bit downstream from the Ledyard Canoe Club, the dock offers those without another means of transportation the ability to take a quick dip in the Connecticut.

The rope swing is also a frequent destination for some students. Whether one wishes to simply swing or climb to the top of the overhanging tree in order to plunge 50 feet into the water, the rope swing is always a great time.

Wes Lippman '03 is one of the few daredevils who decided to make the treacherous climb to the top of the tree and jump. "I don't know why I did it. My friend did it so I just thought, 'What the hell' and jumped. It's really high, though," he said.

For those with a car, just 15 minutes outside of Hanover is the Ledges, a refreshing mountain stream with a series of short jumps into nice swimming holes. To get there, take the dirt road on your left after passing the Wal-Mart in West Lebanon, and follow it for about a half mile. The Ledges is on your right.

With jumps for both the adventurous and cowardly, the Ledges is a great place to relax for the day. Numerous pools with water rushing in and out give the feeling of a Jacuzzi.

"I enjoy lounging in the pools. It's relaxing. Sometimes it's tough because the current is really strong and you can get swept away," Jake Dwyer '03 said.

Past Norwich and after several forks in the road, one can find the Union Village dam. Many students have good things to say about its cooling waters.

There are dozens of small, secluded swimming holes in the area. Spend time investigating the Upper Valley's opportunities, or take the time to ask a Hanover resident for directions.

In the meantime, search out any high places and jump from them. And if you happen upon a new swimming hole or high place to jump from, please pass the word on.

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