Penguin Plunge

Penguin Plunge

Lake Paran Plunge: The main attraction at North Bennington’s Winterfest is always the Lake Paran Plunge, otherwise known as the Penguin Plunge to raise money for Special Olympics athletes.

Roaring Branch River

Roaring Branch River
(seasonal, swimming)

Another favorite with the locals, the Roaring Branch features a sandy “beach” area, several small pools that are suitable for kids, and one deeper pool that is deep enough for submersing. The river flows right down from the Green Mountains and is incredibly cold, even in the summer. There is ample parking right on Route 9 and enough room to spread out. Weekends can be quite busy here, especially in the late afternoon.

Directions: Head east on Route 9 for 2.7 miles or until you pass the Woodford/Bennington town line sign. You will see a parking area on the right. Take a short trail through the woods to the swimming area.


Walloomsac River

Walloomsac River
(seasonal, fishing, swimming, tubing)

The Wallomsac River is on the shallow side as it meanders through Bennington, so while the spot under the Burt Henry Covered Bridge may not be deep enough for adults to swim in, it is perfect for kids or for anyone who just needs to cool off. There is a small parking area near the bridge and a park with a few picnic tables, a grassy field, and some plantings. The Henry Bridge is one of three covered bridges spanning the Walloomsac River in Bennington and North Bennington and the only one with good access to the river below.

34 River Rd
North Bennington, VT 05257

Woodford Lake

Woodford Lake
(Spring, summer, fall, swimming)

At 2400 feet, this 398-acre park has the highest elevation campground of any park in Vermont. Woodford is located on a mountain plateau surrounding Adams Reservoir. The high elevation spruce/fir/birch forest provides an ideal setting for the park. Woodford borders the George Aiken Wilderness Area, which is in the Green Mountain National Forest. There are several lakes and ponds in the surrounding area.

142 State Park Road
Bennington, VT 05201



Lake Paran

Lake Paran
(swimming, fishing, canoe rentals)

Lake Paran is a small lake with great views of the surrounding mountains, and the only swimming spot on our list that has lifeguards on duty in the summer. The lake and surrounding recreational lands are part of a local nonprofit, Paran Recreations, which is dedicated to helping people enjoy the beauty of nature and having healthy fun outdoors! We are also stewards of the Paran watershed working to keep our environment safe and clean for now and the future.

There is a small, sandy beach to relax on, a floating dock, charcoal grills, a bathhouse and pavilion, and a concession stand with the best grilled cheese sandwiches around. Canoes can be rented for $10 per hour.

269 Houghton Street
North Bennington, VT 05257


(802) 442-8457

The Tubs

The Tubs
(Trail, hiking, walking, swimming)

The Upper Tubs waterfall is a popular swimming hole for locals that can be reached after a moderate hike through the Pownal woodland.

Located in North Pownal

Splash Pad

Splash Pad
(Water playground)

The splash pad will be active during warm months, kid friendly downtown fun. There is also a stage area for performances.

109 North St
Bennington, VT 05201

Return to Recreational Opportunities in Bennington and the Region

Bennington Recreation Center

Bennington Recreation Center Facilities
(Pool, weight room) 
The Bennington Recreation Center is managed in partnership between the Town of Bennington and the Berkshire Family YMCA. They offer indoor swimming and fitness center year round to members and visitors.
Please see the latest hours on the towns Recreation page. The Bennington Recreation Center regular hours of operation are:
Summer (Apr 1 – Oct 31)
Mon through Fri 6 am – 8:45 pm
Saturday 9 am – 6 pm
Winter (Nov 1 – Mar 31)
Mon 6:00 am – 8:30 pm
Tue 8:00 am – 8:30 pm
Wed 6:00 am – 8:30 pm
Thu 8:00 am – 8:30 pm
Fri 6:00 am – 8:30 pm
Sat 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sun 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
The Bennington Recreation Center is is a municipally funded facility that relies on the members for supplemental support. 
Daily Fees
Adult $5.00
Youth $3.00
Sauna $2.00
Shower $1.00
Residents Membership
Youth (1 year) $26.00
Adult (1 year) $67.00
Adult (6 months) $52.00
Adult (3 months) $36.00
Family (1 year) $108.00
Senior Citizen (1 year) $62.00
Senior Family (1 year) $103.00
655 Gage Street 
Bennington, VT 05201