The temperatures have finally reached the 70s and low 80s here in Texas after our big freeze. Which has me looking forward to our first Texas summer, but also reminiscing on our past 3 summers at Fort Bragg.
We had some good summers in North Carolina. There is so much to do in the Fort Bragg area, but it was a little harder to find swimming holes than I expected.
I grew up in Florida, where beach days started in March and nearly every lake, creek, river, and mud hole was fair game to anyone that wanted to jump in and cool off. We had to look around a bit to find places to swim near Fort Bragg, but these 5 places quickly became our go-to Fort Bragg swimming holes.
Fort Bragg Swimming Holes
The very first swim adventure we had at Fort Bragg was on the 4th of July. We had JUST got into town and were still staying in a hotel when the holiday rolled around. Swimming and fireworks were a must for us and we ended up at White Lake for the day. And we had the BEST time!
White Lake is a hour’s drive southeast for Fort Bragg, but it was worth the drive. We spent the day swimming in the lake and were able to watch the fireworks show from the shoreline.
The only downfall is that there is only one public beach at White Lake and it was extremely crowded on the holiday. However, we went back a few more times on regular days and it wasn’t bad at all. There is a fee to get in at Goldston’s Beach, but at $5 per adult and $2 per child, it wasn’t bad at all.
Lake Pines Swim Club
If there is only one Fort Bragg swimming hole that you visit during your time there, make it this one!
Lake Pines is located in Fayetteville. It’s a natural lake/spring, but they have built up the sides with concrete and treat the water so that it’s pretty, blue, and safe to swim in. It has a nice sandy bottom and plenty of things for the kids to do. There’s a high dive, a diving board, water slide, and a water playground for the little ones. There are also plenty of chairs, pavilions, picnic tables, benches, and swings on the shore to sit, tan, and read a book.
And the best part is that the lifeguards are top notch! Kids must pass a swim test to get a wrist band to be able to swim in the deep end. They also require any kids under the age of 7 to be with an adult at ALL times even in the shallow water. In addition to the lifeguards on shore, there are some in kayak patrolling the deep water. They’re quick to blow their whistle and let you know the rules, which sounds annoying, but I really appreciated feeling like my kids were safe.
The only downfall to Lake Pines Swim Club is that the entrance fee is pretty steep. It’s $12 per adult, $10 per child (6-11), and $5 per child (2-5). It was $32 for me and the girls to go while my husband was at work, but our last summer at Fort Bragg was the summer of the ‘Rona and there wasn’t much else to do. We went to Lake Pines once or twice a week to get out of the house and into the sunshine. I don’t regret a single penny I spent there.
Another Fort Bragg swimming hole that we loved in Fayetteville was one of the city pools. Chalmer’s Pool at Seabrook Park is right across the street from the Fayetteville State University campus and my girls loved it!
There are 2 pools at the facility – a big lap pool ranging from 4-5 feet with a water slide and a wading pool with a water playground. There is also a snack bar, picnic tables, and lounge chairs. Lifeguards keep watch over the pools and there are plenty of other kids to make friends with.
It’s only $1 per child (12 and under) and $2 for ages 13+. So, it was only $4 total for me and the girls to spend a day hanging out at the pool. You’re allowed to bring your own coolers, snacks, and drinks, which is a plus. In addition to the pool, there is a playground and basketball court at the facility for the kids to play at.
The only downside is that this pool stays pretty busy and can fill up fast. We were never not able to get in, but there were a few times that we couldn’t find a chair. We just put a blanket/towels down and sat on the ground and snagged a chair when they came available. Chalmer’s Pool at Seabrook Park was a weekly treat during our summers at Fort Bragg.
One of our favorite more natural Fort Bragg swimming holes was Jordan Lake. Located an hour north of Fort Bragg, this 14,000-acre lake is a state recreation area and is almost completely undeveloped. There are 7 designated swimming areas and multiple boat ramps. We always used the White Oak recreation area, just because it was the easiest for me to find, but I’m sure they’re all pretty similar.
This lake is popular for boating – there were always people tubing and riding jet skis around the lake. Jordan Lake has campgrounds, hiking trails, and even a bald eagle observation platform. There are public bathrooms and playgrounds at the beach areas and the admission fee is only $7 per carload.
The girls loved going to play at the lake and I could usually talk my husband into going with us on the weekends, since I could entice him with fishing. We taught our girls how to fish here, so Jordan Lake will always hold a special place in our heart.
Twin Lions Pool
Another of our favorite Fort Bragg swimming holes was located right on post. The Twin Lions Pool on Fort Bragg was another one of our favorite places to cool down in the summer.
Not only is there are huge outdoor pool, but there is a splash pad at this facility, in addition to the locker rooms. There are 2 diving boards and plenty of lounge chairs. But one of our favorite things about this particular pool is that it is home to the MWR dive-in theater!
Several times in the summer, the Fort Bragg MWR hosts a dive-in theater, where you can watch a movie from the pool. We saw a showing of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid‘ and had the best time!
There is a small fee to get into the pool $4 for DOD cardholders and $6 for guests.
Our summers in North Carolina were full of fun and good memories. They would have been much less memorable without these swimming holes. If you’re stationed at Fort Bragg, check them out!