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Gambo Road Swimming Hole & Mountain Division Trail

Updated: Feb 16

Where there's a swimming hole in Maine, there's often an old bridge or rope swing with people of all ages hurling themselves into the water. It's good old-fashioned fun and a favorite activity during our brief season of hot weather.

This idyllic float/paddle spot off of Gambo Road in Windham, is not far from Babb's Bridge Swimming Hole in is just upriver from the other. It includes easy parking, a trestle bridge and rope swing, and access to the Mountain Division Trail which goes on for miles. This trail is part of a larger vision, held by the Mountain Division Alliance, of creating a 50-mile multi-use trail along mostly dormant railroad tracks from Portland to Fryeburg. Their mission is "To work with the nine communities along the Mountain Division Rail corridor, Maine Department of Transportation, and other organizations and stakeholders to create a safe, welcoming, contiguous trail that connects existing paved portions of the trail to provide for active transportation and recreation opportunities from Fryeburg to Portland." Sections already completed include: 5 miles in Windham and Gorham, 4 miles in Fryeburg and 1 mile in Portland. Both the Gorham and Fryeburg sections are wheelchair accessible. Dogs are allowed on leash.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to bike to this swimming hole, via the Mountain Division Trail. Our friends who live near Fore River Sanctuary in Portland can do it. If you choose to drive, it couldn't be more convenient because there is plenty of parking near easy access to the water. From Gambo Road in Windham, take Soccer Drive and go past the soccer fields (Gambo Fields) until you've reached the dirt parking area, just before the boat ramp. If you type Windham Boat Ramp into your GPS, you will arrive at the right spot.

Swimming here is glorious - clear, warm water with a slight current for floating downriver. The bridge has a high and low section to jump from, if you're up for that. There is also a rope swing to the right of the bridge. If you paddle, float or swim under the bridge, the water opens up to a larger section of river. It does look and feel like a lake, but this is actually the Presumpscot River.

The dirt path leading to the Mountain Division Trail is on the right, just past the parking area, before reaching the waterfront. Look for a large, split tree at the beginning of the path, which leads up a small hill to the railroad tracks.

Enjoy this sweet swimming hole while the weather is hot, then return in the fall for a bike ride along the Mountain Division Trail!


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