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9 Georgia swimming holes that have just as much splash as the pool

With simmering weather in Georgia the norm in spring and summer, you’ll need to have more than metro Atlanta’s local pools to cool you off.

The state's swimming holes offer a wet and wild option and sometimes late into the fall or even year 'round.

»RELATED: No ocean, no problem: 7 refreshing lake beaches near Atlanta

Grab your suits and some sunscreen and get ready to play in the water at these nine Georgia swimming holes:

A new free app helps hikers uncover off-the-beaten-path waterfalls across North Georgia. Seen here are the High Shoals falls near Helen. (Explore Georgia)

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High Shoals Falls

Chattahoochee National Forest near Helen, Georgia

A swimming spot for the hikers, where a 2.4 mile walk yields a view of a waterfall tumbling over a 50-foot cliff and a creek to splash in.

Blue Hole Falls

Indian Grave Gap Road, Hiawasee

Take a one-mile hike via the High Shoals Trail to a sweet little swimming hole complete with falls and an observation deck. The pool can reach depths of more than 10 feet, so you can really swim here, but you should also observe all the swimming precautions necessary in natural water (like strictly adhering to the buddy system.) The creek is a refreshing 40something degrees even in the summer, so plan this for a hot sunny day.

Blanket's Creek

2261 Sixes Road. Canton

While this spot is wildly popular with mountain bikers, it's also a welcoming place for hikers and families. To reach a clean, fairly shady spot to splash around, follow the easiest trail to the far left along the creek.

Edge of the World

Amicalola River Trail, Dawsonville 

A moderate 2.3 mile hiking trail along the Amicalola River Trail offers year 'round wading and rock lounging at one of the best natural swimming areas in the state. It's not exactly undiscovered, though, so plan to share your time with some other families and their pets. You'll also need a current hunting license, fishing license or GORP (Georgia Outdoor Recreation Pass) to enter. If you want to build a full day trip or weekend around the swimming hole adventure, Dawson County has lots of fishing, shopping and eateries.

Helton Creek Falls

US HWY 129S, Blairsville. 706-745-6928

A swimming hole with a bonus: falls. While you can't swim in the waterfalls themselves, the pool at the bottom is a great place to paddle and maybe have a picnic on the large boulders. Be super careful of the slippery rocks, though!

»RELATED: Hike these 5 beginner-friendly waterfall trails in North Georgia

Gober Beach

Ballground/Canton

A favorite of the 365 Atlanta Family blog, this is a old-style county swimming hole off a back road in Ballground and Canton. The parking is there for people putting in kayaks on the Etowah River, but you can just stay in place and enjoy the shallow water and rocky beach spot. Cherry on top: Dogs are welcome.

Sope Creek Trail winds through 1.5 miles of beautiful terrain. (From atlantatrails.com/For the AJC)

Sope Creek

Sope Creek Park, Cobb County

Take a dip amidst history just 15 minutes from Marietta. You can wade into the creek from rocky banks, before or after a visit to the park's towering stone ruins of a paper mill destroyed during the Civil War.

Red Clay Resort

5510 Red Clay Road, Cohutta. 423-838-2112

This attraction provides an intermediate step for those who love to swim but are new to the natural swimming concept. A mile south of Red Clay State Park, the site, formerly known as Farmer's Lake, has a large, spring-fed swimming pool, bath house, restrooms and even an arcade. Admission is $5 Monday through Wednesday; $7 Thursday-Saturday. It's not open much past Labor Day, just by about a week, but it will let you sneak in a little extra summer.

Dukes Creek and Davis Creek meet to create the exceptionally beautiful, multi-tiered Dukes Creek Falls, tumbling more than 150 feet. (Contributed by Eric Champlin)

Dukes Creek Falls

1699 Richard Russell Highway, Helen 706-754-6221 

A majestic waterfall located just north of Helen creates a great swimming hole and place for waders.

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