“Bathing suits optional”
The best-known swimming spot near here in the Mad River is the Punch Bowl. It's off the west side of Route 100, in the town of Warren just south of the Waitsfield line and less than a mile north of the turnoff for the Sugarbush ski area. Look for a field with a gray, wooden fence at the back about 100 yards from the road and a large, dirt parking lot. The swimming area is behind the fence; a picnic area can be found here too, but no bathrooms. This area is privately owned by people who support the Vermont tradition of skinny-dipping and they happily open it to the public with some help from local friends. It has a couple of pools of differing depths and a short chute which can be slid down if water level permits. Swimsuits are considered to be in poor taste here (very optional!). A note from a recent visitor informs us "There is a large, new sign in the parking area which the owners put up restricting entrance to couples and families only, no single men are allowed without prior approval except for Yestermorrow students, and I'd assume that single women are probably ok too. It stated that they have had some problems with the behavior a few of the men there, or something to that effect."
The "no single males" sign is gone. Visited by myself or with a guy friend three straight days in August 2017 with no problem. The family-friendly atmosphere remains, with gay and straight men, women and children enjoying the clear water and exposed beaches in nude harmony and safety. Shout out (thank you!) to the property owners for keeping the tradition alive. Clothes bathers were welcomed as well. Just don't be a single male in a bathing suit or clothes, you will be considered a gawker.
My wife and I stopped in for a short visit this summer. We'd never done any nudist activities before but we both loved it. Everybody there was polite, friendly, and considerate. We are definitely going back.We did not, however, see the "new sign" referred to in the description.
August 10, 2021
The Punchbowl is closed “due to Covid” and marked with No Trespassing signs. We’ve been going there every summer to swim for the past ten years. Major bummer!
Looks pretty cool from the fence side but closed due to covid
Stopped here on a road trip last week ... it was the highlight of our trip! Was our first "skinnydipping" outing and the group at the Punchbowl could not have been more welcoming. There were people of every variety and in every state of dress. No pressures. No Problems. Our only regret was not planning a longer stop ... it was a perfect day to strip off all your cares and clothes and lay on a rock by the river.
A deep Thank You and a big hug to the property owners for sharing their beautiful stretch of river and allowing people to celebrate nature here.
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The Punchbowl (Skinnydipping)
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