On sweltering days, nothing beats the clear waters of a swimming hole hidden in the woods.\u00a0And for those who don\u2019t mind hiking before taking a plunge, Connecticut\u2019s scenic trails are worth the rewards. In late spring and summer, most Connecticut state parks stay open from 8 a.m. to midnight, and many provide refreshing alternatives to public swimming pools. They are typically free or charge a minimal fee. Many trails skirt streams and waterfalls, where residents like to cool off under shaded woodland. In Southbury's Kettletown State Park,\u00a0a short walk through a gorge leads to Lake Zoar, the state\u2019s fifth largest body of water.\u00a0It\u2019s a popular swimming destination for residents throughout Connecticut. Popular states parks, like Silver Sands State Park in Milford\u00a0and Lake Waramaug in\u00a0Kent, have bathrooms and picnic areas near swimming sites. Leashed pets are permitted on most state trails, but they are not always allowed on the beach. Eight state parks keep lifeguards on duty, including Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield. Check out where the supervised beaches are on the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection\u00a0website or on the slideshow above. The state also maintains miles of easy-to-find beaches off Long Island Sound. Sherwood Island State Park in Westport is the state's oldest state park and has several prized sunning and swimming spots. Also in Fairfield County, Indian Well State Park in Shelton offers both swimming holes and beaches.