The Newfane area of Southern Vermont is Home to the Gay Beach and Nude Swimming Hole on the Rock River.
Frog Meadow is 4 miles from the Rock River trail head. On a busy summer weekend day parking can be limited.
The West River is a relatively long, wide and warm river as compared to the Rock River, which, true to its name, is very rocky, swift and cool. Just upstream from the confluence of the Rock and West Rivers, and only four miles from Frog Meadow off Route 30, there are a series of deep, clear water swimming holes. Known as “Indian Love Call” by the locals there is a long tradition of nude bathing on the Rock River as there is in Vermont in general.
As you hike further up the Rock River you will notice that the first swimming hole is deep with a sandy beach and a rope swing. This is the “family” swimming hole where the clothing stays on. The further upstream you go the more likely you are to see nude bathers; the next couple of beaches up the trail are mixed, gay and straight, and nude.
As you continue further up the Rock River it becomes increasingly gay until you reach your final destination (about a 30-minute hike from the road) and discover the “official” gay area. While the wooded areas are very cruisy and do have their share of activities, the scene by the water is very social and quite friendly (e.g. no “attitude”). Men often bring preparations with them for a summer BBQ and, generally speaking, all are welcome, especially if you have things to share. There is a feeling of being in another time and place when you’re there.
There is also much more to the Rock River Valley than the naked swimming hole for gay guys. The Rock River is a focal point for a larger Vermont community of artists, craftsmen and families. On August 28, 2011 tropical storm Irene slammed into Vermont wreaking wide spread destruction. The Rock River Valley of Newfane and Marlboro was especially hard hit and over two years later the area has still not fully recovered. Several houses were destroyed, roads were washed away and many residents were stranded without phone, electricity or water for weeks, in some cases months. The trail into the swimming hole was heavily damaged and the face of the Rock River was changed forever. Rock River Preservation, a non-profit volunteer organization founded to preserve access to the family and gay swimming holes responded by not only calling on volunteers to repair the heavily damaged trail but also to help local residents in need of assistance with post-storm clean up. Volunteers coordinated by Rock River Preservation worked along side other community members to clear debris from properties, dig out mud filled basements and otherwise help as they could. Dave coordinated a mountain bike rescue team to reach stranded residents who could not be reached even with ATVs and off road vehicles, bringing medications and news of the outside world.
But as is often the case when tragedy strikes the community came closer together and one year after Irene there was the first annual Rock River Revival Festival and Parade to celebrate that coming together of community.
To insure that the Rock River environment remains healthy, everyone’s rights are respected, and all may enjoy the tranquil beauty of this special place, please join us in observing the following guidelines, prepared by Rock River Preservation:
- Respect privacy of adjacent landowners; stay on designated trail and beaches.
- Carry out all trash, including cigarette butts, foodstuffs and remnants thereof.
- If you build a fire, make sure it is completely out when you leave.
- Keep soap and detergent out of the river.
- There are no sanitary facilities at Rock River. Please plan accordingly.
- No camping without permission of landowners.
- Do not cut live trees.
- Leash all dogs and and clean up after their mess.
- Please refrain from playing radios, tape and CD players; no mechanized sounds.
- Always obtain the consent of subject(s) before taking photos or filming.
- Get dressed when leaving established “clothing optional” areas; respect the rights of private property owners and other beach users.
- You use this land and all its amenities at your own risk. Rock River Trail can be challenging in places; please hike cautiously and wear appropriate foot gear at all times.
Discover Gay Vermont!
Our region is well known for it’s open, progressive values & welcoming attitude to those who may be a bit different than the mainstream! It’s such a gay-friendly region…and it has an amazing collection of interesting and fun things to do!
Come discover great restaurants, fresh food sources that include farmer’s markets and a food coop, 3 microbreweries & a distillery, a cultural & arts community that includes monthly gallery walks, museums, music, theatre, frequent artist’s open studio tours, literary & film festivals (including an annual LGBT film festival) and frequent men’s gatherings, workshops & retreats.
Click here to discover & explore the many recreational & cultural activities, events, attractions and culinary delights that Brattleboro and gay-friendly Southeast Vermont have to offer!
Getting Here/Travel FAQs
How Do I Reach Frog Meadow by Car?
- We’re approximately 2.5 hours from Boston, 3.5 hours from New York City and 2 hours from Hartford, CT.
- After making your reservation you will receive a confirmation email with detailed instructions on how to get to Frog Meadow.
Our directions are simple and easy to follow. You’ll want to use our directions – NOT GPS – once you’re off the interstate!
What is the Closest Airport to Frog Meadow?
- Bradley International Airport (BDL) near Hartford, CT is super-convenient, about an hour and a half of easy mostly Interstate Highway (I-91) driving to Brattleboro Directions to Newfane from Bradley International Airport.
- Albany International Airport New York (ALB) is about 2 hours from Frog Meadow but the roads are almost entirely secondary two lane country highways and can be difficult to travel, especially in the winter. Directions to Newfane From Albany International Airport
- Logan International Airport Boston (BOS) is about 3 hours From Frog Meadow. The roads are a mix of four lane and two lane highways and during rush hour traffic in the Boston area can be challenging. However depending on where you are coming from the connections to Logan from your originating airport may be much better than to Bradley or Albany, especially if you are coming from the west coast or Europe. Directions to Newfane from Logan International Airport.
Can I Use Public Transportation to get to Frog Meadow?
Yes. There are several options:
- Train: The Vermonter offers daily Amtrak train service that originates in Washington, DC. The Vermonter services Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City (Penn Station), Connecticut, and Western Massachusetts before arriving in Brattleboro, Vermont which is 12 miles south of Frog Meadow. More information on the Vermonter
- Train and Rental Car Combo: If you are traveling from New York City, you may want to consider taking Metro North from Grand Central Station to New Haven, CT and renting a car there. The rental rates are much lower than in Manhattan and the train will get you past the most difficult traffic coming out of the city. Avis Rent-a-Car is located in the New Haven train station. The New Haven Train Station is at the southern terminus of I-91 with easy access to I-91 to Brattleboro, Vermont, which is 12 miles south of Frog Meadow. Drive time from New Haven to Brattleboro is approximately 2 hours.
- Bus: There are also buses that will get you to Brattleboro from Boston and other points not serviced by train. More information on buses to Brattleboro
- Rental Car: If you are arriving in Brattleboro by bus or train Enterprise Rent-a-Car will pick you up at the train or bus station and take you to their location to complete the paperwork and get you on your way to Frog Meadow. Avis Rent-a-Car is open 7 days a week in Brattleboro and will pick you up too.
Frog Meadow Farm Bed & Breakfast and Massage Oasis for Men is a welcoming, non-judgmental place for men of all colors and backgrounds to unwind and shed the trappings of busy modern life.
Situated on 63 beautiful & private acres, Frog Meadow frequently hosts men’s gatherings, workshops and retreats. Hosts Dave & Scott are committed to providing a welcoming environment to re-connect with nature and yourself.