Swimming Holes Around Kentucky


It’s summer and it’s HOT! Good thing Kentucky is known for some amazing watering holes that are guaranteed to cool you off. 

Swimming holes

One of my family’s favorite things to do is find a nice swimming hole and let the kids play around. It is perfect for a hot summer day, as the water is usually a little cooler than a lake or pool water. Pack a lunch and head on out to some of our favorite places.   

Swimming holes are all around us in Kentucky and we might as well enjoy it. See below for some suggestions on where you can take the family to cool off and have some fun, while still socially distancing.

Adhere to all signage regarding property rules and guidelines as well as Project WIN water advisoriesKeep in mind that there are no lifeguards on duty in the swimming holes. Take safety precautions and use life preservers. 

It is wise to keep an eye on your kids at all times and don’t let them wade too far from the shore, as there is no good way to determine depth. If you cannot see the bottom it is too deep to wade into. 

In Louisville

Big Rock at Cherokee Park – The amount of rain that has been in the area will determine how height the water lever is but no matter the lever it is a fun spot to play around and get some fun in without having to travel out of town. Bonus: there is close parking and a place to have a picnic. 

Big rock

Beckley Creek at The Parklands – another great local spot. Head on down to the Beckley Creek paddling access point and test out the water. While visiting this spot we have found some really great shells and cool looking rocks.

Make sure to have some water shoes or rain boots on, as the creek bed is rocky. I would not recommend this spot after getting a lot of rain as the water can move very fast. Parking is very close and the area is easily accessible from Shelbyville Road. 

Beckley Creek

Turkey Run at The Parklands – Access to this swimming spot is on the north end of Turkey Run newer the Seaton Valley Trailhead. This is a unique location that has a view of Mary’s Island, a research island used by The Parklands to learn more about the land. This is a great place to have an outdoor scavenger hunt

Turkey Run

Around Kentucky 

Pine Knob in Hoodoo Holler – This was a great find for my family last year. Not only does it have a great swimming hole it also has an outdoor theater, a dinner, and some fun historical buildings that you can look into and get a sense of life around the 1860’s.

Be warned the water is COLD but that did not stop the kids from having a blast. Pine Know is about a 1.5 hour drive from Louisville and is one Central Time Zone. 

Pine Knob

Heritage Trail in Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill– This trail is a 1-mile loop that leads you to a beautiful waterfall that has a great swimming hole. This trail has accessed through the Central Trailhead area that is 1 mile from The Historic Center.

Check the website for more information and to see updates to water conditions. The drive is a little over an hour and can easily be a day trip. Bonus: There are lots of trails you can explore in Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill that are family-friendly and well shaded to help with the heat.    

Hartiage Trial


Rock Bridge Trail at Red River Gorge – This is a two-hour drive from Louisville but worth the view and dip in swimming holes. Make a day of it and explore the Gorge a little while in the area. The trail is 1.25 miles long with access to the swimming hole and waterfall. Pack a lunch and spend the day away from the crazy city life. 

Cove Springs – Cove Springs is in Frankfort, KY. You can picnic there, and there are bathrooms. There are swimming Holes to wade in the water and cool off. 

waterfalls near Louisville

Looking for more fun to explore in the area? Check out our summer fun page

So many ways to stay cool in summer. Here are all of our posts that include water fun ideas. 

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