At the blink of an eye, summer will be coming to an end, and that marks the onset of the slow ebb of pool closings around town. But with several weeks of hot, hot days remaining, you still need to cool off, right? Here are some places to swim or at the very least dip your feet in the water even after pool season is over. From full-body immersion to ankle-deep wading, Louisville has several great ways to keep that summer spirit alive, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Louisville: Best Places to Swim and Wade … in Nature!

Falling Rock Park

2201 Fendley Mill Road, La Grange, KY 40031

Hours: Friday through Monday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost: $10 per person to float; $15 per person for certified dives. 
To learn more, visit or call (502) 939-5049.

Located about 20 minutes north of town in La Grange is Falling Rock Park, otherwise known as The Quarry, which was opened to the public in 1996 by Joe Clark. Originally intended to be used as a park, as well as a practice and training facility for divers, this beautiful swimming hole is filled only with rainwater (no runoffs), making it some of the cleanest in the area. And because it’s filled only with rainwater, it took 15 years to be completely filled. Falling Rock Park is ideal for a day getaway, but it’s only for ages 18 and older. Float around and take in the scenic surroundings—a day at the quarry is a sure way to get some sun, have some fun and meet some new people. Just remember the sunscreen. And no fishing or pets are allowed.

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The quarry at Falling Rock Park in La Grange is a great way to spend a late summer day!

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We love these weathered, decorative signs at Falling Rock Park quarry.

Big Rock Park

2457 Park Boundary Rd, Louisville, KY 40206

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Cost: Free, open to the public.
For more information, visit

Located within the stunning Cherokee Park, Big Rock Park is one of the most beloved spots around. Visitors can enjoy a picnic in the pavilion or some playtime on the children’s playground, but the big draw is that Beargrass Creek runs right through the park, making it ideal for a picnic and a wade. (You might see some people swimming, but that is not the norm.) After heavy rains, there is sometimes a small, trickling waterfall, which can be seen on the way there. And while the Big Rock is the main attraction, the path to it requires walking on rocky and muddy ground, so sensible footwear is strongly suggested.

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The Big Rock in Big Rock Park is a summer destination found within Cherokee Park.

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After heavy rain, a waterfall can be found along the path at Big Rock Park.

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The Parklands of Floyds Fork

4002 South Pope Lick Road, Louisville, KY 40299
Hours: Dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Cost: Access is free; bike rentals start at $8. There are no canoe rentals, so bring your own. 
For more information, visit or call (502) 584-0350.

Tucked away in the southeast area of the city lies the picturesque Parklands of Floyds Fork, which is actually four parks connected along Floyds Fork stream. This massive property is brimming with both flora and fauna, making it an ideal getaway from the chaos of the city, and it’s only about 20 minutes from downtown. Get wet at the spray park or wade in one of the many beautiful creeks and streams of Floyds Fork. With four parks, a playground, bike rentals, canoeing, biking and hiking trails, it’s a great place for the whole family to explore. Pack a lunch and some snacks and make a day of it!

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The flower field at Floyds Fork Park is stunning!

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The creek alongside one of the many hiking pathways at Floyds Fork Park is perfect for wading on a hot summer day.

Enjoy those final few weeks of summer by visiting one of these places to swim in nature!


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