Grivet's Favorite Swimming Holes to Cool Off in Tennessee
It's no secret that summers in Tennessee can be sweltering. Fortunately, when the temperature starts to rise, there are plenty of ways to cool off, and a swimming hole is one of the best – and more enjoyable – ways to beat the heat. If you're looking for a spot to take a dip, check out one of the following sites.
Harpeth River State Park
Situated about 30 miles outside of Nashville, Harpeth River State Park runs adjacent to the Class II Harpeth River and is a popular spot for kayaking and canoeing. It's also home to several swimming holes and beaches where you can cool off and spend the day hanging out. Don't forget to check out one of the oldest hand-carved tunnels at the Narrows of Harpeth. Head the snake warning signs, though; this place is not for swimming.
J Percy Priest Lake
J Percy Priest Lake, located about 12 miles outside of Nashville, features designated areas for looking to take a dip. The swimming spots are situated at the Cook Recreation Area and Anderson Road and can be accessed for just $5 a car. If you're feeling adventurous, head to Hole-in-the-Wall Island and the Elm Hill Marina. At both spots, you can jump off of towering cliffs into the lake's refreshing water.
Old Hickory Lake
This 22,500-acre reservoir was developed by the Old Hickory Dam along the Cumberland River. The lake offers three spots for swimming: Cedar Creek, Old Hickory Beach, and Laguardo. It costs just $5 to enter the swimming areas. In addition to cooling off, you can take a hike along the scenic Hold Hickory Lake Nature trail or spark up a barbecue at the picnic shelter.
Stillhouse Hollow Falls
Located in Summertown, Stillhouse Hollow Falls is a 75-foot waterfall, which offers a quaint and peaceful swimming hole. To get to the waterfall and swimming hole, you'll need to take a short, leisurely, and scenic hike, less than 1 mile from the parking area.
Rutledge Falls is an incredibly serene area to take cool off. This 30-foot waterfall features multiple tiers that collect into a pool of refreshing water. The swimming spot is a short walk from the road and can be accessed for free from dawn until dusk; however, do note that it is a privately owned area, and you are asked to be respectful and leave nothing behind.
Cummins Falls State Park
Without question, Cummins Falls State Park is one of Tennessee's most picturesque swimming holes. The state park features 211 acres of undisturbed land, as well as an awe-inspiring 75-foot waterfall. Expect a short jaunt from the parking lot to the waterfall, emptying into a natural gorge. Splash around in the cold water and sun yourself along the rocks. Do note that the drop into the gorge is pretty steep, so you'll want to exercise caution. Make sure to wear appropriate foot attire for protection and stability.
- Memphis, TN.