Best swimming holes in Tennessee
Tourist Attractions

12 Tennessee Swimming Holes You HAVE To Check Out This Summer!

Tennessee is home to some of the most exquisite swimming holes. From turquoise lakeside pools, hidden in majestic forests, to serene rivers tucked away between mountain peaks – opt for one of these top 10 swimming spots and take a dip into nature’s backyard!

Best Swimming Holes in Tennessee

Fall Creek Falls State Park

  • Address: 2009 Village Camp Rd, Spencer, TN 38585, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (6351)
  • Phone: +1 888-867-2757
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Best swimming holes in Tennessee
Best swimming holes in Tennessee

5 Replies to 12 Tennessee Swimming Holes You HAVE To Check Out This Summer!

  1. This park was BEAUTIFUL and well worth the multi-state drive it took to visit. From multiple, breathtaking waterfalls and rock formations to swinging suspension bridges and delicious takeout from their lakeside restaurant, this state park is now among our favorites in the Eastern United States. There were handicap accessible views of both main waterfalls, conveniently located (and clean) bathrooms, well posted and maintained hiking trails, and various picnic areas. There were several other available activities in the area as well, but we didn’t have the time to experience those. (We chose to stay about an hour away in a historic cabin at Cumberland Mountain state park to save money). We can’t wait to return and see the falls here again!

  2. Absolutely beautiful park! Have traveled here twice, May 21 and May 22. There’s a handful of trails of varying length and difficulty- all are worth it!! Lots of waterfalls and rock formations throughout the park. Lots of rocky stairs down to the base of the main waterfall- definitely a workout and should not be attempted in poor health but so worth it! One of my favorite parks of all time.

  3. Drove in to this park with both teenagers for the day and what an AMAZING view! The hike down to the falls is not for the out of shape or injured – I saw a whole lot of people trying to come back up that were a bit worse for wear, if you hike to the bottom it will definitely wear you out on your way back up! Pretty slippery as well. You can simply visit the gift shop and take photos at the overlook if hiking is not your thing. Amazing huge rocks above you and all around you all the way down and can’t beat the swim in the falls on a hot day. Really amazing and beautiful place.

  4. Amazing park and facilities. The overlook to the “main” Fall Creek Falls is easy to get to and makes for a very awe inspiring sight. The trek to the base of the falls is fairly strenuous and can be very rocky so exercise caution. The visitor center is very nice and feels very modern. The general store is larger than expected and has lots of food, snacks and other camping and recreational items. If you are camping (especially with a larger RV) not all the RV sites are angled appropriately for easy entry. No cost for entry or parking, donations are accepted at the main falls via a drop box.

  5. This park is one of the biggest ones we’ve visited. It has biking trails, walking trails, camping sites and so many other things to do. We parked where the Falls can be seen from atop. The view is amazing, though we went end of November so the Waterfall was mostly frozen and not too full. Even so, it was beautiful. We did the trail down to the base of the Falls. The trail is very strenuous and there is a sign that indicates it, and it was not wrong. There are some stairs at the beginning, but towards the end it gets pretty rugged. We went with our 2 boys who are 8 and 10 years old and they loved it. The view from the bottom was definitely worth it. The hike back up is pretty tiring. The good thing is that the trail is not that long as it’s just 0.4 miles each way, so it’s doable in a reasonable amount of time.

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Top 12 Most Popular Swimming Holes in Tennessee

Best swimming holes in Tennessee
Best swimming holes in Tennessee

Rock Island State Park

  • Address: 82 Beach Rd, Rock Island, TN 38581, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (3812)
  • Phone: +1 888-867-2757
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Saturday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Sunday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Jan. 23, 2022 Made a quick stop while driving through. We’ll definitely be coming back to hike the trails, especially when there’s some greenery. The falls were beautiful.

    *Update Feb 25-27, 2002
    Stayed at the cabins. Really nice place. Enough room for 10 couples. Would highly recommend. It had rained for a couple of days so the River had gotten really high. The hiking trails were well maintained.

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Jessica Pulcifer (10 months ago)
    I love this place. I went to the twin falls. It felt amazing to be standing next to the water. It was loud and fast. Fast enough to make you dizzy, so be careful. I wish I could stay there forever. When you go, bring a blanket that can get wet on one side so you can sit next to the water. If I ever make it here again, I am definitely going to bring a blanket. I wish I could just lay next to the water all day listening to the waterfall.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By jessica colter (10 months ago)
    Beautiful state park in Tennessee. 10 waterfalls. Some are strenuous to get to but completely worth it if you are physically able. There is an observation area to see most falls from if you are not able to hike to them. Can swim at the base of the Great Falls or at the beach area.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Melanie Wright (6 months ago)
    This is probably my favorite Tennessee State Park. There is so much to see and do at this beautiful place. The trails are well maintained. The swimming beach and facilities are outstanding. There are several places to fish as well as picnic.

    If you love waterfalls, this park is for you!!!!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Adventure Queen (6 months ago)
    Beautiful Park, we were here during rainy season. It will be much nicer in the spring,summer and the fall Cabins to rent. Camping and camper spaces. Beach and play area. Hiking trails, kayaking, and other activities to do here.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Steven Mangini (10 months ago)

Cummins Falls State Park

  • Address: 390 Cummins Falls Ln, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (3327)
  • Phone: +1 888-867-2757
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Thursday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Friday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Saturday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Beautiful place!
    We did the overlook and the base hike.
    The overlook honestly was not worth it. You could barely see the falls.
    The base hike was great! I’m sure it changes with the seasons, I was in October 2022, the water was no more then knee level throughout the river. I didn’t think the hike was as difficult as others had described, besides crossing the river twice, and watching out for the slippery rocks, it was pretty easy getting across the huge boulders. The waterfalls were very nice and the fall colors were coming out too, overall very nice fun adventurous hike.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By noa kahana (2 months ago)
    This hike is amazing. You NEED water shoes, I was most comfortable in shorts and bikini bottoms as pants will get wet. Need to get a permit beforehand online. I also had a backpack and put my phone and car keys in a ziplock bag and boy did that save my life with the deep water, highly recommend if you don’t have a waterproof case. The water was waist deep in spots when I went since it rained all week, so definitely check the weather and know what to expect as well attire wise. It was pretty strenuous with a dog, but so much fun. I got there at 8am when the park opened so I could get pictures of the falls without people standing all over the falls. It was so peaceful going early. It’s not marked, but when you get down to the river, you turn left and hike upstream. You basically hike until the path runs out then cross the river and hike the path on that side. I crossed 4 times total the whole trip. I ran into 3 other hikers who were really cool and fun so we all walked together halfway to the falls. I can see why they say it’s hard for young children, I suppose if they are carried in a pack or you pick them up for certain boulders they could do it. But it’s tough! I was picking up my 50 pound pit-bull sometimes! It’s definitely worth the pain though 10/10 yes do it if you’re in the area.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Alexis (7 months ago)
    Checking in and getting a permit to enter the water at the falls is worth it. The hike to the gorge itself is beautiful than when you actually reach it you’re blown away. Wear sturdy shoes you don’t mind getting wet, wear or pack a swimsuit. And throw a towel in a backpack. Don’t bring anything you can’t afford to get potentially wet. This is not an average hike. Technical terrain with rocks and small boulders. The water is cold but very refreshing on a hot day! Highly recommended this experience!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Clayton Woodward (7 months ago)
    Absolutely great place for hiking with beautiful views! Great place to spend great time with family and family. Good swimming area right next to waterfall. It is not super hard. My kind 6 and 8 did all the trails by themselves. We enjoyed the time and views.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Alexander Shyshla (6 months ago)
    Very nice park and the staff was helpful and pleasant. The hike to the base of the falls was not as bad as the park service says it is. You will get wet to get to the falls base. A permit is required available online for advanced or on this lovely fall weekday I got one from the visitors center.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Daniel S (3 months ago)

The Sinks

  • Address: Old State Hwy 73 Scenic, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2402)
  • Phone: +1 865-436-1200
  • Website: Link
  • Reviews:
    It’s a nice little parking area to see a small waterfall without needing to hike. The only real con are the crowds it draws because it’s so accessible. If you hike even a few feet on the trail near it the people disappear and it’s much quieter since most are only interested in seeing the main attraction there. The parking lot isn’t very big so getting a spot can be hard and you are not allowed to park along the edge.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Barb Miller (2 months ago)
    Very beautiful ace. Waterfall was awesome and water was cold. Went on the 3.5 mile hike to Meig. OMG. Only made a little over 2 miles there before it started raining. Your first 1.5 miles is straight up. Like 1300 ft gain.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Tony Taylor (6 months ago)
    Beautiful area with some cascading rapids. Fairly large asphalt parking area directly off main road. Make sure to bring your camera and tripod for some amazing photo opportunities.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By LEE GUIDRY (10 months ago)
    A nice and unexpected stop! It’s not naturally occurring, instead caused by a mining blast many years ago. It’s still a fun stop. Many hiking trails nearby that were only a little muddy even with all the rain. Like most places in the park, keep your eyes down looking for roots. Lots of people jumping off the rocks and having a swim.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Caitlin Zatroch (5 months ago)
    Sinks is truly one natural beauty without any intervention of humans. It’s a pretty small waterfall albeit with very rapid streams. If caught in those water currents, chances of survival are pretty slim. There are several trails that starts from here. They range between 3 – 6 miles. However don’t go alone because you may find wild animals lurking inside of thick forest covers.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Kumar Vaibhav (8 months ago)

Ozone Falls State Natural Area

  • Address: 14563 TN-1, Rockwood, TN 37854, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (1818)
  • Phone: +1 931-484-6138
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: Open 24 hours
    Tuesday: Open 24 hours
    Wednesday: Open 24 hours
    Thursday: Open 24 hours
    Friday: Open 24 hours
    Saturday: Open 24 hours
    Sunday: Open 24 hours
  • Reviews:
    This is a place we visit several times a year and never tire if it. I really love going shortly after heavy rains to really watch the glory of the waterfall!

    There are some really neat railroad bridges across the street where there is also additional parking. It’s a neat place for some pics as well.

    The top of the falls are just as pretty as hiking to the bottom. When the water is a little lower you can walk around the top and upstream some. Beautiful colors and scenic places.

    The bottom of the falls can be reached with a short hike down the road from the main parking area. It is a little steep and can be slippery so be careful or have some help. I usually have to help just the younger kids or inexperienced, but it’s well worth the cool water to swim in!

    Pics are courtesy of my beautiful girlfriend on Instagram wander_witch_way.

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By John Michael (6 months ago)
    I can’t even begin to explain how beautiful this place is. My husband and I were in Tennessee for a week for vacation and visiting this place was hands down our favorite experience. We loved exploring and Hiking over rocks. There’s not really a trail so you get to create your own little Adventure which was really awesome to experience!! The waterfall was absolutely gorgeous!!!! Definitely will be coming back! ❤️
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Christina B (a year ago)
    Gorgeous trail with calm streams, lush greenery, & nice waterfall. The hike was moderate & straight forward. It was fairly easy to navigate. There are some rocks to climb as you get closer to the waterfall. I spotted some wild red mushrooms along the way.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Christine Doan (3 months ago)
    Absolutely beauty! There is not visitor center or anything. Park along the road on both sides. From the parking area you can walk a little behind the details-board to see the top of the falls. It is very dangerous with no rails or anything, so please be careful especially if you have kids. To get to the bottom, take the path down that is a little further on the left (after visiting the top of the falls). I wont lie, it is not an easy descend. But it is not super hard either, and it is super-short. Take your time and be careful with the steps and tree branches. But the bottom of the falls is super gorgeous. Stunning swimming hole. You can also shower under the falls.

    Follow on instagram for more tips and hikes.

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Ajimon Thomas (6 months ago)
    Very beautiful, rugged, steep trail in places, but not too long of a hike. It’s absolutely worth the thigh burn coming back out from the bottom of the falls. You can see the entire falls from the top a couple of different ways. The trail to the top of the waterfall is short and simple, unless you have issues with balance because you’re walking across the top of giant slabs of uneven rock surfaces. There’s also a way to walk down along the side of the road for a little ways, to the right of the trail entrance, where there is a small patch of gravel where most the waterfall can be seen from a distance in the fall when leaves a scarce.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By TR Wages (a year ago)

Rutledge Falls

  • Address: 1276 Rutledge Falls Rd, Tullahoma, TN 37388, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (954)

Big Soddy Creek Gulf

  • Address: 11721 Back Valley Rd, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (652)

The Townsend Wye

  • Address: Laurel Creek Rd & Little River Road, Townsend, TN 37882, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (622)

Fort Dickerson Quarry

  • Address: 550 Augusta Ave, Knoxville, TN 37920, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (474)

Elrod Falls

  • Address: Elrod Falls Rd, Thorn Hill, TN 37881, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (375)

Harpeth River State Park

  • Address: 1254 Narrows of the Harpeth Rd, Kingston Springs, TN 37082, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (272)

Blue Hole Falls

  • Address: Elizabethton, TN 37643, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (253)

West Blue Hole

  • Address: Blue Hole Trail, Altamont, TN 37301, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (46)
Best swimming holes in Tennessee
Best swimming holes in Tennessee

That’s it for our list of the best swimming holes in Tennessee! If you have any arguments or additional information, please leave a comment. We love to hear from our readers. And don’t forget to check out some of the other posts on our blog for more travel inspiration. Happy beachcombing!

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