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Take a dip at these bodies of water in and around Louisville

There’s plenty of places to beat the heat in nature around the 502.

A beach with sunbathers surrounds a lake filled with swimmers.

Nolin Lake opened to the public in 1996.

Photo by Kentucky Tourism

Let’s get real, LOU — it’s been hot lately. And while temps have dipped a bit, it’s still going to be in the low-to-mid 90s for the foreseeable future.

Derby City has plenty of options for those looking to cool off and beat the heat, from public pools + splash pads to rental houses for a more private setting. But sometimes nature calls.

We’ve rounded up five local swimming holes, paddle spots, and lakes within driving distance of Louisville.

Close to home

The Parklands of Floyds Fork
What better spot to break out the kayak, canoe, or paddle board than the string of parks situated south of LOU? There are seven paddle put-ins for boaters and floaters, plus a sprayground in Beckley Creek Park for the little ones.

The Quarry in La Grange
This swimming hole is open five days per week — closed Tuesdays + Wednesdays — from Memorial Day to Labor Day for swimming, scuba diving, beach activities, and concerts. Daily tickets start at $29.99, and season passes are also available.

Let’s make it a day trip

A person casts a reel into a large body of water, catching fish.

Taylorsville Lake fishing offers bass, bluegill, and crappie to anglers.

Photo by Kentucky Tourism

Each of these lakes is within a two-hour drive of Louisville — so you might need to pack that picnic basket.

Taylorsville Lake
This Spencer County lake is 18.5-miles long and offers boating, swimming, and fishing. Once you’ve cooled off, you can hike a 24-mile trail system and — if you’re lucky — spot a bald eagle.

Rough River Lake
Don’t let the name fool you — the waters of this 5,000-acre lake in south-central Kentucky are plenty smooth enough for recreational fishing, swimming, and boating.

Nolin Lake
We’re not sure what’s cooler: Taking a swim in this 5,795-acre lake or going underground at nearby Mammoth Cave.

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