The 5 Best Mississippi Lakes for Swimming

Lake in Central Mississippi

Written by Kyler Matthews

Updated: June 13, 2023

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Mississippi is a beautiful state known for its lush landscapes and historical heritage. It is also home to some of the best lakes for swimming in. From large bodies of water offering plenty of space to smaller lakes perfect for a peaceful swim, Mississippi has something special for everyone who loves to take a dip in crystal-clear waters. Here are the five best Mississippi lakes for swimming, perfect for any adventure!


Below is a list of links to official websites and information for these lakes:

Clear Springs Lake

One of the best Mississippi lakes for swimming is the beautiful, crystal-clear, and spring-fed Clear Springs Lake. It is the perfect place to escape for a swim (or even a weekend). Whether you are wanting to escape the crazy and chaotic city life or just your mundane week, it’ll be perfect! Clear Springs Lake is a tranquil and awe-inspiring destination for swimming. And it’s a great choice for anyone looking to relax and rejuvenate in the cool water.

The lake itself is surrounded by lush greenery giving it an earthy feel. And the crystal-clear water of the lake makes it ideal for swimming in it. However, it also makes for a great spot for other family (or group) members who may want to go fishing, hiking, or even boating. Clear Springs Lake is also a great place to just hang out on the shoreline beach or have a picnic. There are several trails around Clear Springs Lake, making it the perfect place for backpacking or hiking around.

Clear Springs Lake is also home to an abundance of wildlife, including (but not limited to) beautiful birds and butterflies. And in fact, bird watching is especially popular, as many different species of birds call Clear Springs Lake their resident home! Observing the wildlife here makes it feel even more magical as you play and swim in nature and the outdoors.

A Quick View of Clear Springs Lake

  • It’s the perfect spot to spend a day with friends and family.
  • The lake is a peaceful place to get away from it all.
  • The lake and park consist of two main loops (an upper and a lower), along with a primitive section.
  • Power and water hookups are available. However, there is a fee per night to be hooked up to them.
  • The park is far from the main highways. This provides space that is peaceful and quiet — free of all that traffic noise.
  • There are two lavatories (one on each loop) with warm showers for a truly luxurious experience.

This is an incredibly beautiful park — a must-try destination!

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) in flight.

Swallow-tailed Kites are one of the many birds you may see at Clear Springs Lake.


Lake Tiak-O’Khata

Lake Tiak-O’Khata is a slightly different type of lake in Mississippi. That’s because Lake Tiak-O’Khata is a resort lake that is owned by a family who lives in Louisville, Mississippi. Being a family-owned business, the lake offers different sorts of experiences for its visitors as well as an array of amenities. This makes it an ideal destination for both family vacations and business meetings.

With clear water and a beautiful surrounding landscape, everyone and anyone can find outdoor activities that they can enjoy here. And it is a fantastic place for taking in the breathtaking views (you know — before that first round of business meetings or family outings). Whatever your situation, Lake Tiak-O’Khata has something fun for everyone!

If you’re looking to stay longer than just a day and love animal encounters and nature experiences, don’t worry; Lake Tiak-O’Khata can deliver. The lake resort has fantastic campsite opportunities for a great outdoor experience. Spending a night in the great outdoors at Lake Tiak-O’Khata is one you won’t regret. Just be sure to come prepared with everything from a tent to bug spray. You don’t want your nature experience to be ruined by mosquitos!

  • IMPORTANT: Camping can be an incredible way to get up close and personal with the animals around you. Just remember that no matter where you are, keep your distance from the wildlife and be sure to follow all park rules.

For those wanting a more laid-back experience, Lake Tiak-O’Khata also offers cabins for rent as well as other activities such as hiking trails and bike paths. The fresh air of Lake Tiak-O’Khata and the beautiful outdoors bring visitors closer to nature while simultaneously being a fun and happy place to swim. There are even water slides and white sandy beaches to enjoy!

A Quick View of Lake Tiak-O’Khata

  • A full-service restaurant with six private rooms.
  • Two conference centers and a motel.
  • Waterfront cabins and kitchenette suites.
  • An RV park.
  • Clear water for swimming and a beautiful natural landscape
  • Campsites.
Golf ball on the green.

Lake Tiak-O’Khata is an amazing family-owned lake resort that has great opportunities for swimming, tennis, volleyball, basketball, and even golf.

©Branko Jovanovic/

Bay Springs Lake

Watched over and cared for by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Old Bridge Beach is a little-known place in Mississippi. Old Bridge Beach is a great place to visit (especially for sunbathers or for building sandcastles). The lake at Old Bridge Beach — Bay Springs Lake — made our list of the five best Mississippi lakes for swimming in large part because you can swim and enjoy this nice clean, sandy beach.

Old Bridge Beach is located on Bay Springs Lake, which has crystal clear water that is perfect for swimming. There are many facilities made ready and available, including a fun playground, a fishing pier, real restrooms, covered shelters, picnic tables (including grills), outdoor showers, and even a volleyball court. There is a small fee required for entry, but this is an excellent spot for swimming with friends or family for the whole day!

A Quick View of Bay Springs Lake

  • Bay Springs Lake has some of Mississippi’s clearest water.
  • The lake has a great stretch of soft, well-cared-for, pristine sand that is perfect for sunbathing and building sand castles.
  • Present on site are a playground, fishing pier, restrooms, picnic tables, grills, outdoor shower spaces, and a volleyball court.
  • The lake and surrounding area are maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and it requires a small fee for entrance admission.

Bay Springs Lake is just a perfect place to spend an entire day swimming and in the outdoors, enjoying the sun in the sand, and your toes in the water.

Hands reach over a net to hit a volleyball

Bay Springs Lake is a great place for swimming, and the beach even has a volleyball court.


Lake Lincoln

Lake Lincoln has a rich topography that features both horizontally flat areas as well as steep vertical slopes. Being tucked up under the shade of tall trees, Lake Lincoln is the epitome of the peace and calm that can be found in nature. It is a fantastic place to go swimming in Mississippi, but it is also a historical site as well. Lake Lincoln is the childhood homeland of the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. 

Lake Lincoln is located in Lake Lincoln State Park. The park is open year-round. However, the best time to visit the lake for swimming is during the spring and summer months. This is when temperatures are better for swimming and the wildlife becomes most active and can be seen by tourists.

Swimmers have a designated beach for swimming and sunbathing, located in an area with clear and clean water. From the 1.5-acre sandy beach, sunbathers can enjoy a nice nap while the swimmers can enjoy the lake’s deeper waters. The lake is also free of fishing lines and waves from the wakes of boaters.

Lincoln State Park is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. Swimmers and nature lovers alike will enjoy the beauty of Mississippi’s Lake Lincoln. The lake has a swimming beach, picnic areas, nature trails, a child playground, a volleyball court, and a disc-golf course. There are even non-denominational Sunday worship services that take place during the summer months. So, whether you come just to stay for an afternoon or for a full week, you’re sure to have a memorable experience. And when it comes to staying overnight, there are plenty of different options for you to choose from, like 71 RV campsites, a cabin, and three cottages.

A Quick View of Lake Lincoln State Park

  • The lake has a swimming beach, picnic areas, nature trails, a playground, a volleyball court, and a disc golf course. You can also go camping, hiking, and picnicking.
  • There are non-denominational Sunday worship services during the summer months.
  • Lincoln State Park is home to many different species of native wildlife. Some of which include white-tail deer, wild turkeys, foxes, beavers, and coyotes (just to name a few).
  • Visitors may spot a variety of birds living around the lake, making it a great place for birdwatching. You might see the endangered cerulean warbler, eastern bluebirds, and great egrets.
  • The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and summer months. This is when temperatures are better for swimming in and the wildlife is more active.

KEEP IN MIND: Visitors should remember to check in with the park’s rules and regulations before visiting, and also to see where some areas may be closed off (due to seasonal conditions).

cerulean warbler

Lake Lincoln is an excellent spot for both swimming and bird-watching. You can even see the endangered cerulean warbler!


Roosevelt Lake

One of the best Mississippi lakes for swimming is located between the cities of Meridian and Jackson. Roosevelt Lake is a part of Roosevelt Lake State Park and is a great place for everyone to enjoy the outdoors and fun recreation. Swimming in Roosevelt Lake might just be what the doctor ordered!

This lake is deep, clear, and absolutely gorgeous. Summertime is the best time for swimming in Lake Roosevelt because it’s warmer and the natural wildlife is out to play as well. And there are plenty of coves and inlets to explore while swimming in the lake.

But whether or not you are swimming, don’t forget to take the time to admire the magnificent creatures in their natural habitat in and around Roosevelt Lake. The lake also has a scenic overlook where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Bienville National Forest.

Autumns and winters are fun at Roosevelt Lake too. During the winter months, you can count on hot meals cooked over big campfires. The gently sloping landscape here is especially beautiful during autumn months when the forest is bright with all the many beautiful and lush fall colors.

A Quick View of Lake Roosevelt State Park

  • Roosevelt Lake is a great place to go for fishing, camping, nature photography, and of course, taking a dip in the fresh water!
  • The lake has a scenic overlook where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Bienville National Forest.
  • There are plenty of coves and inlets to explore while you’re out on the lake
  • Make sure to bring your camera because the surrounding area is full of amazing and wonderful wildlife.
  • During the winter months you can you can enjoy rustic cabins and screened-in porches.
  • The Lake Roosevelt landscape is especially beautiful during the autumn months because that is when the forest is bright and filled with many beautiful fall colors.
Friends having fun enjoying a summer day swimming and jumping at the lake.

Roosevelt Lake is a great place for swimming, fishing, camping, and viewing wildlife.

©Zoran Zeremski/

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About the Author

My education is in psychology and social anthropology, and I love watching nature documentaries. I have an overall passion for learning about wildlife wherever I can — both human and animal cultures alike.

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