The Best Swimming Holes in Ohio

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: November 16, 2022
© Kenneth Keifer/
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Although swimming pools are fantastic, they cannot compare to the splendor of an outdoor lake or swimming hole. People in Ohio count down the days until it’s warm enough for a refreshing swim as the temperatures increase. However, there are occasions when the neighborhood pool simply won’t do, and Ohioans find themselves searching for something a little more energizing. 

Perhaps a place with a magnificent view. Thankfully, there are some stunning locations not far from Columbus. There are plenty of beautiful bodies of water to play around in, including lakes, streams, and cascades.

Centennial Quarry

The Centennial Quarry might simply be one of the greatest treasures among the residents of Ohio. This quarry is fairly unique compared to the others and offers some additional benefits to people who discover it, such as a beach where visitors may relax and bask in the sun. 

These alternatives are uncommon in quarry lakes because many lakes lack either beach or water access. However, those who are genuinely daring will find that this quarry provides much more. It also includes a diving station, log roll, water games, and even swim rafts, which will please water sports enthusiasts. 

With a basketball court and a volleyball court available, there is no lack of activities on land. In a way, Centennial Quarry serves as a one-stop destination for all of your summertime pleasures.

Mineral Springs Lake

In 2019, Mineral Spring Lake was ranked among the top ten water bodies in Ohio for cleanliness. The lake has a marina with 22 slips, an average depth of 30 feet, and 33 private boat docks. The lake is packed with a wide range of fish and is also the habitat of an uncommon, non-stinging freshwater jellyfish. 

On Mineral Springs Lake, there is a resort with a huge waterslide! Grab a companion and descend three stories of tunnels, eventually landing with a satisfying splash in the lake. The resort also offers unique water inflatables that will make it a trip to remember! 

There is a maximum depth of 30 feet at the water remains refreshingly cool throughout the summer, without making you cold! The swimming area opens after Memorial Day for the public to enjoy. 

Lake Logan

Lake Logan in Ohio
Public swimming is available at Lake Logan on Lake Logan Road.

©Theresa J. Dyer/

Lake Logan State Park is home to a lot of outdoor adventures, and swimming is one of them! It’s hidden away in the gently sloping foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southeast Hocking Valley and has excellent hiking, fishing, and hunting options in addition to a 400-acre lake for boating.

On Lake Logan Road, which runs along the north coast of the lake, there is a 527-foot public swimming beach (CR 3). Only during the daytime hours are designated sites for swimming open. When swimming at the beach, kindly use caution.

The 400-acre lake can accommodate boats with up to 10-horsepower motors. There is a 10 mph restriction in place. Lake Logan is a popular place for sailing and paddling. On the lake’s southeast shore, just off Lake Logan Road, the park provides a boat ramp. A second, smaller ramp is situated along Lake Logan Road about 1.5 miles to the northeast.

Ludlow Creek

Ludlow Creek Falls in Ohio
Ideal for a day’s vacation is Ludlow Creek Falls in Miami County, Ohio.

©Kenneth Keifer/

Ludlow Creek Falls, a scenic landmark in Miami County, is the ideal place to spend a day’s vacation. This is a great option for anyone looking for a more authentic and rustic swimming hole experience. 

Ohio’s Ludlow Falls are located not far from the city’s park. While Route 48 crosses a brook under the cascade, the waterfall is hidden from view by the bridge. The falls typically run from a small, steady stream; yet, following a good rainfall, the cascades are incredibly wide and rapid! 

The creek’s other sections are also swimmable. Wading up close to the falls is a very unique and memorable activity. Bring water shoes as the cliffs and shoreline can get a bit slippery! 

Dow Lake

Dow Lake in Ohio
Strouds Run State Park is where you’ll find Dow Lake.


Strouds Run State Park, which spans 2,767 acres, has Dow Lake. About two miles to the east of Athens in Canaan Township, Athens County, is where this public space is located. 

The lake’s regular pool area is 171 acres and its 6.4-mile shoreline. The deepest point is 33 feet. Access to shore fishing is available along U.S. Highway 50, close to the dam. 

Stroud’s Run State Park’s acreage was acquired by the state for forest conservation objectives between 1948 and 1953. Dow Lake was created by a dam that was finished in 1960. The geography consists of wooded areas, wide-open pastures, and steep hills.

Dundee Falls

Dundee Falls in Ohio
The Beach City Wildlife Area in Ohio is home to Dundee Falls.


Highlighting the 1,912-acre Beach City Wildlife Area is Dundee Falls. The steady creek flows into the South Fork of Sugar Creek, the cascade is situated in a lovely woodland and drops into a rocky valley. You can anticipate water flow here for a decent amount of time throughout the year because the waterfall is rather steady for Ohio. 

It has a height of 15 feet and a crest of 10 feet. Adventurous swimmers can find their way behind the waterfall for a truly mesmerizing experience. This is a great option for someone looking for a decent hike as well. 

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Ludlow Creek Falls in Ohio
Ludlow Creek Falls in Ohio.
© Kenneth Keifer/

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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