The Best Swimming Holes In Wisconsin

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: December 7, 2022
© Aaron J Hill/
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Wisconsin has many creeks, rivers, and lakes, so there are numerous places to cool off and flush away a bit of the heat of the summer. This summer, pack your sunscreen and splash in one of the best swimming holes in America’s Dairyland. These Wisconsin swimming holes are ideal for soaking in the sights and sounds of a more natural environment while cooling down on a hot summer afternoon.

Dells of the Eau Claire Park

The Marathon County park system, right off County Road Y in the Town of Plover, is a must-see. Fantastic geological features that the Eau Claire River has sculpted surround the Dells of Eau Claire Park. At the dells and gorge, historic volcanic rock palisades and craters appear in the stone by the rushing water. 

St. Croix River during sunset with colorful sky at Interstate State Park in St. Croix Falls Wisconsin. this is one of the best swimming holes in Wisconsin
St. Croix River during sunset with colorful sky at Interstate State Park in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.

©Aaron J Hill/

A river divides This 190-acre park, and an upstream dam from the falls created a swimming beach. This park has 27 campsites and is close to the Ice Age Trail. It also has swimming beaches, breathtaking cascades, and rapids directly on the shores of the Eau Claire River. 

Summer lovers will love the stunning rock formations. Who can refuse to cool down in one of the several swimming holes or climb amid the water-worn boulders?

Soo Lake 

If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway, consider checking out Soo Lake. Experience a 601-acre lake that is a fisherman’s paradise, with species like musky, northern pike, walleye, large and smallmouth bass, and common panfish. The tranquillity of paddling on this lake makes for an incredible photo opportunity.

For those tiny treasure hunters who enjoy shopping, the local neighboring towns provide various shopping options. The lake’s depth is just six feet, and the water is incredibly clear! 

Minooka Park 

With a total area of 579 acres, Minooka Park is the biggest park in the Waukesha County Park System. Minooka Park includes pathways that take you further away from the city and into nature, offering a delightfully peaceful ambiance. 

The swimming beach and pond are the most well-liked summer attractions. Take a walk along one of the many miles of forested paths, or spend the day at the beach. You might be able to see some of the numerous springtime ephemeral or other songbirds, including flycatchers or scarlet tanagers. 

Observe the beautiful autumn hues as stands of flaming deciduous hardwoods explode into their autumnal reds, yellows, and oranges. The water is open year-round from sunrise until 10 PM. 

Turtle Creek

Photograph during golden hour of a historic five arch bridge across the Turtle Creek in southern Wisconsin. This is one of the best swimming holes in Wisconsin.
Historic five-arch bridge across Turtle Creek in southern Wisconsin.

©Gerald A. DeBoer/

A beautiful treasure in southern Wisconsin is Turtle Creek. There are many things to appreciate about this lovely stream, which is well-liked by the locals yet, for some reason, largely unknown to tourists. 

It’s only 44 miles long, a third of which we advise avoiding entirely, and it’s frequently on the shorter side. The Beloit segment is particularly short, although it still travels through various settings, each offering a unique travel experience. 

First, despite being termed a creek, it looks more like a river. It is between 50 and 100 feet broad at Delavan, even in upstream areas. It emerges from Turtle Lake, which is located south of Whitewater and not far from the extremely picturesque Ice Age Trail sections in the Kettle Moraine South.

Amnicon Falls

Along the Amnicon River, Amnicon Falls State Park is home to several waterfalls and rapids. You can see these beautiful cascades from a protected footbridge or two miles of riverside pathways. The park offers opportunities for camping, hiking, picnicking and learning about the Douglas Fault, the geological feature that gave rise to the falls.

Although wading and swimming are allowed, caution is advised. River conditions change daily, along with water levels and flows. Rocks might be slick. Never let kids swim alone or unaccompanied. No defined beaches and no lifeguards are present in Amnicon Falls State Park. 

No jumping or diving. The act of diving into the river from rocky cliffs is perilous and forbidden. River levels fluctuate, causing fluctuations in current and unknown water depths. In the gloomy water, there are also rocks that tumble from the gorge walls.

Redgranite Quarry

In this small community, the Redgranite Quarry is still the main draw. The cleaning of the quarry grounds is maintained each year thanks to the collaboration of several volunteer efforts and local inhabitants. 

The beauty of the quarry is enjoyed by many locals and tourists. The Redgranite Quarry is preferred for clear-water diving, according to diving clubs. At the quarry, there aren’t any lifeguards on duty. 

Fishing is also gaining popularity at the quarry, where various species are currently stocked and prepared for thrilling sporting activity.

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St. Croix River during sunset with colorful sky at Interstate State Park in St. Croix Falls Wisconsin.
St. Croix River during sunset with colorful sky at Interstate State Park in St. Croix Falls Wisconsin.
© Aaron J Hill/

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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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