The Best Swimming Spots In Louisiana: Lakes, Rivers, And More

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: May 20, 2023
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Louisiana has a surface area of 52,069.13 square miles. Approximately 8,283 square miles is water. Knowing this, it’s not surprising that Louisiana has some great swimming spots. There are many swimming holes, pools, beaches, lakes, rivers, and water parks to enjoy. Louisiana summers are hot and humid. What better way to cool down and beat the heat, than to take a cool swim? Follow along to learn more about the best swimming spots in Louisiana.

Swimming Holes

Swimming holes are a wonderful way to swim in a natural place. Technically, a “swimming hole” is a general term for a swimming spot in a lake, river, or pond. For instance, natural springs are considered swimming holes. In Louisiana, there are multiple swimming holes. One of the most popular swimming holes in the state is the Kisatchie Bayou in Natchitoches Parish. This swimming hole is within the Kisatchie National Forest. The water is very clear and cold.

Another great swimming hole is the Kincaid Lake in Kincaid Lake Recreation Area. This 2,600-acre reservoir is perfect for swimming. Other than swimming, you can also water ski, fish, kayak, and boat in the lake. Anytime you enter a body of water in Louisiana, it’s important to do so with caution. Although this lake is generally safe, snakes and other wildlife are present.

Friends having fun enjoying a summer day swimming and jumping at the lake.

Louisiana has many swimming holes, perfect for beating the heat during summer.

©Zoran Zeremski/


Not all lakes are safe. Although there are lakes you can safely swim in Louisiana, you should always be on the lookout. Alligators, snakes, and leeches are common. In Louisiana alone, there are at least 2 million alligators. They are more found in swamps, marshes, bayous, canals, rivers, and lakes. They are very common in southern portions of the state.

Still, some popular swimming lakes in the state include Caney Lake, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Claiborne. Many of these lakes are within state parks. The state has many lakes, but most are best suited for kayaking, fishing, and boating. Always check for signs before entering a lake in Louisiana.

Calcasieu Lake Louisiana

There are some great swimming lakes in Louisiana, but more are best suited for boating, kayaking, and fishing.

© Hemmis


Rivers are soothing. Who doesn’t love slowly moving down a river and enjoying the scenery? One of the most popular rivers for swimming is the Bogue Chitto River. While you can swim in this river, it’s best known for tubing. Bogue Chitto River is within the Bogue Chitto State Park. Not only can you tube and swim here, but you can also kayak and canoe. The state park also has 11 fully stocked fishing lakes and countless walking trails.


Although many of the lakes, rivers, and ponds aren’t swimming-friendly, there are many white sandy beaches to enjoy. The beaches are on the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana also has about 7,721 miles of coastline. Louisiana beaches are charming and have their beauty. Some of the state’s best beaches include Holly Beach, Rutherford Beach, Grand Isle Beach, Shell Beach, and Cypremort Point Beach.

Beaches in Louisiana aren’t crystal clear, but they are perfect for relaxing. Holly Beach is a free public beach. The water is warm and offers great fishing opportunities. Cypremort Point Beach is within the Cypremort Point State Park. The beach portion is about half a mile long. On the beach you can swim, kayak, canoe, and sail.

The deserted beach at Rutherford Beach, Cameron Parish, Louisiana, on the Gulf of Mexico, with blue sky and gentle surf.

Some great swimming beaches include Holly Beach, Rutherford Beach, Grand Isle, Shell Beach, and Cypremort Point Beach.

©Judy M Darby/

Water Parks

Some of the best swimming spots in Louisiana are man-made, like water parks! One of the best water parks in the state is Splash Kingdom Waterpark. This water park is located in Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s packed with family fun and has water park rides, a wave pool, and a lagoon. Within this water park, you can beat the heat and plan birthday parties, private events, and group events. Season passes also exist, which is wonderful for Shreveport residents.

Another water park in Louisiana is the SPAR Water Park in Calcasieu Parish. The water park is part of the Sulphur Parks and Recreation Center. SPAR Water Park though, is only open during the warm summer season. It typically reopens in May. This water park is great for residents in the Sulphur area and has many thrilling attractions. Some of the most popular ones include the Super Bowl Tube Slide, Constrictor Tube, Splash & Play Island, and Green Monster Tube. Apart from thrilling attractions, there is also a relaxing lazy river called Larry’s Lazy River. The lazy river is about 42 inches deep. Another swimming spot in the water park is the Lagoon Pool.

Mom and son have fun at the water park.

Water parks in Louisiana are great places to cool down during hot summers.

©Elizaveta Galitckaia/

Summary Of The Best Swimming Spots In Louisiana

RankBest Swimming SpotLocation
Swimming Hole
1Kisatchie BayouNatchitoches Parish
2Kincaid LakeKincaid Lake Recreation Area
1Caney LakeChatham
2Lake PontchartrainNew Orleans
3Lake ClaiborneHomer
1Bogue Chitto RiverBogue Chitto State Park
1Holly BeachCameron
2Rutherford BeachCreole
3Grand Isle BeachJefferson Parish, Grand Isle
4Shell BeachShell Beach, St. Bernard County
5Cypremort Point BeachCypremort State Park, Vermilion Bay
Water Park
1Splash Kingdom WaterparkShreveport
2SPAR Water ParkCalcasieu Parish

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Real Window Creative/

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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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