Are you ready to take a refreshing dip in some of the best swimming holes Illinois has to offer? Look no further! Illinois boasts a variety of natural swimming spots that are perfect for beating the summer heat. Whether you’re searching for a peaceful oasis surrounded by nature or a fun destination for the whole family, we’ve got you covered. In this listicle, we’ll explore the top swimming holes across the state that cater to all your aquatic needs.

For this compilation, we delved into the realm of Illinois’s hidden gems and popular hotspots to curate a definitive list of the best swimming holes in the state. By scouring through reviews, analyzing the locations, and considering amenities and natural beauty, we’ve crafted a ranking system to highlight each swimming hole’s unique attributes. Our rigorous process ensures that only the top contenders make it onto our exclusive list, providing you with a curated selection of prime spots for your next aquatic adventure. Dive into our list to discover the ultimate swimming hole destinations Illinois has to offer!

Top Best Swimming Holes In Illinois

  1. Beach Parking at Wolf Creek State Park, IL
  2. Dutchman Lake Dam
  3. Ferne Clyffe State Park
  4. Bell Smith Springs Scenic Area
  5. Devil’s Kitchen Boat Dock
  6. Starved Rock State Park
  7. Kinkaid Lake Spillway
  8. Jackson Falls
  9. Bullfrog Lake
  10. ⛰️Matthiessen Lake Waterfall

Beach Parking at Wolf Creek State Park, IL

Beach Parking at Wolf Creek State Park in Findlay, Illinois is a hidden gem for anyone looking to enjoy a day at the swimming lake. With a stellar rating of 4.9 and glowing reviews from 13 satisfied visitors, this spot is sure to impress. Located at Findlay, IL 62534, United States, this destination offers a serene setting for a day of outdoor fun.

The main service category here is swimming lake access, making it the perfect spot for water lovers. The proximity to Wolf Creek State Park also provides ample opportunities for exploring nature and enjoying picnics by the water. The USP of this location is the peaceful atmosphere and well-maintained facilities, ensuring a hassle-free experience for visitors.

In terms of price range, Beach Parking at Wolf Creek State Park offers affordable options for families and individuals looking for a budget-friendly day out. For those seeking a relaxing day in nature, this spot should definitely be on their radar. Visitors can expect clean facilities, ample parking, and a picturesque setting that will make their day truly memorable. From swimming in the lake to lounging on the beach, there is something for everyone at this top-rated destination.

Beach Parking at Wolf Creek State Park, IL

Contact Details

Address: Findlay, IL 62534, United States


Dutchman Lake Dam

Dutchman Lake Dam in Ozark, Illinois is a hidden gem when it comes to swimming holes. With a stellar rating of 4.9 and glowing reviews from happy visitors, this spot is a must-visit for anyone looking to cool off during the summer. The dam offers a picturesque setting, perfect for a relaxing day by the water.

The main service provided by Dutchman Lake Dam is access to the swimming lake, making it a great option for families and friends looking to enjoy a day out in the sun. The price range for entry is reasonable, making it accessible to all. One of the unique selling points of this location is its tranquil atmosphere and clear waters, perfect for swimming and relaxing.

Visitors to Dutchman Lake Dam should consider this spot for its beautiful surroundings, excellent amenities, and overall enjoyable experience. Whether you’re looking to swim, sunbathe, or simply unwind in nature, Dutchman Lake Dam has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem in Illinois!

Dutchman Lake Dam

Contact Details

Address: Ozark, IL 62972


Ferne Clyffe State Park

Ferne Clyffe State Park in Goreville, Illinois is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With a stunning rating of 4.8 out of 5 and glowing reviews from 1679 visitors, this 2,430-acre park offers a unique experience for those looking to explore the beauty of Illinois.

One of the standout features of Ferne Clyffe State Park is its picturesque swimming holes, perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Nestled amidst striking rock formations, these natural pools provide a refreshing escape for visitors of all ages. The park also boasts a waterfall, fishing opportunities, and picturesque hiking trails, making it a versatile destination for outdoor recreation.

Visitors to Ferne Clyffe State Park can enjoy these amenities at an affordable price, making it a budget-friendly option for families and solo travelers alike. The park’s unique selling points include its scenic beauty, diverse range of activities, and peaceful atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination in Illinois.

If you’re looking for a memorable outdoor adventure in Illinois, consider adding Ferne Clyffe State Park to your list. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure enthusiast, or simply looking to unwind in a tranquil setting, this state park has something for everyone. Explore the swimming holes, hike the trails, and soak in the natural beauty of Ferne Clyffe State Park for an unforgettable experience in the heart of Illinois.

Ferne Clyffe State Park

Contact Details

Phone: +16189952411
Address: 90 Goreville Rd, Goreville, IL 62939
Website: https://dnr.illinois.gov/parks/park.ferneclyffe.html

Opening Hours

Day Open – Close
Sunday Open 24 hours
Monday Open 24 hours
Tuesday Open 24 hours
Wednesday Open 24 hours
Thursday Open 24 hours
Friday Open 24 hours
Saturday Open 24 hours

Bell Smith Springs Scenic Area

Bell Smith Springs Scenic Area in Ozark, Illinois is a hidden gem for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Rated 4.8 stars by 638 reviewers, this scenic area offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located on Bell Smith Springs Rd, this park is renowned for its pristine swimming holes and crystal-clear waters, making it a perfect spot for a refreshing dip on a hot summer day.

Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the area while taking a leisurely swim or simply relaxing by the water’s edge. The park is categorized under the service category of a park, making it an affordable and accessible destination for families and individuals alike.

Bell Smith Springs Scenic Area stands out for its picturesque surroundings, abundant wildlife, and scenic hiking trails. With its affordable pricing and variety of services, including swimming and picnicking, this park offers a unique and memorable experience for all ages.

For a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure in Illinois, consider visiting Bell Smith Springs Scenic Area for a day of fun in the sun and water.

Bell Smith Springs Scenic Area

Contact Details

Address: Bell Smith Springs Rd, Ozark, IL 62972
Website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/shawnee/recarea/?recid\u003d13020


Devil’s Kitchen Boat Dock

Devil’s Kitchen Boat Dock in Makanda, IL is a hidden gem rated 4.8 stars with 35 reviews. This charming swimming lake offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The tranquil waters are perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot summer day. The Devil’s Kitchen Boat Dock is known for its clean and well-maintained facilities, making it a top choice for families and individuals looking to enjoy a day by the water.

The Devil’s Kitchen Boat Dock provides a range of services, primarily focused on swimming and relaxation. Visitors can take a dip in the cool waters, soak up the sun on the sandy shore, or even rent a boat to explore the lake. The prices are reasonable, catering to budget-conscious visitors seeking an affordable day out.

What sets Devil’s Kitchen Boat Dock apart is its pristine natural surroundings and peaceful ambiance. The tranquil setting makes it an ideal spot for unwinding and connecting with nature. Families, couples, and solo travelers can all find something to enjoy at this picturesque swimming hole. Consider Devil’s Kitchen Boat Dock for your next outing if you crave a peaceful escape surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Devil's Kitchen Boat Dock

Contact Details

Address: Makanda, IL 62958


Starved Rock State Park

Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, Illinois is a hidden gem for those looking to cool off in the summer heat. With its picturesque canyons, lush trails, and tranquil waters, it offers a unique swimming experience for all ages. The park’s natural beauty is enhanced by its historic significance, adding a touch of charm to every visit.

Visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the park’s designated swimming holes, surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Illinois Valley. The park also offers hiking, fishing, and boating opportunities, making it a versatile destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Additionally, guests can choose to stay overnight in the park’s lodge or cabins for a complete nature immersion experience.

Starved Rock State Park caters to a wide range of interests, whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation. Its affordability makes it an accessible option for families and solo travelers alike. With its top-notch facilities, beautiful surroundings, and diverse activities, this state park truly stands out as a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the best swimming holes in Illinois.

Starved Rock State Park

Contact Details

Phone: +18156674726
Address: Oglesby, IL 61348, United States
Website: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Pages/StarvedRock.aspx


Kinkaid Lake Spillway

Kinkaid Lake Spillway in Gorham, Illinois is a hidden gem nestled within Shawnee National Forest, offering a picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts. This stunning location boasts a rating of 4.7 stars from 507 reviews, showcasing its popularity among visitors. The area is well-known for its tranquil waters, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing swim during the warmer months. The services provided include access to a pristine state park, hiking trails, and a tourist attraction all rolled into one.

Visitors to Kinkaid Lake Spillway can enjoy a range of activities, from leisurely walks along the scenic trails to taking a refreshing dip in the cool waters of the spillway. The prices are budget-friendly, making it an affordable option for families and solo travelers alike. One of the unique selling points of this destination is its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

For a serene and rejuvenating experience in nature, Kinkaid Lake Spillway is a must-visit destination in Illinois. With its pristine surroundings and diverse recreational opportunities, it is a fantastic choice for anyone seeking a memorable outdoor adventure.

Kinkaid Lake Spillway

Contact Details

Phone: +18006996637
Address: Shawnee National Forest, 432 N Spillway Rd, Gorham, IL 62940, United States
Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/shawnee/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid\u003d28020\u0026actid\u003d51#:~:text\u003dKinkaid%20Lake%20is%20one%20of,horseback%20riding,%20biking%20and%20hiking.


Jackson Falls

Jackson Falls in Simpson, Illinois, is a hidden gem for nature lovers seeking a tranquil swimming experience. This picturesque hiking area offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With a rating of 4.6 and glowing reviews from 407 visitors, Jackson Falls is a must-visit for anyone looking to cool off in the natural beauty of Illinois.

Situated on Glen St Falls Rd, this serene spot provides a perfect setting for a refreshing dip in the water. The price range is budget-friendly, making it accessible to all visitors. The main service category offered at Jackson Falls is a natural swimming hole, allowing guests to enjoy a day of fun in the sun surrounded by stunning scenery.

What sets Jackson Falls apart is its secluded location and pristine waters, making it a peaceful oasis for swimmers of all ages. Visitors can relax on the rocky banks or take a dip in the cool waters, making it an ideal spot for a summer outing with family and friends. For a memorable day out in nature, consider adding Jackson Falls to your list of must-visit swimming holes in Illinois.

Jackson Falls

Contact Details

Address: Glen St Falls Rd, Simpson, IL 62985, United States
Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/shawnee/recarea/?recid\u003d32359

Opening Hours

Day Open – Close
Sunday 6 AM–10 PM
Monday 6 AM–10 PM
Tuesday 6 AM–10 PM
Wednesday 6 AM–10 PM
Thursday 6 AM–10 PM
Friday 6 AM–10 PM
Saturday 6 AM–10 PM

Bullfrog Lake

Bullfrog Lake in Willow Springs, Illinois is a hidden gem for nature lovers and adventure seekers. This picturesque spot offers a unique experience for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With a rating of 4.6 out of 5 and 218 positive reviews, it is evident that Bullfrog Lake is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

As a nature preserve and tourist attraction, Bullfrog Lake provides visitors with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of the great outdoors. From hiking trails to birdwatching, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained. The serene lake is perfect for swimming and picnicking, making it an ideal spot for a family day out.

While the price range is not specified, Bullfrog Lake’s unique selling point lies in its tranquil setting and diverse range of services. The peaceful atmosphere, coupled with the chance to connect with nature, sets it apart from other swimming holes in Illinois. Visitors should consider Bullfrog Lake for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience in the heart of nature.

Bullfrog Lake

Contact Details

Phone: +18008703666
Address: 9600 Wolf Rd, Willow Springs, IL 60480, United States
Website: http://fpdcc.com/


⛰️Matthiessen Lake Waterfall

Located in Oglesby, Illinois, Matthiessen Lake Waterfall is a hidden gem that offers a serene and picturesque swimming experience. With a rating of 4.6 and rave reviews from 71 visitors, this natural wonder is a must-visit for those seeking a tranquil escape. The waterfall is surrounded by stunning rock formations and lush greenery, providing a perfect backdrop for a refreshing swim.

Matthiessen Lake Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction, known for its crystal-clear waters and peaceful ambiance. Visitors can enjoy swimming in the cool, pristine waters while taking in the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The waterfall is a great spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to unwind and relax in a natural setting.

Although Matthiessen Lake Waterfall does not offer any specific services or amenities, its serene atmosphere and stunning beauty are its unique selling points. The tranquil surroundings and clear waters make it an ideal spot for a peaceful swim or a leisurely day of relaxation in nature. Visitors should consider Matthiessen Lake Waterfall for a serene and refreshing swimming experience in the heart of Illinois.

⛰️Matthiessen Lake Waterfall

Contact Details

Address: Oglesby, IL 61348, United States


Explore the Best Swimming Holes in Illinois

When it comes to finding the perfect swimming hole in Illinois, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience. Here’s a guide to help you choose the best swimming hole for your next adventure.

Location and Accessibility

Begin your search by considering the location and accessibility of the swimming hole. Look for spots that are not too far from populated areas or major highways for easier access. Consider factors like parking availability and any entrance fees that may apply.

Water Quality and Safety

Check the water quality of the swimming hole before taking a dip. Look for clear, clean water with minimal pollution and algae growth. Ensure that there are safety measures in place, such as lifeguards on duty or warning signs for any potential hazards.

Scenic Beauty and Amenities

Choose a swimming hole that offers more than just a place to swim. Look for spots with picturesque surroundings, like scenic views, lush greenery, or rocky cliffs. Amenities such as picnic areas, restrooms, and changing facilities can also enhance your experience.

Popular Swimming Holes in Illinois

Some popular swimming holes in Illinois include Matthiessen State Park in Utica, with its stunning canyons and waterfalls, and Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, known for its tranquil rivers and streams. Nearby neighborhoods like LaSalle and Ottawa offer additional attractions and dining options.

Hiring a Local Guide

If you’re unfamiliar with the area or unsure of where to find the best swimming holes, consider hiring a local guide. A knowledgeable guide can lead you to hidden gems and ensure you make the most of your visit.

Regulations and Etiquette

Before heading to a swimming hole, familiarize yourself with any regulations or rules that may apply. Respect the environment by avoiding littering, following posted guidelines, and being considerate of other visitors.

Conclusion

Choosing the best swimming hole in Illinois involves considering factors like location, water quality, amenities, and safety. By researching potential spots, hiring a guide if needed, and following regulations, you can enjoy a memorable and refreshing swim in the natural beauty of Illinois. Explore nearby areas like Utica, Oglesby, LaSalle, and Ottawa to make the most of your adventure.

Final Remarks

After exploring the best swimming holes in Illinois, it’s clear that this state is a hidden gem for water enthusiasts. From the tranquil waters of Matthiessen State Park to the picturesque beauty of Starved Rock State Park, Illinois offers a variety of natural swimming spots for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re in Chicago, Naperville, or the surrounding areas, these swimming holes provide a refreshing escape from the summer heat. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit these incredible destinations and make unforgettable memories. Have you visited any of these swimming holes? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *