8 South Carolina State Parks That Offer Old-Fashioned Swimming Holes

By:Marie McAden

Date:7/7/2014

Did your grandparents ever tell you about the summers they spent cooling off in the ol’ swimming hole? You too can experience the simple pleasures of a refreshing dip in a pond at eight of South Carolina’s state parks.

With these small lakes scattered about the state, it’s easy to work a side trip into your weeklong vacation. Pack a picnic lunch and a Frisbee and you have a full day of family fun. If you’re traveling with an adventurous crew, check out Oconee or Table Rock state parks. Both of their lakes feature diving boards.

At five of the parks, no lifeguards are posted, but the swimming areas — marked off by buoys and ropes — are shallow enough to allow adults to wade in the water.

Eight state parks offering lake swimming include:

1. Aiken State Park The designated swimming area in the 14-acre spring-fed Main Pond is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through mid-October. No lifeguard. Swimming is free with admission to park.

2. Barnwell State Park Swimming area in the 18-acre Lower Lake is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. No lifeguard. Free admission.

3. Cheraw State Park The swimming area in the 360-acre Lake Juniper is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. No lifeguard. Free admission.

4. Lee State Park The artesian spring-fed lake is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. No lifeguard. Free admission.

5. Oconee State Park The swimming area in the 20-acre lake features low and high diving boards. Opens for weekend use on Memorial Day weekend. Starting June 10, swimming hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. After Aug. 17, open weekends only through Labor Day. Lifeguard on duty. Free with park admission.

6. Paris Mountain State Park The swimming area in the 15-acre Lake Placid is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from June 12 through mid-August and then weekends only until Labor Day. Fee is $2 for swimmers 16 and older and $1.50 for children ages 5-12. Lifeguard on duty.

7. Poinsett State Park The swimming area in 10-acre Levis Mill Lake is open from 9 a.m. to an hour before dark Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. No lifeguard. Free admission.

8. Table Rock State Park The swimming area in the 36-acre Pinnacle Lake features low and high diving boards and a sandy beach. Open seasonally upon availability of lifeguards. Fee is $2 for swimmers 12 and older and $1.50 for children ages 4-11. Lifeguard on duty.

Related Content

Mountain Retreat at Paris Mountain State Park
Paris Mountain is an ideal mountain retreat. You’ve got your picturesque lake for swimming and canoeing, trails for hiking and mountain biking, a secluded fishing hole and a 1930s lodge straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Family Fun at Table Rock State Park
This upstate park is all about family fun. Perched at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Table Rock is a cool mountain retreat with all the classic summertime amenities - lakes for fishing and swimming, nature trails, playgrounds and more.
Recreation at Langley Pond
On long, hot weekends, Langley pond is a popular spot to cool off and unwind. It features a bathhouse, playground, covered picnic area, a couple of docks, and just about anything else you could dream of to enjoy a perfect day outdoors.

Featured Products

Aiken State Park
Midlands

Windsor

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Set against the calm, winding South Edisto River, Aiken State Natural Area is a popular destination for the family or a budding naturalist. The beautiful park in rural ...
Barnwell State Park
Midlands

Blackville

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Barnwell State Park is a great fishing spot in South Carolina that not many folks know about. A traditional state park primarily serving the people of Barn ...
Cheraw State Park
Midlands

Cheraw

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Natural beauty and great golf come together at Cheraw State Park. An 18-hole championship course winds its way through the long-leaf pinelands of the tradi ...
Lee State Park
Midlands

Bishopville

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
NEW Online Click Tour Nestled in a floodplain forest along the designated state scenic Lynches River, Lee State Natural Area has been serving South Carolina since it ...

Featured products and attractions in "8 South Carolina State Parks That Offer Old-Fashioned Swimming Holes"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}

You might also like:

Table Rock Resort
Mountains

Pickens

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
Pine Ridge Campground
Mountains

Roebuck

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
Pine Ridge Campground is conveniently located, yet remains quiet and peaceful. Enjoy swimming, fishing, indoor and outdoor games at the campground OR visit nearby histor ...
Parson's Mountain (National Forest)
Midlands

Abbeville

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Camping, hiking, fishing and non-motorizedboating, swimming, bath house, and picnicking shelter. Nearby OHV trail (5 minutes) and Rifle Range (10 minutes), horse tr ...
Mill Creek Marina & Campground
Midlands

Vance

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Located on Lake Marion. Motel units availble. Full service restaurant and bar. General store with bait and tackle. Campground with sewer, water and electricity. Fishing p ...
Lick Fork Lake (Sumter National Forest)
Midlands

Edgefield

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Handicap accessible day use area, picnic shelter and fishing pier. Picnic area has tables, grills, and group shelter. There is also a bath house with flush toilets and sh ...
Harry's Heart of the Lakes
Coast

Pineville

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
0Waterfront cabins and rental units, campground - waterfront, full service restaurant, boat ramps, tackle shop, swimming, 4 fishing piers, Fishing Guide Service. ...