Get Out & Play: Outdoor swimming areas

Carol EvansUncategorized

The summertime heat and humidity of Knoxville make the perfect recipe for swimming! When you want to branch out beyond the splash pads and swimming pools, there are some old-fashioned outdoor water holes nearby that make for a picturesque and refreshing summer outing.

Whether you live downtown, in SoKno, or out west, you don’t have to go far to find a nice spot to cool down. Here are a few great places to check out:

Fort Dickerson Quarry

Fort Dickerson is a beautiful swimming destination with steep quarry walls and deep, blue waters that make you feel like you’re in the middle of the wilderness. Located just across the Henley Bridge from downtown, it’s super convenient for a quick dip after work, between classes or on a weekend afternoon. The city of Knoxville just developed a new parking area at the end of a 0.4-mile gravel road off of Augusta Avenue, providing more direct access to the quarry. Over the next few years, other improvements will include restrooms, a dock, a concession stand and lockers for kayaks and canoes!

Mead’s Quarry

Mead’s is a local favorite because of the beautiful rock walls and designated swimming area close to Ijams Nature Center within Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. The roped-off section of water helps paddlers steer clear of swimmers, and the large parking lot, restroom facilities, and seasonal concessions make it an easy spot for the whole family to enjoy some time in nature. There’s even a new Yee-Haw beer trailer whose proceeds go to Ijams! And if you want to take a break from the water, there’s a 1.3-mile pedestrian trail that loops around the quarry, climbing Pink Marble trail to Tharp Trace trail which lead to an overlook and back.

The Cove at Concord Park

One of Knox County’s most popular parks, this lakeside oasis has a swimming beach complete with a sandy shore. Spending time on the lake is one of Knoxville’s favorite pastimes, and you’ll be right in the middle of it with scenic views of Fort Loudoun Lake and friendly waves from passing boaters. The park has plenty of other options including trails and a playground, along with restrooms and a picnic area, making this a great place to spend the whole day outside.

Get Out & Play at one of these swimming spots, and find more information about our parks, trails and waterways at!

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