I guarantee you haven’t seen billboards or advertisements attempting to lure you in to Falling Rock Park, but chances are you or someone you know has heard of the hangout that’s become one of this year’s hot spots for swimming.
Falling Rock Park, better know as the Quarry, was opened to the public last year by owner Joe Clark. The swimming hole is filled with rainwater that has accumulated over the last 14 years and was once an area open solely for scuba diving.
Despite the lack of advertising, huge crowds have come week after week to swim, tan and experience what seems like college spring break during the summer. Daily attendance has already topped last year’s record of 600, with at least 1,200 people counted on one Sunday.
All summer, I’ve been hearing friends rave about the Quarry, but I hadn’t had time to visit the swimming hole. Last weekend, I finally took a trip to La Grange to experience what every college student seems to be talking about lately.
On Sunday, I drove to the Quarry and actually visited not once but twice in one day. It wasn’t intentional, but due to a lack of cash in my wallet, I had to turn around to the nearest gas station and withdraw $8 from the ATM.
The second time at the Quarry went a lot smoother than before, but it could’ve been worse had I not known to bring a flotation device or a photo ID. Turns out, you can only get into the Quarry if you have a float or a swim noodle, and you won’t be allowed in without proof that you’re 18 or older. Also, don’t forget cash. The Quarry doesn’t accept plastic or checks.
Once I handed over the cash and signed a waiver at the entrance, all I had to do was find the best spot to park. I recommend arriving early because at 3 p.m. the parking area was packed.
I finally found a spot right above the gravel path to the water. As I stepped out of the car, I saw exactly why all of my friends had fallen in love with this place. The Quarry was filled with college students, and a few older folks, floating in the water or hanging out by their cars, enjoying each other’s company with a beer in hand and music blasting from the stereo.
I immediately headed down to the water, which felt just right at about 65 degrees. I floated around on a swim noodle while hanging out with a friend and taking in the warm sun that felt great as the weather had finally started to cool down.
The water was surprisingly clear, too, and unlike some bodies of water (the Ohio River), you can see about 20 feet below your feet. I’m not going to lie, the transparent view is a little intimidating when an occasional catfish or blue gill swims close to the surface, but in general, the fish tend to stay away from swimmers.
Supposedly there’s also a police car, heavy machinery and boats beneath the surface, but it takes a scuba diving trip to actually see those sunken treasures.
Since I’m no expert at diving, I chose to stay above water at the Quarry. However, one of my friends jumped off the high dive a few times, where dozens of guys kept trying to show off back flips and twists. I thought about trying it out myself, but I wasn’t willing to jump from what looked like a 50-foot drop.
After my friend tried a few flips, and I had laid out in the sun for a few hours, I decided to head home. Though it was 30 minutes away from where I live, it was well worth the drive. With the amazing view of the cliffs, and everyone hanging out, swimming and enjoying what’s left of the summer, I’d say the Quarry definitely deserves the reputation it has earned.
2465 Fendley Mill Road
La Grange, KY 40031
Monday-Friday, 1-8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Things to bring
- $8 in cash for swimming
- $15 in cash for scuba diving (certified divers only)
- A flotation device (float or noodle suggested)
- Photo ID (18 and older only)
Camping allowed for an extra fee ($22) on Saturday nights.
Bands will begin playing on Sunday starting Aug. 21.
Visit www.fallingrockpark.com or call 502.939.5049
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).