Best Swimming Spots in Minnesota – The Quarries in Waite Park

Today is one of those annoying, frigid cold Minnesota days that make me miss Summer more than anything.  As I was looking through pictures on my computer, I came across several pictures of a trip my friends and I took last July (and have taken several times since attaining our driver’s license) to the Quarry Park in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

The Quarry Park and Nature Preserve (The Quarries) is a collection of various granite rock swimming pools in Stearns County, Minnesota. The main swimming hole that I have pictured here has a depth up to 112 feet.  It is definitely a very fun place to visit in the summer, to go and float around in the cool water and jump off the various cliffs surrounding the pool, the highest jumping point being about 30 feet high.

While various news stations have done reports on the “dangers” of the quarries, they are perfectly safe if utilized correctly.  Safe jumping spots are fairly obvious, as one can see rocks below the surface of the water.  There isn’t much for space for spreading out a towel to lay around as there would be on a beach, floatable chairs or blow up mattresses are a necessity to enjoy the sunshine while in the water.

Location Information: 

Quarry Park and Nature Preserve

1802 County Road 137

Waite Park, MN 56387

(About a 40-minute drive from the Twin Cities.)

Parking for one car is about $7 and that also grants entrance to the park.  There are various winding paths to take to arrive at the swimming hole from the parking lot.  Coolers are allowed, snacks, drinks, sunscreen and towels along with floaties and decent shoes (it’s a bit of a hike over a lot of unstable rocks) are all a must for a successful trip to the quarries.

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