The 7 Best Lakes to Visit Near Cincinnati

Cincinnati is packed with awesome places to dine out, plenty of things to do, and neat breweries to check out, but it also has an impressive variety of places to get your nature fix.

In particular, the Queen City is conveniently located near some awesome lakes that offer fishing, boating, and other fun water-based activities.

In this post we share the best 7 lakes worth visiting within a 2-hour drive of Downtown Cincinnati.

Map of Lakes

The map below shows the location of every lake mentioned in this post:

Miami Whitewater Forest Lake

Located just 30 minutes northwest of Downtown Cincinnati, Miami Whitewater forest lake in Harrison offers plenty of spots for fishing and also offers boat rentals for a variety of different size boats.

This spot also has several great areas near the lake where you can enjoy a picnic, which makes it the perfect family-friendly spot during summer.

Driving distance from Downtown Cincinnati: 30 minutes

East Fork Lake

Located just 40 minutes east of Downtown Cincinnati, East Fork Lake is a state park that covers over 4,800 acres. The lake in the center of the park is the perfect spot for boating and swimming.

It also has a few different beaches where you can enjoy some sand and water without traveling to the coast.

Check out this map of the park to familiarize yourself with the area and the attractions before you visit.

Driving distance from Downtown Cincinnati: 40 minutes

Williamstown Lake

Located in northern Kentucky, Williamstown Lake is a 333-acre lake that offers paddle boarding, kayaking, and swimming opportunities.

There are also several spots around the lake that offer some good fishing opportunities and the lake is known for being well stocked with a variety of bass.

Driving distance from Downtown Cincinnati: 45 minutes

Caesar Creek Lake

Located just under an hour north of Downtown Cincinnati, Caesar Creek Lake is one of the best lakes not just in Southwest Ohio, but in the whole state.

The lake offers plenty of places to fish, kayak, and boat, and is the perfect spot to take the whole family out for a day on the lake.

Check out the video below for some drone footage of the lake:

Driving distance from Downtown Cincinnati: 55 minutes

Brookville Lake

Located about an hour northwest of Downtown Cincinnati, Brookville Lake is a massive 5,000+ acre lake that offers some of the best boating that you can find anywhere around the Cincinnati area.

The lake has a large beach area as well that is open to the public, which makes it a popular spot during the warmer months.

Driving distance from Downtown Cincinnati: 55 minutes

Acton Lake

Located an hour northwest of Cincinnati, Acton Lake is a 625-acre lake that boasts plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing and swimming.

Check out this map to gain a better idea of where the best fishing spots are around the lake.

Driving distance from Downtown Cincinnati: 1 hour

Falling Rock Park

Last but certainly not least, Falling Rock Park in LaGrange, Kentucky is one of the best outdoor swimming spots in the whole state.

The lake is only accessible to adults (18+ years old) and offers some of the clearest water that you can swim in anywhere.

Check out the video below for a quick overview of the lake:

Driving distance from Downtown Cincinnati: 1 hour 30 minutes

Looking for more fun outdoor activities around Cincinnati? Check out these posts:

The 12 Best Hiking Spots in Cincinnati
The 6 Best Places for Kayaking & Canoeing in Cincinnati
The 17 Best Running Trails in Cincinnati
A List of the Best Bike Trails in Cincinnati

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