Lake Murray Public Park: The Perfect Swimming Spot This Summer in Lexington, SC

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Are you planning a trip to Lake Murray Public Park in Lexington, SC? If you are looking for a family-friendly place to take a swim this summer, Lake Murray might be just the place. At Lake Murray Public Park you’ll find both a beach area and lake swimming access that’s the perfect place to play, then jump in and cool off. We recently visited Lake Murray Public Park and have all the details you need to know from a mom’s perspective.  

Lake Murray Park beach

Accessing Lake Murray Park

There are two sides to Lake Murray Park: the Lexington Side and Irmo Side. The Irmo side is open all year and includes a boat ramp, picnic areas, and fishing dock, but no swimming. This side is great for kayaks and paddling.

The Lexington side is open from April to September and is where you will want to go for all things swimming-related! Keep reading to learn more about the Lexington/swimming area of the lake! 

Swim and Dig at the Lake

Whether your family is made up of babies and tots or even if you’ve got teens, your children will love it at Lake Murray Public Park! The beach is the perfect size for kids to dig and run around on and for families to spread out their beach towels or even set up an umbrella for extra shade.

The swimming area of the lake is roped off, but very spacious. You may even see some boats driving past, however they are pretty far off from the swimming area and don’t cause too much of a wake.  

Playing at Lake Murray Park

Parking at Lake Murray Park

There are two large parking areas, one of which costs $5/car CASH ONLY! If you’re like us, and never have cash on hand, there are a few gas stations within a five-minute drive from the park that have ATM’s or will give cash back for small purchases. The main parking lot will get you close to the swimming and beach area.

Just past the main parking area, you will find the second, FREE parking option. Although it’s free, beware that you will have a further and trickier walk to the water. 

Picnic at the Lake

At Lake Murray Public Park, you will find countless amounts of picnic tables, both covered and uncovered. Several of them also have public grills nearby. Keep in mind that these are all first-come, first-serve, however, I don’t foresee there being an issue with places to sit down for snacks or lunch breaks. 

Picnic at Lake Murray Park

Swim at Your Own Risk: No Life Guards at Lake Murray

There are no on-duty lifeguards at Lake Murray Public Park. Because of this, lifejackets may be a good idea even if your children are a bit older. While there are no lifeguards, there are on-site security personnel, a security station, and an emergency phone. 

Packing for the Lake 

The entrance into the lake itself is a bit rocky and rough on little feet. I highly suggest bringing water shoes for everyone, but especially your littles! This is one thing I kept saying over and over again that we needed for next time.

If your kiddos are part fish another great idea would be to bring their goggles! I know, it might sound funny for a lake, but the water was surprisingly super clear. It would be fun for your kiddos to dive down and see what treasures they can find. 

Blow up the floaties and inner-tubes and load them with you, too! While the swimming area doesn’t get super deep, floats are always fun to lounge around on or, really to flip each other over! As mentioned previously, lifejackets may also be necessary! 

Don’t forget the toys! My kids really enjoyed digging with their shovels and making sandcastles near the water. Several families also brought water guns, beach balls, and floating toys. 

Here’s your Lake Murray Park Packing List:

  • hats
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • towels
  • water bottles
  • snacks
  • beach blanket and maybe folding chairs
  • grilling utensils if you plan on using that feature
  • water shoes
  • goggles
  • floats and water toys
  • life jacket   

More Things To Do at the Lake 

From the parking lots, you can also walk the Lake Murray Dam. This will be covered by your $5 parking fee (remember…CASH ONLY!). The walk is 1.7 miles one way and gives you beautiful views of both the lake and city skyline. Pro tip: do this in the evening so you can watch the sunset and so it’s a bit cooler! 

Things to do at Saluda Shoals in Columbia, SC

It’s very unlikely that your kiddos won’t be worn out from the lake, but if you’re still looking for more fun, Saluda Shoals is less than a 10 min drive and offers several playgrounds, hiking trails, and a splash pad.  

Off To The Lake

Lake Murray
1832-1834 N Lake Drive 
Lexington, SC 29072

Open April – September
Weekdays: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Weekends: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm 

Lake Murray Public Park FAQ

Can you swim at Lake Murray?

Yes, swimming is allowed in the public swimming area of Lake Muarry Public Park.

How much does it cost to park at Lake Murray Public Park?

Parking is $5 at Lake Murray Public Park, cash only.

Are there restrooms at Lake Murray Public Park?

Yes, there are public restrooms on-site at Lake Murray.

When is Lake Murray Public Park open?

April through September, Lake Murray Public Park is open from 11 am to 8 pm (opening at 10 am on weekends).

Things to do Columbia, SC

Need more things to do in Columbia?

Here’s our huge guide with over 50 Things to do in Columbia, SC.

Kayla Simmons
About the Author
Kayla grew up right outside of Charleston, SC and is a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina. She has lived in Columbia for a combination of 5 years. Kayla has a background working with special needs children, but now enjoys nothing more than being a stay-at-home mom of two. She enjoys keeping her kids busy by finding unique play spaces and events, involving them in hands-on activities and watching them learn about the world through play. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercise and spending quality time with her family and friends.

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