Water Activities
in Shelby County

If you’re wondering how to cool off during the hot Alabama days while having some fun, Shelby County is the perfect spot for you! There are a ton of options to keep yourself and your family entertained and fresh. They’ve got splash pads, boating, and a whole lot more! It doesn’t matter if you’re from there or just visiting, Discover Shelby can help you find the best water activities that Shelby County has to offer.

Water Activities

Shelby County offers a range of splash pads, pools, and lakes to hit the water. Find what you are looking for with Discover Shelby!

Splash Pads

If you’re looking for a fun and safe way for your kids to cool off, head to one of Shelby County’s many splash pads. These water playgrounds are perfect for children of all ages and offer a variety of water features and activities. 

  • The Splashpad at Melrose Park: This splash pad in Chelsea is a fun and exciting destination for the whole family! With a range of water features, including a water tower, dumping buckets, and spray jets, there’s no better way to beat the heat. Plus, the splash pad is a perfect spot for family outings, with plenty of seating, shade structures, and a nearby playground. Season passes are available, or you can pay a daily fee per visit.


For those who prefer to swim in a more controlled environment, check out a pool in the Shelby County area. Here are a few options to check out:

  • Inverness Country Club: This private club features a large outdoor pool, a kiddie pool, and a water slide.
  • Alabaster Recreation Club: This is a membership-only facility and limited to 350 memberships. 
  • Local YMCAs: The YMCA has a few locations across Shelby County — Alabaster, Greystone, and Pelham. The YMCA is membership-based, but members can bring guests. 


Shelby County is home to several beautiful lakes where you can fish, swim, boat, kayak, and more. Most lakes have a public boat launch and public swimming areas.

    • Lay Lake: Lay Lake, which spans 12,000 acres and boasts 289 miles of shoreline, was created in 1914 by the Alabama Power Company and has since gained recognition for its exceptional spotted bass and largemouth bass fishing opportunities. The lake sustains a top-notch fishery for both species. 
    • Lake Purdy: This is a state water reservoir renowned for its pristine water quality, prohibits the use of external boats to maintain the lake’s cleanliness. However, bank fishing is free, and a range of fishing gear, including live and artificial bait and rental boats, is available for purchase. 
  • College Lake: This lake is located on the property of and operated by the University of Montevallo. It is open to the public. It is conveniently located within walking distance from the campus. The lake offers kayak and canoe rentals, a covered pavilion for lunch breaks with picturesque views, and several scenic docks where students and community members can frequently be spotted fishing.
  • Oak Mountain State Park: Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy three well-stocked lakes, two 85-acre and one 60-acre. These lakes are open year-round, and electric trolling motors and canoe fishing are permitted. Private boats may be launched from any lake and the Marina on Terrace Drive offers rental options for Single Kayaks, Canoes, Paddleboards, Tandem Kayaks, and Pedal Boats. Additionally, the park features two sandy beaches on Terrace Drive and Beaver Lake for visitors to relax and unwind.

Rivers and Creeks

So many rivers and creeks flow through Shelby County, Alabama. 

  • Cahaba River: The Cahaba is one of the most popular rivers in the state. It enters Shelby County in the Hoover area and leaves in the Aden area. There are a ton of outdoor activities for everyone – no matter your age or fitness level. It’s crazy how close it is to some of the busiest parts of the state, yet it feels like a complete escape. You can get to it easily using the public access points, roads, and trails. It’s a popular spot for people who love fishing, paddling, swimming, hiking, camping, and checking out the wildlife.
  • Coosa River: This river makes its way into Shelby County around Vincent and follows the county line just south of Shelby as it turns into Lay Lake. There are multiple access point, eateries, and more all along the river. It is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and other water recreation.
  • Buck Creek: This is a 17.3-mile long tributary of the Cahaba River. People love to fish, wade, and canoe on this creek. You can even rent a canoe from Alabama Small Boats in Helena and they’ll take you where you need to go. The Helena Amphitheater park runs along Buck Creek, which is an awesome place for picnics and just hanging out.
  • Waxahatchee Creek: Waxahatchee Creek is such a stunning place to chill by the water and get your splash on! You can fish, boat, canoe, or kayak and have a blast. Plus, there are a bunch of parks and rec areas dotted along the creek where you can munch on some sandwiches, play on the swings, or go for a nice stroll.

Hit The Water In Shelby County

Shelby County has everything from splash pads for the kiddos, to lakes for swimming and fishing, and even some adventurous boating experiences.

Seriously, there’s something for everyone, and it’s the perfect way to beat the summer heat. Why not gather up the crew and go explore some of these awesome water activities? Trust me, you’ll make some unforgettable memories while staying cool and having a blast.

Get ready to explore and discover more in Shelby County! Check out things to do as a family, our midweek traveler guide, and even solo traveler recommendations