Open Water Swimming
PTC Open Water Swimming
PTC OPEN WATER SWIMS HAVE BEGUN FOR 2016.
They are wholly dependent upon the weather and water conditions! Do not swim alone and remember, water conditions can change rapidly.
The Pittsburgh Triathlon Club holds open water swims Friday evenings starting in the late spring and continuing to early fall. The Pittsburgh Triathlon Club holds open water swims Friday evenings starting in the late spring and continuing to early fall. Our open-water swim practices are a member-only benefit. Our arrangement with USAT insurance for club-sponsored events does not permit non-member guests. For information about membership, click here.
We meet Fridays at 6:30 p.m. at the Three Rivers Rowing Association dock on Washington’s Landing/Herr’s Island. 300 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 http://g.co/maps/8m7px
You must watch for announcements about the swim each week. Rain the day before or the day of may cancel. Strong currents will cancel.
IF THE PTC SWIM IS CANCELED NO SWIMMERS MAY ENTER THE WATER FROM THE TRRA DOCK.
ALL SWIMMERS MUST WEAR A BRIGHTLY COLORED SWIM CAP. ALL SWIMMERS MUST SIGN TWO WAIVERS BEFORE WE SWIM. One for the TRRA and one for the PTC.
We are guests at the Three Rivers Rowing Association dock. We cannot use the TRRA facilities. Come dressed to swim. The TRRA dock is private and may not be used for swimming at any other times. Please help us maintain our good relationship with the TRRA by respecting these rules.
We swim an out-and-back course, always starting against the current. For your safety please do not swim beyond the 40th street bridge. You choose your distance/pace, anywhere from 100 yards to 4000 yards (two loops to the bridge). Swimmers of all skill levels are welcome.
If you have questions about the club OWS contact us at OWS@pittsburghtriathlonclub.com.
Affiliate Supported Open Water Swimming
Get Fit Families hosts well-supported open water swims through the summer out of Porter's Cove in Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park, on Mondays 5:00 to 7:00 PM and Sunday mornings at 8:00 AM. Visit the website for OWS schedule, prices, or to pre-register.
PTC Sponsor No Boundaries Fitness hosts monthly organized OWSs at Keystone State Park during the summer (May through August), generally on the second Sunday of the month at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. (one hour each) $15 per session, pre-register at , click on "Classes", and navigate to your desired OWS date to register (login required).
Open Water Swim Locations
The following locations have designated open-water swimming areas. Information is compiled from posted website information as well as PTC member reports. Locations may or may not have lifeguards on duty, so swimming is at your own risk. Please be safe and swim with a partner whenever possible.
Moraine State Park
Swimming is permitted at two beaches along the shore of Lake Arthur. The beaches are open daily from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day unless otherwise posted. The regular hours are sunrise to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Showers, changing facilities and snack bars are available at both beaches.
The Pleasant Valley Beach on the South Shore is a 1,200-foot turf and sand beach and has a paved path into the water. A sand volleyball court and playground are on the west side of the beach. Lakeview Beach on the North Shore is a 550-foot sand beach.
"Go early on the weekends to avoid the crowds. Anytime before 10:20 am or so you should have not issue with regular swimmers. The South Shore beach swim area is just short of 120 yards while the North Shore is 100 yards. Later in July and in August the South Shore Beach water can become "green" due to algae growth. The North Shore does not have this issue as it is open and not isolated in a 'bay' area." (William Kircher)
Keystone State Park
A sand beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. A food concession is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day when the beach is open and offers hot and cold food and a variety of sundry items.
"I jumped in the lake for some OWS practice at the designated swim area. Out by the rope, the water was mostly too deep to stand. It felt authentic enough. Each length is ~150m, so 5 laps gives you an Oly-distance workout. The beach area has free, clean showers, too." (Keith Cumpston)
Raccoon Creek State Park
The 500-foot, ADA accessible, sand/turf beach is open from late May to mid-September, 8:00 AM to sunset. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. Swim at your own risk. A bathhouse and a concession stand are nearby.
The beach is located about a mile from the route 30 entrance and 1-2 miles from the route 18 entrance; follow the signs that say "beach". There is a swim lane at the outer edge of their beach area; swim lane depth is about 5-6 feet with a squishy bottom, but you can duck under the lap lane to shallower water in the main swim area. Swim lane distance is estimated by PTC members as approximately 140 yards per length.
Photo of Raccoon Creek Park swim area courtesy of Heidi Monterrubio.
Pittsburgh's Three Rivers
PTC member and Open Water Swimming Guru Sara Quesen has compiled an excellent resource for swimming in and around Pittsburgh's waterways. Visit her site here.