Open Water Swimming
Affiliate Supported Open Water Swimming
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.