View Full Version : Swimming in Lake Michigan

June 14th, 2002, 04:52 PM

I'm going to be traveling to Chicago next week and I was wondering if anyone has information about swimming in Lake Michigan. I've never been to Chicago but know that I'll be staying downtown near the Navy Pier. Do people swim there? Is it safe? If so, does anyone know what the water temperature is? I won't be taking a wetsuit! :-)


Philip Arcuni
June 14th, 2002, 05:59 PM
I'm pretty sure people swim around the navy pier, but I am not sure. I know they swim both north (say around Lincoln Park) and south of there. I swam often off of a park around 52nd street, in the community called Hyde Park, in the first half of the 80's.

As I recall there were some beaches with life guards. I preferred to swim off of the rocks.

The temperature in June will be cold (but not nearly as cold as Lake Tahoe, where some loony masters will be swimming next month). Honestly, my swims in June were very short and only on the hottest days. In August/September the water is actually pleasant. However, things are always best when the wind is blowing from the east, bringing warm surface water to the shore.

June 14th, 2002, 06:31 PM
Thanks, I appreciate the info. Don't worry about Trans Tahoe it will be fun!

P.S. So you've swum in all the lakes too? (in joke)

Philip Arcuni
June 14th, 2002, 07:07 PM
Not Tahoe, yet. I hope it is not my last :(

and you want to send that issue to Bill? :rolleyes: I thing you should disqualify any that does not have Tim's piece in it.

Guppigirl, when I find out who you are I'll think of something embarrassing for you. (who won't be there next week . . . ?)

June 15th, 2002, 08:59 PM
The lake is cold, usually about 60, I 'd say.

The Evanston Wildcatfish masters team practices once a week in the lake, and I suspect other masters teams might do so as well.

There are certain parts of the lake that can get sewer runoff so some attention to location would be good. The one year I did a lake swim race all the beaches were closed because of excess coliform.

The park along the lake is a great place to walk/run/bike/skate if you can't set swimming up.

June 15th, 2002, 11:08 PM
Brrrr! 60 degrees? That is pretty cold and I don't think it will be too hot in Chicago this week. We'll see if I actually end up getting in. I'll check if others are in the water and take it from there. Worse comes to worse, I'll have to swim in the hotel pool.

Which is worse? 60 degrees or 85 degrees? Ick.

Thanks for the advice. I'm leaving tomorrow.



P.S. To Phil: See you on Friday (if I'm not too jet-lagged)

June 18th, 2002, 11:09 AM
The Evanston Masters do not start training in the lake until the July 4th weekend. The water remains in the low 60's until then. Wet suits are fine right now. You are not allowed to swim around Navy Pier. At the north foot of Navy Pier is a nice'n free public beach, Ohio Street beach, you can swim the main triathlon/long distance swim course there all summer in view of the many skyscrapers. You can stand almost the whole way out and the water is clean to boot! Out to the LSD curve and back is a mile, do it a couple of times. Parking is the only difficult thing. During the summer, there will always be swimmers on the course with you.

If you have a car and want to get in some training at a new 50 meter outdoor pool, the Evanston team swims about 30 minutes north of the pier MWF at 5:30 am TTR 9:00pm and Sat 7:15am. Sunday mornings downtown at 9:30 starting in July.

June 20th, 2002, 10:44 PM
Well, I didn't end up swimming in the lake. The reported water temperature at the lifeguard tower was 57 degrees. A bit too nippy for me! Oh well, maybe next time if it's later in the summer.