We are all always searching for more chances to get in some open water swims!  Please check back at this page throughout the season to see OWS options around the region.  Check out the Partners Page for discounts on swims.

Organized Open Water Swim Events

These are organized swim events put on around the DMV area. They are supported events with lifeguards and courses marked with buoys and in-water support. Please see the below section for general open water swim opportunities.

Reminder: there are costs associated with these events and you must sign up ahead of time or be prepared to register and pay on site the day of the event. We have partnerships with some of these events so check the Partner Page for potential discount codes for signing up.

WaveOne Open Water

The closest option to Washington DC for open water swimming (OWS) is with WaveOne!

Located in Washington DC, WaveOne Open Water offers the most current and creative swimming programs in the country. Based on the exhilaration and freedom of open water swimming, they bring their experience and energy to anybody and everybody willing to jump in the water. They share their experience of daily training, pool racing, open water competition, marathon swimming, triathlon, and paddleboarding, in ways that awaken your swimming soul.

WaveOne hosts a number of open water clinic clinics, weekly sunset/sunrise swims, and relaxed swim races that are just as good for racing as they are for training.

2018 Open Water Clinics & Swims

  • PeasantMan Weekend - Lessons, Clinics, and Racing
    • Date: May 4-6
    • Location: Lake Anna State Park
  • WaveOne Open Water Camp for Swimmers and Triathletes
    • Date: May 10-13
    • Location: Wrightsville Beach, NC

2018 Weekly Sunset & Sunrise Swims

Sunset Swims every Wednesday, Sunrise Swims every Sunday at National Harbor from May until September. All swims are at least one hour, weather permitting. Start time varies as the season sunsets change. Swims include 250-400 meter marked course, followed by a happy hour or brunch gathering at a local National Harbor restaurant/bar.

  • First Sunset Swim
  • First Sunrise Swim
  • Weekly Swim Details & Cost:
    • These swims are for practice and training and are NOT clinics or learn to swim classes. You should be comfortable swimming at least 500 meters nonstop in the pool. Look for us on the commercial pier (look for the water taxis) in front of the Pier House Restaurant. Check in begins 20 minutes before the swim. See home page for this week's start times.
    • Approximate start times are 1:20 prior to sunset. See website home page calendar for updates and start times. Arrive early to check in and be numbered. Purchased passes will not be refunded or transferred. Online price is $25 and closes at 3pm Wednesday for the Sunset Swim or 8pm Saturday for the Sunrise Swim. Onsite waterside registration is available for $30.

2018 WaveOne Races (or fun timed training events)

WaveOne Open Water is a club partner and offers club member discounts to register for their events. Please visit our Partner Page to find the discount code.

For more details about these events and to register for them, please visit the WaveOne Open Water website.

DC Triathlon Club

Washington DC

WaveOne - Washington's Crossing

WaveOne - HarborFest

WaveOne - Swim for the Potomac

DC Triathlon Club

Virginia

Luray Triathlon OWS & Transition Clinic

  • Event: Swim Fest
  • Date: June 16, 2018
  • Location: Arrowhead Lake, Luray VA
  • Address: 725 Lake Arrowhead Rd, Luray, VA 22835
  • Distances: 750m / 1500m / 2250
  • Details: Geared toward triathletes of all levels, the Official Luray Triathlon Open Water Swim and Transition Clinic, located at the race venue, is designed to help you prepare for the Luray International and Sprint Triathlons as well as giving you practice time in open water.
  • Website: Luray Triathlon Webpage

Reston Masters' Jim McDonnell Lake Swims (JMLS)

  • Event: Jim McDonnell Lake Swims & OW Clinic
  • Date: May 27 and 28, 2018
  • Location: Lake Audubon Reston VA
  • Address: 2070 Twin Branches Rd, Reston, VA 20190
  • Distances: 1 and 2 mile races
  • Details: The Reston Masters’ Jim McDonnell Lake Swims (JMLS) and Open Water Clinic is a two-day event held each year over Memorial Day weekend in Lake Audubon in Reston, VA.
    • Saturday, May 27: Open Water briefing plus Practice Swim (1-Mile Practice swim on race course)
    • Sunday, May 28: Race Day - (1 mile and 2 mile options)
  • Website: Reston Masters Swim Team
DC Triathlon Club

Maryland

Fort Richie OWS Practices

  • Event: Racine Multisports OWS Practices
  • Date: TBD
  • Location: Lake Royer, Cascade MD
  • Address: 14421 Lake Royer Dr. Cascade MD 21719
  • Distances: 750m
  • Details: Racine MultiSports organizes Practice Swims at Fort Ritchie in Lake Royer, Cascade, MD.  Open water swimming is strictly prohibited in Lake Royer unless organized by Racine MultiSports.
  • Website: Racine Multisport Practice Swims

DCAC Maryland Swim For Life

  • Event: DCAC Maryland Swim for Life
  • Date: June 23, 2018
  • Location: Rolphs Wharf, Chestertown MD
  • Address: 1008 Rolphs Wharf Rd. Chestertown MD 21620
  • Distances: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 miles. And the 2.4 mile Triathlon Challenge!
  • Details: Swim for Life is an open water swim competition and fundraising event to benefit Washington, DC-area HIV/AIDS non-profit organizations, as well as local watershed organizations that advocate for clean, local waters. The District of Columbia Aquatics Club (DCAC) will host the 27th Annual Maryland Swim for Life.
  • Website: DCAC Swim For Life

Crossing Currents Aquatics Swims

  • Event: Crossing Currents Group Training Swims
  • Date: TBD
  • Location: Sylvan Shores Comunity Beach
  • Address: 266 Ridge Rd. Riva MD 21140 
  • Distances: TBD
  • Details: Crossing Currents Aquatics organizes group training swims in the South River.  The South River is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay in Anne Arundel County and it offers pleasant conditions to enjoy swimming without lane lines! Swims are on Sundays from 9:30-11am.
  • Website: Crossing Currents Aquatics OW Training

General Open Water Swim Opportunities

These are general open water swimming opportunities that are available outside of an organized event. See above for organized open water swim events. Please check with the park/venue offices ahead of time to confirm whether the area is open for free swimming.

Reminder: swim at your own risk! Lifeguards may not be on duty at all times! Please swim with a buddy and/or have a friend remain on shore to watch while you swim!

DC Triathlon Club

Washington DC

Swimming is not allowed in the Potomac River outside of permitted swim events. And would you really want to swim in the Anacostia River? Really?

We also do not suggest swimming in any of the District's reservoirs. That's not looked too kindly on!

DC Triathlon Club

Virginia

  • Lake Anna State Park, VA - About 90 minutes south of Washington DC. The lake tends to be warmer than any other lake in the area because of the nearby nuclear reactor (don't fear, the water is not radioactive!!). Park website»
DC Triathlon Club

Maryland

  • Gunpowder Falls State Park, Hammerman Area, MD - Open water swimming and long distance swim training are permitted between the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Swimmers are required to sign a distance swimming agreement with a lifeguard before entering the water and must only swim between beaches 1 and 5. Park website»
  • Sandy Point State Park, MD - Located on the western shore near Annapolis at the base of the Bay Bridge. Park website»

Know of other OWS options in the region?  Please email training@dctriclub.org and we will get them added to the list!