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.
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.
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.
2022 Open Water Clinics & Swims
- WaveOne Open Water Camp for Swimmers and Triathletes
- Date: May 7, May 14, June 2, July 24
2022 Weekly Sunset & Sunrise Swims
Sunset Swims every Thursday, 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 250-500 meter marked course, followed by a happy hour or brunch gathering at a local National Harbor restaurant/bar.
- First Sunset Swim
- Date: May 26
- Location: National Harbor North Pier
- First Sunrise Swim
- Date: May 29
- Location: National Harbor North Pier
- Weekly Swim Details & Cost:
- These swims are for practice and training and are NOT clinics or learn to swim classes. For clinics, visit WaveOne clinics.
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.
WaveOne - Washington's Crossing
Luray Triathlon OWS
- Event: OWS Practice
- Date: May 15, July 24
- 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, 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)
Fort Richie OWS Practices
- Event: Racine Multisports OWS Practices
- Date: May 8 & 22, June 12 & 17, July 23
- 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: September 24th
- 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: Check website below
- Location: Sylvan Shores Comunity Beach
- Address: 266 Ridge Rd. Riva MD 21140
- Distances: Check website below
- 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!
At this time swimming is not allowed outside of permitted swim events.
- 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. Park website»
- 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»