Checking out the local lakes and diving in for a refreshing swim is a great way to keep cool during the summer months. However, if you are planning a day at the lake, make sure you plan ahead and know the best ways to stay safe in the water. It’s also a good idea to find out which lakes to swim in, and which are better to stay out of.
Is It Safe to Swim in Lakes?
As long as you choose a good swimming lake, and follow some standard safety rules, you should be able to swim safely this summer. Check out the safety tips below before planning your trip to the lake.
Look for Safety Concerns
Before getting in the water, survey the area for any potentially dangerous spots and be aware of the depth of the water. Check for wildlife, fish, and fishermen or other swimmers, and avoid getting too close to them. You’ll also want to keep a good distance from boats and other watercraft that may not see you.
Wear a Lifejacket
Even the strongest swimmers should wear a life jacket at all times in case of unexpected events such as an injury. Make sure you wear a life jacket that fits properly and is secured tightly.
Never Swim Alone
The number one safety rule when swimming in pools is just as relevant when swimming in lakes: Never swim alone! Most lakes don’t have lifeguards, so bring a friend.
Don’t Drink the Water
Even the cleanest lakes are full of things you don’t want to ingest; some will make you sick, and some are just plain gross. However, hydration is extremely important, even when swimming, so bring a bottle of water you can drink from at regular intervals.
Do Your Research
Check in advance to find out which spots are safest to swim, and if swimming conditions are good for the day.
Best Lakes to Swim In
Another thing to consider before heading out is that not all lakes are swimming lakes. Ask around or look online to find an ideal swimming lake in your area. Google Maps is a great resource, and will bring up amazing lake locations around the United States when you enter “swimming lakes near me” in the search bar. You can also try one of the popular swim spots listed below.
- Lake Tahoe – Located on the California and Nevada border, this popular vacation destination is the second deepest lake in the United States. Its crystal clear water and surrounding mountain landscape make it an ideal spot for a swim.
- Emerald Lake – High in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at the end of a hiking trail is the picturesque Emerald Lake. The hike is only 1.8 miles long and not difficult, but well worth the walk.
- Lake Powell – Sitting on the Colorado River along the border of Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is a large man-made reservoir perfect for swimming and other recreational water activities like boating and water-skiing. It’s also a great place for hiking and camping, as well as viewing the naturally formed Rainbow Bridge.
- Crater Lake – This Oregon lake was formed in a crater from a volcanic eruption nearly 8,000 years ago. It is the deepest lake in the United States and is found in the Cascade Mountains. The pure water can get quite cold, but is one of the most unforgettable lakes to swim in. To reach the lake, you’ll hike down a steep 1 mile trail. You can also go cliff-diving from 20 feet above the water.
- Lake Michigan – Beautiful Lake Michigan boasts many different beaches, as well as numerous other recreational activities to enjoy during your visit. Check out the freshwater sand dune system and nearby state parks after swimming. Also, be aware that the water does get fairly cold.
Learn to Swim with SwimJim
Before you head out to the lake, prepare your kids with swimming lessons and water safety instruction at SwimJim. Having fun and getting comfortable in the water is our priority. Contact us today to sign up for swimming lessons in the New York and Houston areas.