Our State Parks offer many beautiful places to go swimming and boating, from lakes and rivers to the shoreline.
Water-related activities are some of the most enjoyable ways for adults and children to spend time together, especially in the summer.
Each year millions of people enjoy our state waters without incident. Unfortunately, a number of swimming incidents and boating accidents occur every summer. In fact, nine people drown in the U.S. every day and drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for American children. When recreating outdoors it is critical to remember that open water swimming has more risks associated with it than swimming in pools or at water parks- such as underwater hazards, low visibility, and potentially changing conditions.
Precautions You Can Take When Swimming Outdoors
Drink Responsibly. Excessive alcohol consumption impairs judgment and reaction ability. Even prescription drugs may impair judgment. This can result in serious or fatal accidents during boating or swimming. Alcohol was involved in 37% of the fatal boating accidents over the last 5 years, and has been a factor in a majority of swimming fatalities at our parks. Water and Alcohol DO NOT mix!
Parents Watch your Children. It only takes seconds for a child to drown, and this can occur silently once theyíve gone underwater. Please ALWAYS watch your children when you are in or around water. If you are more than an armís length away, youíve gone too far!
||Be Aware of Underwater Hazards. Natural swimming areas can have sudden drop-offs, inshore holes, large rocks or tree roots that canít be easily seen from the surface. Diving and jumping into these waters can be hazardous. Please be careful of these unseen dangers.
Take a Swimming Lesson. Increasing your water safety knowledge and swimming skills can help save your life. People of all ages should consider signing up for a swimming class offered at your local YMCA branch, American Red Cross Chapter, or municipal parks & recreation department.
Swim in Guarded Areas. There are lifeguard squads at eleven State Park beaches across the state. Our lifeguards are trained in effective surveillance and lifesaving techniques. They continually monitor activities in swimming areas to prevent accidents, maintain safety, and provide emergency assistance to those in need. Guards are typically on duty daily from 10 am through 6 pm during the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day)-look for our signs and green flags.
Swim only in the designated areas, and stay where the lifeguards can see you!
Follow the Rules. The Beach Rules have been developed for the safety of all park patrons. When you visit our parks, please adhere to these rules for everyone's enjoyment.
- No alcoholic beverages, glass, pets, or nudity.
- No floation devices, only approved lifejackets.
- No snorkels.
- No rough play.
- No sand or rock throwing.
- No "throw-catch" activities.
- No soap or shampoo.
- No fishing.
- Keep the beach area around the lifeguard chair clear.
- Swimmers must stay off buoys and lines.
- Water and the beach will be cleared when lightning is visible or thunder is heard.