2017 Three Oaks Recreation Area Open Water Swim (OWS)

We offer two times for open water swims at the Lake House Swimming Beach:

  • Thursday evenings
  • Saturday mornings

Our Lifeguard Team and volunteer coaches will set up a 1500 meter triangular route with corner-buoys, and will oversee the swims in kayaks and/or stand up paddle boards. The swims are organized to accommodate varied ability levels. Beginner and intermediate swimmers can swim at your own pace and all swimmers choose to complete as many 1500 meter laps as desired before the end of each series.

Thursday & Saturday Swim Schedules are as follows:

June 1 - August 10
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

June 3, June 10, July 15 and July 29
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Registration and check-in starts 60 minutes prior to scheduled start times. We meet by the middle Lifeguard station on the swimming beach, straight out from the entrance stairs. Before hopping in, we will do a short briefing where we will talk about the day's swim, discuss any matters of importance (weather, wind conditions, change in course, etc.) and answer any questions. We suggest getting there a few minutes early and doing some stretching on your own, too.

Note on Thursday Evening Swims:

While the Park closes at sunset daily, we close the swimming beach to the general public approximately 45 minutes before sunset so we have plenty of “safe-light” for our Lifeguards. Besides, we have numerous duties to address after a busy day at the beach and all hands (Lifeguards and Marina Attendants) are assigned cleanup duties in order to setup for our next business day. We ask that everyone exit the water when directed.

Vehicle Parking

Crystal Lake residents with a valid City vehicle sticker receive free parking. All other vehicles are charged $5.00 for parking per vehicle. 

Open Water Swim Fee

$5 in-person (cash or credit card) per participant

Annual Pass to Three Oaks

A non-resident “individual” annual pass is $150. The annual pass gives you free parking year-round, free swimming beach access and “resident” marina rental rates.

Participant Release Form

OWS Release form must be completed at first attendance.  Swimmers under 18 must have a parent/guardian sign this waiver.  The following is a link to the OWS Participant Release form.  Feel free to complete at home and bring with you to your first OWS.  We will also have forms available onsite to complete.   
OWS Participant Release 2017.

Updates /Cancellations

On the day of each scheduled OWS event we will post updates starting at a minimum of two hours in advance of the start time.  Check the Rainout Line on the Three Oaks website at www.threeoaksrecreation.com for updates on Open Water Swim status. Updates will include wind conditions, water temperatures, if canceled due to weather and other pertinent details.

What to Bring

  • Swimsuit or wetsuit: wetsuits are not required but you may choose to wear one. The water temperature in the South Lake is usually in the high 60’s to low 70s all summer long, which is warm enough to swim without a wetsuit. Should air and water temperatures rise to a level we feel wetsuits are a safety detriment we will make the announcement at the event.
  • Goggles
  • Bright colored swim cap “REQUIRED” (No cap, no swim) This is important to help you be seen easily by our Lifeguards during the swim.
  • Towel (Hot showers available in the Lakehouse locker rooms)
  • Warm clothes for afterwards
  • Ear plugs (optional)


Locker rooms are available with restrooms, showers and secure lockers (need a quarter!).

Bike racks available at the southern end of the Lakehouse building to secure your bikes.