Skip to main content

Swim for Grand Traverse Bay

Sat August 10, 2024
Countdown to Swim Day


Celebrate clean, healthy water in Grand Traverse Bay with a unique open water swim event on Saturday, August 10, 2024, to benefit The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, a non-profit that works to protect the bay and its 1,000-square-mile watershed.

The fifth 2-mile bay swim begins and ends at Greilickville Harbor Park in Elmwood Township, MI. 

Whether you’re a serious swimmer looking for a timed event, a triathlete wanting to practice in open water, a recreational swimmer setting a personal goal for your swimming, or someone passionate about water quality and making a difference locally, the Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is an exciting, challenging, and fun celebration of clean and healthy water in our region.  

The Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is a fundraiser for The Watershed Center, a nonprofit that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve the bay's watershed. Each swimmer is responsible for raising at least $150, though no fundraising experience is required - we'll support you on your fundraising journey with tools, templates, and tips.


The event begins and ends at Greilickville Harbor Park in Elmwood Township. Participants and spectators are asked to park in the Brewery Creek parking lot (behind Subway) on the west side of M-22 across from the park. Support paddlers can drop their kayak at the park before parking their vehicle across the street. A shuttle will be provided between the parking lot and the park throughout the event.


*This course is still being confirmed.
The course will be a two-mile out and back from Greilickville Harbor Park.

Packet Pick-Up

Swimmers and support paddlers can pick up their Swim packets on Friday, August 9, 2024 from 3-7pm at Little Fleet. Alternatively, packets can also be picked up the day of the event (Saturday, August 10, 2024) beginning at 7am at the start line.


The Swim starts at 8am, with check-in beginning at 7am and a mandatory safety briefing at 7:45am. All swimmers and support paddlers must check in at the pavilion at Greilickville Harbor Park even if you already picked up your event packet. Event organizers will write your swimmer number on the back of your hand and your shoulder, if visible.

Depending on the number of swimmers, there may be more than one start group, including one for unescorted, experienced open water swimmers and another for those with support paddlers.



We work with the U.S. Coast Guard; Michigan Department of Natural Resources; and Leelanau County Emergency Management, Marine Patrol, Law Enforcement, and Fire/EMS to ensure safety from start to finish. Motorized safety boats will monitor the entire course, and lifeguards and medical personnel will be on site.

Our experienced Safety Squad will ensure swimmer safety along the course. They act as spotters for designated swimmers and support swimmers along the course in obtaining evacuation or medical assistance from a rescue boat. Swimmers are also encouraged to have a support kayaker accompany them, traveling just out of paddle's length to remain close enough to immediately assist in the event of an emergency.

A mandatory safety meeting will take place at 7:45am for all participants, including swimmers, paddlers, and support personnel. Swimmers must wear the numbered swim cap provided, have their race number on their hand, and follow all announced safety rules without exception.

Wet Suits & Additional Gear

Wet suits or technical suits are allowed, as well as other swimming gear such as snorkels, fins, and kickboards. Swimmers using a wet suit or other swimming gear must inform the event organizers when you check in the day of the event. Swimmers wearing wet suits are still eligible for swim prizes, but those using additional gear do not qualify for timed prizes (fundraising prizes still apply).


August temperatures in northern Michigan average a high in the mid to upper 70s, with lows in the high 50s to low 60s. Expect water temperatures to be in the upper 60s to low 70s depending on how warm of a summer we have.

Every effort will be made to hold the Swim on the date and time it is scheduled. We will swim ran or shine. In the event of inclement weather such as lightning or a serious storm, the event may be postponed up to 2 hours in hopes the weather will pass. However, if the bad weather does not pass and swimmer safety comes into question, the event will be cancelled. If that is the case, there will be no refunds, credits, or transfers with no exceptions. You agree to this weather policy when you register for the event.


Although the Swim is not a sanctioned event, timing services are provided. Awards will be given in wetsuit and non-wetsuit categories to the top male and female swimmers in various age groups. Swimmers can also access their results after the event.

Swim Contact Info

If you have any questions about this swim, click the button below.


Like this page and invite your friends on Facebook.

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies. We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Read how we use cookies and how you can control them by visiting our Privacy Policy.

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies.