Swimming at a beach is much different than swimming in a pool because the water may be murky and harbor floating or submerged debris, the bottom may be uneven and there may be wind and waves. Follow these safety measures for a safe, enjoyable visit:
- Stay within the designated swim area.
- Boats are not allowed in the swim area or past the “No Boat” buoys posted beyond the swimming beaches at most parks
- State park beaches do not have lifeguards, and swimmers enter the water at their own risk
- Wear foot protection, such as water shoes, to avoid injuries from unseen hazards in the sand or lake bottom
- By regulation, possession of liquor or beer (cereal malt beverage) is prohibited at designated state park swim beaches, and no containers other than shatterproof containers shall be possessed
- By posted notice, all state park designated swimming beaches close at 9:00 p.m., and pets are prohibited from the beaches
- Never swim alone, at night, or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
- Be alert to changes in the lake bottom to avoid loss of footing. Beaches are subject to wave action and erosion.
- Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets in and around the water.
- Pay attention to children, elderly persons and individuals with known medical conditions.
- Do not dive into the water from any structure or floating device.
- Be alert to weather conditions
- Heed “Harmful Algae Bloom” Advisory and Warning signs. Harmful algae blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface, or the water is bright green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present.