You Can Once Again Jump into the Charles River This Summer

During the Charles River Swimming Day.

Charles River

Photo credit Topher Baldwin / Charles River Conservancy

A dip in the Charles River might not sound like a particularly pleasant activity at this moment in time, but do you remember how hot last summer was? When heat waves swept over the city, a splash in the city’s iconic river would have been happily welcomed. Well now, on June 15 you can do just that.

The Charles River Conservancy and the Charles River Swimming Club have joined forces to bring you a Charles River swimming day that will include the City Splash event and a one-mile race. The Globe reported this is the first time the two events have ever been held on the same day and it will even include an after party in Cambridge.

If the cleanliness of the water is top on your list of concerns though, rest assured, because the Charles is clean. It received a grade of an A- from the EPA in 2017 which means that the water quality “almost always met standards for boating and swimming.”

The one-mile race will take place first at 8 a.m. on June 15 and will begin on the River Dock near the Arthur Fiedler head statue and you’ll swim a loop course between Harvard and Longfellow Bridge. The race is capped at 200 swimmers and the club advises that this is not for novices—you should be able to swim one mile comfortably in 40 minutes or less.

If strapping on a swim cap and goggles isn’t much of your style, then on the same day head down to the DCR’s Fiedler Community Dock on the Esplanade for casual swimming in the afternoon City Splash event, just be sure you feel comfortable in deep water.

And if you can’t make it to the river for this all-day swim experience, you might be able to hold out hope for a more permanent way to take advantage of the natural swimming pool in our own backyard. Back in 2016, the conservancy launched a study in partnership with design firm Stantec, to propose a swimming-hole like structure at North Point Park near the Zakim Bridge.

The Globe asked Laura Jasinski, executive director of the Charles River Conservancy, about it and she said they’re still developing design drawings and working on an operations plan to assess how to operate and program a facility like that for seasonal use.

In the meantime, enjoy your one day to take a dip. After all, the Charles is the cleanest urban river in America.

For more information on City Splash: And to sign-up for the one-mile race: