Describe Your Event

Warning, this event was expired!

The Finger Lakes Open Water Swim Festival is a 2 day event in the beautiful mountains and famous lakes, of up-state New York.

The Festival is set over 2 days with the long race on the first day, a challenging 12 mile race. Then on the Sunday there are: 2 mile, 1 mile & 1/2 mile distances.

The race is near the quaint town of Watkins Glen, and is surrounded by majestic pine forests, spectacular waterfalls and lots of wineries and micro-breweries.

The swim festival is held in the crystal clear water of Seneca Lake, in the Watkins Glen State Park and just outside this beautiful little town only a few minutes from Ithaca, NY.



6 or 12 Mile Swim on Saturday, July 17th (max of 30 swimmers). Sunday, July 18th is reserved as a weather date. The weather date will be used if conditions are unsafe on Saturday,

There will be an optional race bag pick-up and kayak drop off on Friday, July 16th, at 6pm, Clute Park Pavillion.

Event day check-in is 6:15-6:30am. Swimmers and kayakers will launch from the Clute Park beach starting at 7a.m. The swim concludes at 3p.m.

Location/Directions: Seneca Lake, Watkins Glen, NY. Registration and Event held at Clute Park, 155 S Clute Park Dr, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

Eligibility: The event is open to all open water swimmers. A swimmer may enter either the 6 or 12 mile, however, if a 12 mile swimmer is not at the 6 mile dock by 11am, then they will be pulled and automatically entered in the 6 mile distance. This cut off will be strictly adhered to for safety purposes, as we’ll have boats positioned across the lake for the crossing and then move them towards the more congested finish area. To do so, we need swimmers within a reasonable distance of each other. It is up to each swimmer to understand their limitations, properly train and only enter distances you feel you are capable of swimming.

All registrations will automatically go on the wait list. Priority is first given to 2020 deferred swimmers in the first 2 weeks of registration, then prior event swimmers in the next 2 weeks, and then open registration. Overall, swimmers bringing their own kayaker will have preference unless we have a confirmed kayaker available to assign to a swimmer.

Rules: The event will follow Marathon Swimmers Federation rules.


The 6 and 12 mile swim course will begin at the beach on Clute Park, swim across the southern shore line, then turn up the western shoreline near Captain Bill’s to Green Point, cross the lake at Green Point to the eastern shoreline, then swim down the eastern shoreline to the southern tip and cross over to exit at Clute Park. The exit for 6 milers and relay exchange is 4580 Green Point Road, Rock Stream, NY. The swimmers will remain close to the shoreline, with the exception of the crossing, with navigation provided by personal kayak escorts. Relief kayaks will be staged at Green Point. This event is limited to 30 swimmers, each having their own kayak escort. Navigation is provided by the kayak escort and a map. Additional support boats monitor the course. 6 mile swimmers will exit at Green Point and shuttle back to Clute Park. 12 mile swimmers exit at the end of the loop at Clute Park Beach. 12 mile 2 person relay swimmers will kayak for each other and exchange positions at the 6 mile mark on Green Point Road.

Due to many upfront costs, there will be no refunds once the swimmer has been accepted from the wait list.

Entry Fees: 6 and 12 mi relay swim – $400, plus an optional $100 for us to provide you a kayaker or $50 to rent a kayak for your own kayaker. The entry fee includes the post-event social on Saturday, permits, insurance, caps, placement awards, t-shirt, and race bag. Net proceeds will benefit our selected charities, which is the goal of our event. You may purchase an additional race shirt for $20 each. Additional tickets for family and friends for the post-event social are $25 each.

Timing: Clock timing is used for the 6 and 12 mile distances.

Awards: For the 6-mile and 12-mile solo swimmers, awards will be given to overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd per distance for solo swimmers. Awards will be available at the completion of each distance. Results will be posted at

Safety – Our Primary Concern: In case of inclement weather, the safety director may close the course and prevent swimmers from completing the swim. Entry fee includes a highly visible swim cap that must be worn as the top cap during the swim and all swimmers must have their race number on the provided cap. Safety boats, and kayaks will monitor the entire race course. Medical cards are available at day of registration for you to complete if you would like to alert us to potential issues (i.e. diabetes, allergies). Each swimmer must have a kayak escort. Patrol boats will also be on the course for monitoring and safety. The course will stay close to shore line.

Water Temperature: Based on 10 year buoy historical trends the water can range from 67.5 to 81.0F, with an average of 74.1°F on these July dates. However, if Seneca Lake experiences a very strong southern wind within 24 hours before the event, then water temperatures can suddenly drop closer to 60. We will leverage the weather date if we need an additional 24 hours to get temperatures back to the expected average range.


Please see for a list of local hotels and area attractions.
For more information please see or contact Bridgette Hobart via email at, or via phone at 862.432.0357.

Course maps, T-shirts and goodie bags are available at check-in.


North America

Distances Offered

under 1k
Over 10k





Swim Type


Water Type