open water

Lake Michigan started November 2022 about as swimmable as any Chicago open water swimmer could have hoped: several days of beautiful flat water with Lake Michigan Water Temperature in Chicago holding steady at 50°F (10°C). This included November 10 when a short half mile (~0.8km) swim in the lake was very comfortable with a good wetsuit.
Cool Fall open water swim temperatures in Lake Michigan still left conditions ideal for swimming with the right open water swim gear.
Open water swimming temperatures and wave heights (both °C/meters and °F/ft) in Lake Michigan reported for Belmont Harbor at reports of water temperatures and waves (both °C/meters and °F/ft) matched conditions in the water.


Open Water swimming conditions including open water swim temperatures and wave heights


Of course, I always know when the water will be good thanks to the open water swim conditions report at


The right open water swimming gear, like an open water swim buoy, makes it easier to handle all the gear of colder Lake Michigan water temperatures.

Everything needed in the water for the swim fit neatly in a backpack. All dry land gear, including shoes, fit in the open water swim buoy (tow float) while swimming.

I carried everything for the swim in a backpack, and loaded all dry land gear, including shoes, in the open water swim buoy (tow float) while swimming.

Swimming around the park and seawall near Belmont Harbor in Lake Michigan to get beautiful view of the Chicago skyline just after sunrise.

This route has a beautiful Chicago skyline reveal as you round the seawall near the entrance to Belmont Harbor. It’s even better at sunrise.

Floating with an open water swim buoy and wetsuit

A brief relaxing float near the seawall after the swim

Sun shining on Lake Michigan near the Belmont Harbor seawall.

The sun’s a little higher over Belmont Harbor, after the swim. But this is November, it won’t get a lot higher.