Pier 26, Lower Manhattan, the venue for the Manhattan Pride Swim, with a line of chairs overlooking the hudson river with the statue of liberty in the far distance

Pride Swim Manhattan, New York City

The Pride Swim, Manhattan is an open water swim race that takes place each year in the Hudson River in New York City.

The race is 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) and travels along the iconic lower Manhattan waterfront close to Pier 26, and pass close to the West Village, site of the 1969 stonewall riots. Participants are treated to views of the harbor with the Verrazano Bridge and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Specific locations and race details should be confirmed at registration.

Current assistance and tides

Pride Swim Manhattan is current assisted. The race start is timed to coincide with the receding tide, so you can expect a slightly faster swim than normal. This is a tidal estuary, so you should expect strong currents at times. Check with race organizers to confirm up-to-date details of the local tides and expected help from currents. View the latest tide times on tideforecast.com

What temperature is the water in the Manhattan Pride Swim?

The average water temperature in Manhattan at the end of June is about 66 degrees Fahrenheit or 19 degrees Celsius. The water is starting to heat up a bit, but it usually takes until July before it is comfortable. For this reason, it is advisable to wear a wetsuit.

What is the water quality like in the Hudson river?

The water quality in the Hudson varies but is generally considered safe to swim. The Hudson side of Manhattan Island is considered cleaner than the East River. You should definitely keep an eye on water quality and obey any directives from race organizers. More info on water quality can be found on the Riverkeeper website.

Beginners are welcome!

Organizers welcome beginner open water swimmers. You must be a competent swimmer and able to swim the distance though. This is a great opportunity to set yourself a challenge and complete your first open water swim in an epic setting.

Staying longer? Other races close to the Manhattan Pride Swim

There is no shortage of things to do in New York City, of course, so why not make a trip out of the race. One option is to sandwich a trip to New York City with open water swim race bookends*.

Late June is a tricky time for open water swims in this area. There is nothing the week after in NYC itself nor in neighbouring New Jersey. The water is only just warming as the summer gets going, so the majority of races tend to happen in July and August.

If you want to stick around for sight seeing, then your closest race option is the Fairfield County Open Water Swim in Fairfield, Connecticut. Fairfield is only an hour and a half from Manhattan if you drive outside of peak hours.

*Now i have that Simon and Garfunkel classic stuck in my head, just perfect to get in a New York City mood.

Other open water swimming opportunities nearby

If you are looking for an authentic New York City swimming experience, look no further than McCarren Park Pool. It might not be open water, per se, but at 38,000 square feet (3,500 m2) it sure feels like it.

McCarren Park Pool, shown prior to the 2012 renovation, with huge empty peeling aquamarine pool and buildings with graffiti.
McCarren Park Pool, renovated in 2012, is an iconic New York City swimming destination

There are a number of great beaches within an hour’s drive or short train ride of Manhattan. If you base yourself on Long Island, you will have even more options. Long Beach (a huge stretch of soft sandy beach that actually comprises several beaches) is an incredible place to swim, with lifeguard patrols in peak hours.

If you prefer to swim a little more on the wild side*, and have more time to go further field, check out destinations like Jones Beach or the ‘car-less paradise’ of Fire Island.

*Let’s get pumped for New York!

Pride Swim Manhattan, New York City
40 Hudson River Greenway
New York NY 10014
Race time: June 22, 2024 6:00 am
Price: $200
Distance: 1.5 Miles (2.5 Kilometers)

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