Lake Erie Challenge

Lake Erie needs our help, and these athletes are taking the plunge! But it will take all of us to protect our Great Lake.

Are you ready for another #LakeErieChallenge?! We are currently building this year's teams and will have a third team join the challenge - #TeamKayak!


Our 2020 route is approximately 50-60km long and will take place in the Western Basin of the lake between the mouth of the Detroit River and Point Pelee. The challenge will take place on August 22nd this year, with a backup rain date of the 29th.

Lake Erie isn't only a great lake—it's a big lake. There are hundreds of thousands of people who live in the Lake Erie watershed, on the Canadian side alone. That means, in order to defend our lake from threats, it's going to take a village. It's going to take a lot of villages, actually. We need to involve as many people as possible in action to protect the lake.

In the summer of 2018, we held our first #LakeErieChallenge. Four seasoned long-distance swimmers wanted to do something to protect the Lake. They wanted to draw more attention to the issues Lake Erie is facing. So, they proposed the first ever #LakeErieChallenge and we were happy to support them. We prepped and planned. Then, in early September, these fearless four swam for 24 hours straight at 10 locations in Lake Erie, raising media attention and funds to support action for Lake Erie. 

In 2019, two teams of dedicated athletes from #TeamSwim and #TeamSUP trained for months in preparation for the second #LakeErieChallenge, when they swam and stand-up paddle boarded across the 30 km open water distance from Long Point to Port Dover on the Eastern end of the lake. Again, their goal was to raise awareness and funds to address the serious environmental threats to Lake Erie.

Join Us

The Lake Erie Challenge isn’t just about raising awareness of what Erie needs—it’s a celebration of what Erie has! That is, vibrant shoreline communities that appreciate and love the lake for all of its natural splendor and beauty. Eager to get in on the action while the swimmers and paddlers are out there doing their thing? Lucky for us, there’s plenty of space on shore for land dwellers to celebrate Lake Erie! Come celebrate Lake Erie with the Freshwater Alliance and our 2020 partners!