Already too far from Lake Itasca?
June 11, 2009 3:34 PM   Subscribe

There are a couple of gorgeous beaches on the west side of the Mississippi river near Lake Street in south Minneapolis. Is it safe to swim or wade at them?

Maybe I'm crazy for considering this, or maybe worrying is silly. Swimming in nonchlorinated water has always squicked me out a bit, so the mental alarms yelling "don't swim there!" are often just crying wolf. I need your more rational judgment to prevail.

Now, I don't want to swim across the river or anything, and I know the current out in the middle is swift. I certainly wouldn't go out far enough to get myself hit by a barge. I just want to cool off. If I stayed near the shoreline, would the water currents/pollutants/pathogens/man-eating-fish be too dangerous? What about wading, is that out of the question?

I know there are lots of other (lake) beaches around the city, but this one is close and relatively deserted at most times. I'd love to be able to bask with a book and then take a dip when the heat overwhelms me, as long as I wasn't risking illness or injury. What say you, twin-citians?
posted by vytae to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
I wouldn't.

On the one hand, Minneapolis is no longer routinely dumping raw sewage in the river. On the other hand, it still receives all the surface runoff, including stuff like gas/oil drips and leaks from streets, yard fertilizers and pesticides, dog crap, etc. etc.

Plus, there's whatever sewage gets dumped in upstream. (And the nuclear power plant at Monticello, and so on.)

I'd just stick to the lakes.
posted by Kat Allison at 4:02 PM on June 11, 2009

I agree with Kat. If you do go in, I'd wear sandals/water shoes and shower ASAP when you get home. People who go on and on about all the lakes here neglect to mention most are dirty.
posted by ShadePlant at 4:44 PM on June 11, 2009

Beach status
posted by KokuRyu at 5:15 PM on June 11, 2009

I wouldn't do it. That is a great area for a picnic or relaxing with a book, though.
posted by look busy at 6:14 AM on June 12, 2009

Remember, it used to be the Mill City: the water is faster than you think. Swim in all those gorgeous lakes and leave the rivers alone. (Worse, some parts of the river bottoms have junk from teen keggers: what a mess.)

And OMG the carp will eat you!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:44 AM on June 12, 2009

I'm not really recommending it, but down at the Minnehaha Falls dog park (so, what, maybe 2 miles downstream from Lake street?) I see people (and dogs) hanging out in the river. So people do it... I just don't know what happens to the people afterward. The dogs, they get baths.
posted by COBRA! at 6:58 AM on June 12, 2009

Response by poster: OK, it's unanimous. I will find some other body of water for cooling off in. Thanks for the advice!
posted by vytae at 7:05 PM on June 13, 2009

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