Swim & Paddle the South River celebrates outdoor recreation in the Chesapeake Bay region with a self paced swim or paddle event! The event benefits the conservation efforts of the Arundel Rivers Federation and is fun for the whole family!

Our mission is to both platform the awesomeness of outdoor recreation on our Rivers and to support the efforts of the Arundel Rivers Federation! We are a gathering of novice swimmers and accomplished marathon distance swimmers & paddlers enjoying and celebrating all that our region affords us! Whether you want an endurance adventure of 5 MILES or a shorter 1/2 MILE LOOP to enjoy the South River bounties, this event has it! 

5th Annual Swim & Paddle the South River. Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

No speed pressures or equipment restrictions.  Simply invigorating open water adventure with the friends you’ve got or the ones you’ll make! October is a perfect time of year to enjoy swimming & paddling the South River! The cool water temps (Mid – High 60s) and picturesque scenic shorelines collaborate for unforgettable memories!  Our untimed events are executed with participant safety and enjoyment as top priorities.  We work with community partners to bring experiences that connect you to the sports we love and to outdoor recreation in meaningful ways! 

Please consider contributing directly to Arundel Rivers Federation if you aren’t able to participate! Tax deductible contributions can be made directly through this portal! Be sure to reference Swim & Paddle the South 🙂

5 Mile Solo Swim entry fee

* bringing your own paddler & boat $100

* borrowing a boat & support paddler $200

5 Mile Paddle

*entry does not include boat/gear $50. Contact Coach Traci if needed at an additional fee: channelswim@verizon.net

5 Mile Relay Swim

*boat & gear provided $100/ea.

½ Mile Swim Loop

*Lifeguard course open from 9:30 – 11 AM $50. Waist belt buoy required.

Event Timeline:

All 5 mile participants Check in @ Clubhouse between 7 – 7:30 AM

Safety briefing @ 7:45 AM

(5) Mile Start   @ 8 AM

½ mile participants Check in @ Clubhouse between 8:45 – 9:15 AM

Safety briefing @ 9:20

½ mile course open from 9:30 – 11 AM

About Arundel Rivers Federation

Our mission is to protect, preserve, and restore the South, West, and Rhode Rivers by working with local communities to achieve clean, fishable, and swimmable waterways for present and future generations.

We are devoted to protecting and restoring a very special place – the South, West, and Rhode Rivers of Anne Arundel County.

We use a science-driven, community-based approach to improve the water quality of our rivers – and we’re not afraid to get our boots muddy.

We pursue thoughtful restoration strategies to make our rivers and creeks safe for swimming and boating and to protect natural resources like fish, oysters and crabs. Our stream, wetland and shoreline projects create wildlife habitat, reduce flooding and help stop stormwater pollution.

The South, West, and Rhode Riverkeeper acts as the eyes, ears and voices for our local Rivers. Our organization is wholly focused on achieving our vision of clean, healthy, sustaining waterways for our local communities.

Arundel Rivers Federation was created on January 2, 2019 and is the result of the consolidation of South River Federation and West Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc.

Can’t make the event but want to make a splash at fundraising?  Please support Arundel Rivers Federation directly through this contribution PORTAL!




It is expected water temps will be in the low 70s/high 60’s. More specifics provided closer to event day. Water quality testing is conducted regularly at the Sylvan Shores Community beach as well as neighboring sites along the river. Organizers will take every precaution to ensure a safe swim.


Participant safety is our top priority. Event staff will be masked and participants are expected to wear masks when on land. ALL swimmers wear a waist belt visibility buoy. These may be purchased onsite for $30 or borrowed.  Paddlers must wear a pfd during the event. Paddlers supporting swimmers need also have a whistle.  There will be motorized boats with Red Cross Lifeguards and small craft safety/support crew throughout the courses.o.


There is no rain date scheduled for this event. Should we experience heavy rains within 48 hours of the event, we will cancel without refund and thank you for your donation to important causes!


All swimmers are required to wear a waist belt visibility buoy. These may be purchased onsite for $30 or borrowed. Paddlers are wearing PFD’s. Swimmers may also elect to wear wetsuits, fins, pull buoy, hand paddles, etc. Wear whatever encourages you to enjoy the experience! 


Waters, Electrolyte Beverages, Fruit, Granola Bars and assorted other snack



 Check-in occurs at the Sylvan Shores Clubhouse and parking at either the clubhouse or the overflow ballfield lot. Upon clubhouse check in, participants navigate on foot to the boat launch/beach area. Please contact us if you require special assistance. There is to be no parking on the street for any reason. We are guests in the community and considering our impact needs to be paramount.


Parking is situated atop the ruins of the basketball court adjacent to the ballfield. Be sure to park beyond the boat trailer storage section allowing ample room for their owners to access if needed.

The Sylvan Shores Community Clubhouse

Clubhouse offers bathroom access & limited parking. Personal belongings should remain with participants or locked in vehicles.


The beach is a monitored area during our events for personal belongings. It is not permitted for non-registered supporters to access the water.


Press Release

Interested in sponsoring Swim & Paddle the South River?

Click the button below to learn more!

About Coach Traci & the origins of the Swim & Paddle Event

The South River has become a special place for me over the past 20 years. As a marathon swimmer with English Channel credits, I regularly train along the South River shorelines and host other athletes working towards their goals, too! This Swim & Paddle event was born 5 years ago from gratitude for all the South River has provided me and from an earnest desire to be a steward of its health! The surreal wildlife, recreation, and sunrise/ sunset vibes I’ve experienced are too awesome to take for granted! We can’t sleep on the perils our waterways face in light of expansion and carelessness. Our tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay need protecting and restoring so that our children may experience it in the ways we have. The Arundel Rivers Federation does amazing work to lead the advocacy charge! Thank you to past and future participants and sponsors for making a difference in the health of the South River! 

Just Keep Swimming! Coach Traci McNeil