Can You Swim In The Mississippi River In New Orleans

Benefits of Swimming in the Mississippi River

Swimming in the Mississippi River is an exhilarating experience that can bring many recreational and health benefits. While many people believe it is too polluted to swim in, many areas of the river in New Orleans, Louisiana contain high quality water.

Swimming in the Mississippi River provides a chance to connect with nature and admire the beauty of the area. From the banks, one can observe the river teeming with life and the shoreline decorated with different species of plants.

It is possible to find secluded areas of the river away from boat traffic, where a person can appreciate the calmness and enjoy the peace of being immersed in the river’s natural environment. Furthermore, this can be a great opportunity for sightseeing and enjoying the area’s richness in culture and historical landmarks.

Health benefits include providing an opportunity to exercise. Swimming regularly in the Mississippi River is linked to improved physical and mental health, as it increases cardiovascular activity and helps to reduce stress. Additionally, the remarkable and mystical underwater landscape may even induce relaxation and have meditative effects.

Overall, swimming in the Mississippi River can be a wonderful time for visitors to New Orleans, Louisiana. With its unique cultural history, breathtaking landscapes, and potential physical and mental rewards, the Mississippi River can offer a truly unique experience.

Swimming Locations in the Mississippi River

For those wishing to swim in the Mississippi River, it is important to be aware that the majority of the river runs through urban and industrial areas and may contain bacteria or chemicals that can be hazardous for swimming.

New Orleans is home to many excellent swimming locations in the Mississippi River. A few notable examples are Audubon Zoo’s Caulfield Landing, the LaSalle Street & Railpark, and the 27-acre Town of LaPlace Park. Each of these locations offer swimming in clean, filtered river water and include amenities such as changing rooms and pavilions.

For those venturing further into the Mississippi River, sites such as Lake Pontchartrain, the Atchafalaya Basin, Bonnet Carré Spillway and Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge offer swimming areas away from city life. These sites allow visitors to explore and get closer to the natural side of the Mississippi River, but visitors should use caution when exploring these areas since many are administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Before swimming, visitors should check the local river condition reports to ensure they are swimming in a safe section. Be aware that conditions can change rapidly due to varying levels of pollution in the river.

Legal Considerations for Swimming in the Mississippi

Before deciding to swim in the Mississippi River, it is important to be aware of the relevant laws regulating the activity. Swimming in many parts of the river is legal, however some areas may have regulations restricting river activity.

In general, swimming in public locations on the Mississippi River is legal, provided the swimmer remains away from restricted areas or locations containing hazardous materials. Swimming near boat traffic is also illegal and can be a safety hazard as well as cause aquatic harm due to boat wake.

It is important to check with the local city and state regulations about legal requirements for swimming. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also provides information about legal considerations for swimming in the Mississippi River.

Safety Considerations for Swimming in the Mississippi

Despite its pleasant scenery, swimming in the Mississippi River can often be hazardous. Thus, it is important to take safety considerations before embarking on a swim.

Scarier creatures such as snakes, alligators, and snapping turtles can be present in the river, although they are not as common in the deeper parts of the river. Be sure to check the bottom of the boat and area before entering the water as well as remain in shallow areas.

When swimming in the Mississippi River, certain areas should be avoided due to strong current and undercurrents. It is advisable to keep in the shallow pools and be mindful of rapid changes in depth. Boat traffic can also be a danger, particularly in more popular swimming areas, so always check for boats in the area before entering the water.

Finally, be aware of the different types of aquatic plant life in the river. Certain plants may contain hazardous chemicals and others may have sharp edges and can cause injuries if not handled carefully.

Equipment and Personal Preparation for Swimming in the Mississippi River

Prior to swimming in the Mississippi River, it is important to make sure to wear the proper safety equipment and take the necessary precautions for a safe experience.

When swimming in the Mississippi River, wear a life jacket and make sure to have access to boat, swim fins, and other safety gear. Make sure to have swimming experience and skills so that any potential hazard while swimming can be avoided.

Additionally, certain stretches of the Mississippi River may require extra gear. For example, if swimming in the river during cold seasons, it is wise to wear a wet suit or a dry suit to keep warm. When swimming in areas with strong currents, wearing a helmet is necessary.

It is important to note that safety equipment alone cannot protect swimmers from the river. Always be cautious and alert, and check for any changes in the river conditions.


Swimming in the Mississippi River can be a rewarding experience when done with caution and preparation. The river can offer a unique opportunity to observe nature and offer physical and mental benefits. In order to enjoy a safe swim, be aware of legal and safety considerations, the proper attire and equipment needed, and the various water conditions of the locations.

Raymond Strasser is a passion-driven writer and researcher, dedicated to educating readers on the topic of world rivers. With a background in Geography and Environmental Studies, Raymond provides insightful pieces which explore the impact and importance that rivers have around the world.

Leave a Comment