Well before the daily throng of tourists arrive at the beaches, local open water swimmers hit the water to soak up the beauty of Grand Traverse Bay. And to get a workout. For Ashlea Walter open water swimming in Traverse City is a way to connect with nature and her friends. They often swim from East Bay Park, and they catch up as they put on their wetsuits and swim buoys and wade into the lake.
“It’s meditative once you get going,” she said. “It’s also is a nice escape from the busy world. Once you’re out there, you leave everything behind.”