What is Swim to the Moon? It’s an extraordinary open-water swimming adventure through the picturesque Hiland Chain of Lakes near Hell, Michigan. Participants choose their distance — half mile, 1.2 mile, 5K, or 10K — and have the time of their lives swimming through Southeast Michigan’s most sublime waterways, all the while showing support for a very worthy cause: North Star Reach, a camp for children with life-threatening illnesses.
The 5K swim starts at the grounds of the old University of Michigan Fresh Air Camp on the west shore of Patterson Lake, which, in 2015, will open as North Star Reach’s summer camp. 5K swimmers head south and east through the heavily forested Pinckney Recreation Area, passing through five lakes along the way. Scattered cottages are the only signs of civilization. 10K race participants, however, start at Halfmoon Lake Beach, swim to the start of the 5K (where “special needs” bags will be available), then turn around head back to the shores of Halfmoon Lake Beach. Both the half-mile and the 1.2-mile swim start at Halfmoon Lake Beach. All races finish at the state beach on the east shore of Halfmoon Lake.