Snake River swim to raise funds for local groups

Swim the Snake, which is set for Saturday, will involved a .7-mile swim across the river.

Swim the Snake, which is set for Saturday, will involved a .7-mile swim across the river. U.S. Marine Corps photo


After swimming across the Columbia River 12 times, Lisa Naylor decided to take on the Snake.

Naylor is the woman behind Swim the Snake, a fundraising event on Saturday that challenges participants to swim a 0.7 mile course across the Snake River.

She got the idea after spending years participating in a similar event in Hood County, Ore., called the Columbia River Cross Channel Swim. That event typically allows 500 people to participate and charges a $60 registration fee that helps support local organizations.

“You do the math — that’s a pretty good fundraiser,” she said.

Swim the Snake will benefit the Blue Mountain Resource and Conservation Development Council, of which Naylor is executive director, and will also support summer swim teams in Dayton and Pomeroy. Funds for these organizations come from a $30 registration fee.

Rosie Nechodom, head coach of the Dayton Swim Team, said her swimmers receive no funding from the city or School District, and have to rely on fundraisers and grants. She said proceeds from the event would go to start-up costs for next summer’s swim team, which includes youth ages 5-17.

“It’s a great program. It’s really great Lisa thought to include us,” she said.

Fundraising aside, Naylor said swimming is a good form of exercise for people of all ages.

“I found that as I got older, it was easier on my body,” she said. “Swimming is something I can do at any age, at any time.”

Participants will swim a diagonal course that goes under the bridge for Highway 261 and ends at the Lyons Ferry Marina in Columbia County. Naylor said even though the route is across the river, swimmers don’t need to worry about the current because the water levels are so low.

“You’re basically swimming in a lake,” she said.

Registration is from 9-10:45 a.m., and the swim begins at 11 a.m. from Lyons Ferry Park in Franklin County. Participants can pre-register online at . More information is available on the event website at

Rachel Alexander can be reached at or 509-526-8363.


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