Sat. Feb 24th, 2024
Where to Swim in Ontario Parks

There’s nothing better than a cool dip on a hot summer day, so we asked park staff where they think the best place to swim in Ontario is:

southern ontario

Wasaga Beach Provincial Park


Located on Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay, Wasaga may be Ontario’s best-known beach with 14 km of sand and excellent swimming.

It is one of several Blue Flag recommended Ontario beach parks.

Awenda Provincial Park

The coast of Awenda Provincial Park

A very special feature is the park’s 5.5 km natural coastline in the heart of a rural area. Awenda has a sandy area in addition to a rugged element.

The amazing thing about the beach views is that you can see what this part of Georgian Bay looked like 500 years ago. There are no really visible huts, so with a little imagination, what you see is what early explorers like Etienne Brulé and Samuel de Champlain would have seen when they landed their canoes here long ago.

Darlington Provincial Park

family with kite on Darlington beach

What a fantastic place to swim! Explore the sandy stretch of beach right on Lake Ontario!

Best of all? This park is less than an hour from Toronto!

Northwestern Ontario

Blue Lake Provincial Park

blue lake beach

Crystal clear water, relaxing sand, blazing sun with nearby shade, 150 year old red pine trees…need we say more?

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Neys Provincial Park

sandy beach in Neys

When the Lake Superior waves are big, you can sit and watch the waves for hours. The beach is perfect, almost without rocks and with very little slope towards the lake. But this is Lake Superior, so sometimes the water will be cold.

Enjoy the view of the park’s hills from the lake, keeping your eyes peeled for the occasional CPR train passing by on the nearby rail line.

Quetico Provincial Park

person looking at the lake at sunset

The area of ​​the park known as “The Pines” on Pickerel Lake offers a nice sandy beach for swimming on a hot summer day.

The beach is accessed from Dawson Trail Campground via the Pines Hiking Trail (10 km round trip, 3.5 hours, moderate) or via a 1.5-hour paddle (one way) in a canoe or kayak.

Once there, you will be surrounded by large pine trees and can look west across Pickerel Lake for miles. The clean, warm water has good depth for swimming and the fishing is world class.

Lake Superior Provincial Park


This park has several high-quality swimming spots.

Katherine Cove is a great place for family swimming. With its shallow waters and fine sand beach, the water is typically warmer than other beaches in the park (although warm water may be a relative term on Lake Superior).

Burnt Rock Pool on the Agawa River can be a good place to take a dip while hiking the Towab Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park. This pool is surrounded by tall pine trees and the towering cliffs of the Agawa Valley.

Northeastern Ontario

Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park

In terms of swimming holes, Samuel de Champlain has a great hidden oasis just east of Campion Rapids in Mattawa.

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It can only be accessed by canoe or boat. It’s not so much a place to swim (the water is freezing cold), but the surrounding river feels almost warm after being in the spring water. Locals call the place “Simpson Falls” or, alternatively, “Hot Springs” and “Devil’s Hot Tub.”

Halfway Lake Provincial Park

person sitting at picnic table

This park has a great family beach: shallow for a long stretch and fine, sugar-brown sand. Both beaches face south, but there is also plenty of shade on the coast (a southwesterly wind will carry all the warmer water to the beach’s edge).

Windy Lake Provincial Park


Windy Lake is one of the most popular beaches in the Sudbury area. Because? It’s panoramic views, crystal clear waters and the opportunity to windsurf or paddle with your dog on the dog beach.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Pancake Bay Beach

Pancake Bay has the largest sandy beach on Lake Superior and campers love the bright blue water. The beach at nearby Batchawana Bay Provincial Park is more protected and tends to be a little warmer on windy days.

René Brunelle Provincial Park

The day use area of ​​this park is a great place to spend a summer day!

With sandy beaches on both sides of the headland, picnic spots everywhere, a playground and a beach volleyball court, making it a great place for families.

Mikisew Provincial Park


Mikisew has three sandy beaches (plus an off-leash dog beach!) on the shores of beautiful Eagle Lake in the Almaguin Highlands, west of Algonquin Provincial Park.

While you’re there, try out their renovated disc golf course!

It’s time to jump into the water!