8 Best Beaches in North Bay

Forget the tropics. Here are the best sunny spots in North Bay, Ontario for your sandy summertime adventures.
Kinsmen Beach PHOTO CREDIT ABBY COOK.jpg

At the crossroads of Highways 11 and 17 is the vibrant waterfront city of North Bay, Ontario. This picturesque community of 51,000 people is surrounded by many gorgeous lakes with scenic, sandy beaches. Unlike some of the more popular beaches of Southern Ontario, public beaches in North Bay have no fees and are not jammed with tourists.

Here’s the scoop on the best beaches in North Bay according to locals.

1. Shabogesic Beach, Lake Nipissing

Notably the most popular in the city, Shabogesic Beach (formerly known as Marathon Beach) is located on the North Bay waterfront. This beach will give you Sauble Beach vibes without the droves of people. The beach is groomed in the mornings, supervised by lifeguards during the day and has a new modern-style playground, making it an ideal beach for kids. Make this your base camp and use the boardwalk to stroll over to the food trucks or The Boat for lunch, or take the pedestrian underpass to the water park. The beach is also located directly beside the pier that houses the Chief Commanda II, for which a sunset cruise is a great way to finish off a relaxing day.

2. Kinsmen Park Beach, Lake Nipissing

Kinsmen Beach 

A few blocks from Marathon Beach, you’ll find Kinsmen Beach. Used mostly by locals, this beach has a great green space on the hill above for a picnic lunch, a game of frisbee or Spikeball. Lake Nipissing is notably a relatively shallow lake so most beaches located in North Bay are quite shallow as well with many sandbars. Kinsmen Beach is one of the only beaches in the city that gets deep quickly, so it’s a perfect beach for older kids and adults. The beach is also the head to a lush lakeside trail that leads to the Motherhouse.

3. Champlain Park Beach, Lake Nipissing

Champlain Beach // photo credit: Stephan Graveline

Located in the South end of North Bay, you’ll find Champlain Park Beach. This beach is located at the mouth of the La Vase River which was used by First Nations for trade. The First Nations introduced Europeans, including Etienne Brule and Samuel de Champlain to the river route and it quickly became one of the major trade routes and arteries into the interior of North America for traders. While the mouth of the river is deep, the beach area of the park is quite shallow, which means it takes a while to get out into deep water. This park also boasts a great playground, a dog park and is beside the Champlain Tent Trailer and RV Park, which makes it a fantastic family beach, especially for those looking for a place to camp. A recommended time to visit this beach is in time to watch the sunset, whether from the water or the shore.

4. Sunset Park Beach, Lake Nipissing

Sunset Beach// photo credit: Stephan Graveline
 

Yet another stretch of beautiful, soft sand in the south end of the city is Sunset Park Beach. This beach is nice and shallow to start, but gets deeper, with large boulders and rock formations, which makes it a great beach for all ages. Many locals also fish off the large rocks on the other side of the beach, so bring your fishing license and rod if you’re in the mood to catch a walleye. The park has a superb grassy area, playground and on-premises washrooms, so you can spend the whole day here. This beach is aptly named, as it is another great vantage point for viewing the sunset. If you’re looking for a great date, follow up a sunset viewing with dinner at Marigold or Churchill’s Prime Rib House, both of which are just around the corner.

5. Birchaven Cove Park, Trout Lake

Lake Nipissing is not the only lake in the North Bay city limits. Trout Lake is the other major lake and quite different from Lake Nipissing. Where Nipissing is quite shallow, Trout Lake is much deeper with areas rumoured to have no bottom, which makes it much colder than Nipissing. Where Nipissing is a big open lake, Trout Lake is small and winding with lots of inlets and coves. Trout Lake’s most popular cove is Birchaven Cove, referred to by locals as “The Cove.” The Cove is supervised by lifeguards during the day, has on-premises bathrooms and grassy areas for picnics. The water here is quite chilly so the best time of year to visit this beach is in July and August when the weather is warmest.

6. Portage Park Beaches, Trout Lake

While Trout Lake is deep, The Portage Park Beaches are two of the only shallow beach areas where the sun warms the water quite a bit. Because of its unique geography, there is a beach on each side of the road, allowing you to have your choice of where you want to relax. Spend a day on the sun-drenched beach watching the boats and Sea-Doos traverse the water system. On your way back into town stop at The Portage restaurant for a delicious bite to eat.

7. Clear Lake Beach, Bain Lake

If you want to venture outside of the city for a beach day, take the 45-minute drive to Clear Lake Beach on the outskirts of West Nipissing. This less-known beach is on an exceptional lake that is big enough for boats and Sea-Doos to tour around, yet small and shallow enough to stay at a comfortable temperature for the summer. The large beach ensures you'll have a spot of your own to set up. It's also lined with trees to provide welcome shade on hot days. On your way through West Nipissing, stop by one of the famous chip stands, such as The Riv or Monique’s and bring lunch to the beach.

8. The Rock and Link’s Beach, Lake Nipissing

Located between Birchgrove Drive and Sunset Cove Road in Nipissing Township, you’ll find The Rock. This beach, nicknamed by the locals of the area, is, as the name suggests, a large rock. This secluded area has unique views of Lake Nipissing and is close to many cottages and campgrounds. While it has a small sandy area, most people wade or jump in directly from the rock. This area is quite deep, so it is not recommended for young children. If you’re looking for something safer for the little ones, consider Link’s Beach just a few minutes' walk down the road, which is much shallower.

Now that you’re fully informed on all the best beaches to visit in North Bay, our only question is—which one will you try first? 

About Abby dePencier-Cook

Abby was born and raised in North Bay, Ontario. Abby has worked in hospitality and tourism for over 12 years. Abby currently works for tourism social enterprise 101 Experiences, and is a co-founder of the Beer Baroness Society. Abby is incredibly passionate about developing tourism in Northern Ontario, and showing off our hidden gems to the world!

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