7 Spots for a North Bay Beach Vacation in Canada

Did you know there are 43 beach access points in this waterfront city? Time to explore!

Tired of visiting the same, busy urban beaches year after year? Whether you’re looking for a paddling adventure or a place to relax by the water, the scenic city of North Bay, Ontario, Canada is a beach lover's paradise. 

We've rounded up the top beaches to visit in the Gateway to the North—including the one you can only reach by boat—plus some ideal spots for camping. So get ready to swim in Lake Nipissing, explore North Bay hiking trails, canoe multiple lakes, and enjoy some relaxation time on a sandy, sunny beach with the people you love. Enjoy your trip!

The 7 Best Beaches in North Bay to Visit This Year

There are 43 beach access points in North Bay alone, so here are seven to get you started! 

1. Shabogesic Beach

North Bay is known for its fabulous beaches and Shabogesic tops the list. 

This beach is beside the waterfront marina on Lake Nipissing and is one of the three supervised beaches in the town. You can typically take your kids down here in the summer for classes—at the same time, enjoy some quiet time for yourself! This beach has a long coastline of clean, white sand for visitors to stretch out on.

2. Birchaven Cove Park

This is an incredible yet small beachhead with stunning views of Trout Lake. That’s right, this beach is not on Lake Nipissing! The Cove is still in North Bay town, it’s just on the opposite side from Lake Nipissing, which gives it some extra peacefulness and privacy—making it a great option if you happen to feel like you need some extra space. Additionally, Trout Lake is an excellent choice for the avid canoer. There is even a way to get to Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park via the various waterways joining the lakes. It’s adventure time!

3. Silver Beach Park

Similar to Shabogesic Beach, Silver Beach Park has a long beachfront on Lake Nipissing. A tiny parking lot services the area, so you may need to time it right to find a spot. It’s worth squeezing in for the views alone, but take a look at the intentional woodland at the Eva Wardlaw Conservation Area when you’re here as well.

4. Olmsted Beach

Olmstead Beach with a playground near a lake.
Olmstead Beach is a popular option with families. Photo courtesy Tourism North Bay

Another excellent family-friendly beach option on Trout Lake, Olmsted Beach has a safe playground, swing set, and teeter-totter available for the young ones. It’s located in the Birchaven neighbourhood, making it an easy journey to a restaurant when daytime activities have taken their toll and you need to refuel for the evening.

5. Sunset Park Beach

A sandy beach at sunset with some light clouds.
Sunset Park Beach lives up to its name. // Photo credit: Scott Edworthy

The name should be a giveaway here. This is a fantastic park for catching a glorious Northeastern Ontario sunset. The little park leads to a beach fronted by shallow waters that are ideal for launching windsurfing boards or getting going on a SUP. If you look out onto the water from between the many trees in the park, you’ll also see a rock that many visitors enjoy swimming out to. When you’re done with the water sports, grab a seat on one of the benches and watch the sun sink below the horizon over Lake Nipissing.

6. Manitou Islands Provincial Park

Great Manitou Island a bird's eye view of a lake with boats and a sandpit with green trees.
Great Manitou is a popular destination for boaters and paddlers. // Photo credit: Jeff McGirr

This unusual park is accessible only by boat and comprises four islands. A visit to the islands—which are made up of an eroded volcanic pipe—makes for a great day trip from North Bay. The beaches here are lovely, albeit only available for day use, and you can spend hours circumnavigating the islands by kayak, finding secret sandy beaches to relax on as you go. 

7. Champlain Park

Flanked by the Lavase River and a large park, the beach at Champlain Park is a favourite among North Bay locals. Hire a kayak or a boat and explore the river or simply frolic in the warm waters of Lake Nipissing, but be sure to make a day of it by bringing your BBQ along—the large park has plenty of space and amenities to enjoy a picnic.

Top Local North Bay Campgrounds So You Can Extend Your Stay

If you're planning to stay overnight, for a long weekend, or want to enjoy an extended trip to this northern getaway, check out the city's amazing B&Bs and hotels as well as some campgrounds and RV options below. 

  • The first North Bay campground that comes to mind is Champlain Tent, Trailer & RV Park. This park is at the south end of North Bay’s Lake Nipissing beachfront, but close to downtown and all the amenities you could ask for. It’s beside a small dog park and Champlain Park, where you can check out the picturesque Lavase River.
  • You can stay closer to the golf courses by choosing a Fairview Park Camping and Marina site, especially if you’ve come to North Bay to improve your golf game. Forgot your gear? No problem—the Pro Shop at the North Bay Golf & Country Club has everything you need. 
  • Looking for campsites near North Bay, but not in town? Sturgeon Falls KOA Holiday Campground might be your best bet, or the Glenrock Cottages and Trailer Park if you’re pulling an RV. These sites are just over 30 minutes from downtown North Bay, but the extra effort is worth it since they’re less busy, and you get more bang for your buck.
  • And, if you’re willing to drive a half-hour, consider heading east to the famous Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park. The Mattawa Valley is particularly gorgeous in the fall, and the new visitor center highlights the region’s historical, cultural, and natural features. There’s the Voyageur adventure interpretive experience where you try out a canoe, as well as Natural Heritage Education programs for all ages. While the park offers lots of outdoor activities, it’s most well-known for canoeing.
  • For those of you looking for a wilder experience, check out Widdifield Forest Provincial Park, a little over 12 miles (20 kilometres) from town. You can do a wide range of activities here, from boating to snowmobiling, plus it’s secluded and has some rare plants. Nature enthusiasts love coming here to watch the wildlife. The park is an excellent place for the casual observer to glimpse something impossible to find in the city.

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