12 Amazing Swimming Spots in Ontario

Grab your swimsuit and discover the province's best rivers and lakes to take a dip.

Whether you jump, wade, dive, float, snorkel or splash, summer in Ontario is all about staying cool with a refreshing swim. Aquaphiles can choose from so many incredible swimming spots in this beautiful province. Dip in a glimmering pool beneath a spectacular wilderness waterfall, discover warm-water “bathtubs” hidden on wave-polished bedrock islands, or lounge in crystal clear shallows beside a postcard-perfect sand beach. Adrenaline-seekers can take an exhilarating ride down a natural rock waterslide, or leap into the deep, clear waters of a Northern Ontario lake.

Start with this list of Ontario’s most amazing swimming spots—then see how many more you can discover for yourself!

High Falls, Algonquin Park

Nestled on the east side of Algonquin Provincial Park, the Barron River doglegs over slabs of water-polished granite and through deep, placid pools cradled by sun-warmed stone. Pack your swimsuit and a picnic lunch for the 9-km, out-and-back hike along the High Falls Trail to this natural rock water slide. Slide, sun, swim and repeat.

  • Algonquin Park’s Achray Campground offers the closest drive-in camping, with 45 sites for car-campers and RVs.
  • Intrepid campers can also reserve one of four waterfront, backcountry campsites located a short walk from the falls.
  • Visit High Falls on a daytrip by canoe, launching from Algonquin’s Grand Lake access point. Local outfitters Algonquin Portage and Algonquin Bound can help with equipment rentals, route advice and shuttles.

Bruce Peninsula National Park

With its rugged limestone crags and turquoise depths, Bruce Peninsula National Park boasts superlative swimming. Warm-water bathers be warned: the deep, clear waters of Georgian Bay remain chilly all summer long. Hyper-competitive reservations and crowding notwithstanding, the Grotto is one of the most popular blue-water swimming holes in the province. For a more tranquil taste of the Bruce, make the longer trek into Stormhaven beach. Here, a sprinkling of backcountry campsites overlook gleaming white cobbles and dolomite cliffs.

Topaz Lake, Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney Provincial Park is a landscape unlike any other. Over 50 sapphire lakes are nestled among the brilliant, white quartzite ridges of the two-billion-year-old La Cloche Mountains. Magical Topaz Lake rewards bathers who make the strenuous, 22-kilometre out-and-back hike to this wilderness gem. Leap from quartzite cliffs and float in the crystal-clear, azure waters of this hidden oasis. Then, soak up the wild nature views that inspired Group of Seven artist Arthur Lismer’s painting, “Bright Land.”

  • Killarney Provincial Park is home to an outstanding network of canoe routes, a world-class backcountry hiking circuit, and a variety of camping experiences, including car camping, yurts and rustic cabins.
  • Killarney Outfitters and Killarney Kanoes provide rentals and outfitting for canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding and hiking in the park. Get a ride to Killarney on the Park Bus.
  • Refuel after your hike in Killarney village, a former 19th-century fur trading post. Freshly caught Georgian Bay fish ‘n’ chips at famous Herbert Fisheries is a must, then sample the mouthwatering treats at Gateway Restaurant & Bakery.

Paradise Lagoon, Greater Sudbury

Known to locals as Blue Lagoon, this enchanting swimming hole is indeed a paradise of aqua clear waters, rushing falls, steep rock walls and majestic old-growth red pines. Hidden along the lightly travelled Chiniguchi Waterway Park, getting to the lagoon is an adventure in itself. Paddle from Matagamasi lakes, or try out this backroad-and-hike route.

  • Explore this beautiful corner of the greater Temagami wilderness area on a weekend canoe loop from Matagamasi Lake, taking in the old-growth red pines of Wolf Lake.
  • Extend your visit with a stay at nearby Sportsman’s Lodge Wilderness Resort on pristine Kukagami Lake. Besides great accommodations, the resort offers vehicle shuttles and canoe trip planning advice for the area.

Vermillion River

For a fun combination of tubing and swimming, head to the scenic Vermillion River just northwest of Sudbury. This slow float can take a couple of hours or an entire afternoon, depending on how much swimming and exploring you decide to do along the way. The Vermillion is a beautiful, winding river with clear, shallow water and sandy riverbend beaches.

  • Chillin’ N Tubing shuttles tubers to the start of their float and provides a range of cushy rides for swimmers of all ages and sizes. They even have special cooler tubes, so you can keep snacks and drinks cold while you’re chillaxing.
  • Choose from a wide variety of places to stay in Sudbury.

Bridal Veil Falls, Manitoulin Island

A stunning waterfall swimming hole hidden on a sleepy island, Bridal Veil Falls looks like a tropical dream. But this isn’t Maui, it’s Manitoulin. An easy hike from the village of Kagawong, descend the metal staircase to swim in the clear, green pool below the falls. You can even make your way behind the curtain of falling water!

  • Peaceful Manitoulin Island boasts an abundance of scenic country roads, charming villages and lovely beaches. Don’t miss the fine sands at Providence Bay on the island’s south shore, where you can camp, paddle SUPs and grab some tasty treats.
  • Overlooking the azure waters of Lake Huron, Batman’s Cottages and Campground features a gorgeous sandy swimming beach, amazing sunrises and sunsets, sauna, SUP, canoe and kayak rentals.

René Brunelle Provincial Park

Sparkling Remi Lake is the focal point of this family-friendly park just 25 minutes east of Kapuskasing, off of Highway 11. Featuring four sandy swimming beaches, loads of picnic spots, beach volleyball and canoe, kayak and bike rentals, the park is the perfect place to spend a summer day.

  • René Brunelle Provincial Park has a camping experience for everyone, with 88 sites for tent, trailer and RV camping, plus a cozy camp cabin.
  • Just outside the park entrance, the Moonbeam Nature Trails offers kilometres of paved cycling and singletrack riding through the Boreal forest and village of Moonbeam.
  • Feast on the famously squeaky and delicious cheese curds at Kapuskoise Artisan Cheese.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Stretching in an unbroken arc around the shores of its namesake bay, this 3.5-km-long champagne sand beach is the crown jewel of Pancake Bay Provincial Park. Lapped by aquamarine waves on calm days and pounded by sand-tossed swells when the wind is onshore, the shallow water makes for fantastic swimming and body-surfing. Plus, sunset strolls from your beachfront campsite are out-of-this-world.

Sand River Beach, Lake Superior Provincial Park

The secret is out, but the fine white sands and turquoise waters of this gorgeous beach are still a must-see for visitors to Lake Superior Provincial Park. Less than two hours north of Sault Ste. Marie, the Sand River is a local favourite on warm, sunny summer days. Get there early to beat the crowds, and follow existing trails through the sensitive dune environment. This is a wild beach—use the toilets across the highway at the Sand River picnic area, and remember to pack out your trash.

  • Extend your stay at a Lake Superior Provincial Park campground, choose from 11 hiking trails, or rent a canoe to explore the park’s inland lakes.
  • Boasting spectacular Lake Superior sunsets and pebble beach swimming, Twilight Resort offers cabin rentals and camping just minutes from the provincial park.

Superior Highlands Conservation Reserve

For truly adventurous dippers, the remote beaches of the lightly travelled Superior Highlands coast offer a wilderness swimming experience unlike any other. To reach these pristine sandy shores, you’ll need to paddle by sea kayak and sleep under the stars. Starting from the mouth of the Michipicoten River near Wawa, it’s a five-day round-trip to the Dog River and spectacular Denison Falls, with incredible beaches, campsites and swimming every day.

  • Join Naturally Superior Adventures for an all-inclusive, five-day guided sea kayak trip through the conservation area.
  • Book a lakeside room or beachfront glamping at Rock Island Lodge. Enjoy sunrise swims, delicious meals and on-site kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals, lessons or day trips during your stay.

Neys Provincial Park

Make the three-hour drive from Thunder Bay to this beautiful park and you’ll be rewarded with one of the finest sand beaches on Lake Superior’s north shore. In the heat of summer, nothing compares to finding your own piece of paradise along this quiet, 2-km-long beach and plunging into the lake’s notoriously bracing waters. If that doesn’t take your breath away, the panoramic views of Ashburton Bay and the rugged Coldwell Peninsula are guaranteed to.

  • The provincial park campground offers nearly 150 sites for tent and RV camping, as well as a rustic beachfront rental cabin.
  • Rent a canoe from the park store at Neys Provincial Park and explore the sheltered waters of the Little Pic River.

Blue Lake Provincial Park

Gaze into the clear, azure waters of Blue Lake with the sand in your toes and hot summer sun on your shoulders, and you’ll find yourself transported from the Canadian Shield to the Caribbean. Located near the town of Vermilion Bay in Northwestern Ontario, this provincial park offers more than just sparkling blue waters and fine sandy beaches. After your swim, explore the mossy woodlands of the Boreal forest or paddle the wild shoreline.

  • Rent canoes, kayaks or stand up paddleboards from the park store at Blue Lake Provincial Park.
  • The provincial park campground offers 203 sites for tent and RV camping, as well as eight sites equipped with travel trailers.
  • Stay in a waterfront cabin at Blue Lake Resort and enjoy easy access to the adjacent provincial park.

Plan Your Trip Now

Quench your thirst for fun, sun and freshwater at these natural swimming holes in Ontario. With sparkling, crystal-clear waters and gorgeous beaches, these amazing swimming spots in Ontario have all the summer vacation vibes.

About Virginia Marshall

Virginia Marshall is a freelance outdoor adventure writer, photographer and editor with roots in Muskoka and Lake Superior. Read her work in Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots, Rapid, Paddling Magazine and Backroad Mapbooks.

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