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8 Hidden Beaches In Ontario You Should Visit Before Summer Is Over

Forget Sauble Beach and Sandbanks, these secluded shores are calling your name.

A person swimming in turquoise water. Right: A woman stands in the sand at the beach.

A person swimming in turquoise water. Right: A woman stands in the sand at the beach.

Staff Writer

No need to book a flight south to enjoy a sunny day at the beach. Instead, we've gathered up some of the lesser-known Ontario beaches — from secret spots in a provincial park to calm Lake Huron retreats.

Whether you want to go swimming in the cool waters of the Great Lakes or looking to sit back and relax on a sandy beach, take this list as inspiration for your next summer road trip.

With the added benefit of camping grounds and hiking trails, these sand and rock beaches are primed for a full day of outdoor fun.

Here are eight beaches in Ontario you'll want to check out before the summer ends.

Big Sandy Bay

Price: $15 + per person

Address: Big Sandy Bay, Frontenac Islands, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can soak up the sunshine on the stunning Wolfe Island at a secluded sandy bay along the St. Lawrence River. The island, located at the opening of Lake Ontario, is also home to Boldt Castle, a breathtaking palace for you to explore.

Big Sandy Bay swim guide

Little Cove Beach

Price: Free

Address: 237 Little Cove Rd., Tobermory, ON

Why You Need To Go: Found at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula, Little Cove National Park boasts a rocky beach that opens onto the turquoise water of Georgian Bay. Note that reservations are needed for parking at the beach from May 15 to October 15.

Little Cove Beach website

Sand Hill Park

Price: $12.00 per person, free for children under 12.

Address: 930 Lakeshore Rd., Port Burwell, ON

Why You Need To Go: At Sand Hill Park, you can walk to the top of a towering sand dune and marvel at the spectacular lookout 350 feet above Lake Erie before laying back on the sandy beach. The park is also a popular spot for camping, with over 125 campsites to choose from. A 20-minute drive from Long Point Provincial Park, head to this southern Ontario spot for the perfect summer weekend away.

Sand Hill Park website

Mindemoya Public Beach

Price: Free

Address: 526 Ketchankookem Trail #516, Mindemoya, ON

Why You Need To Go: Found on Manitoulin Island between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, Lake Mindemoya is like a tropical retreat without a trip to the Caribbean. Unlike many of Canada’s lakes, the water at this swimming hole is a shockingly bright turquoise blue. During the summer and early fall, the lake is swimming-friendly with water warmer than the other Great Lakes beaches on this list.

Lake Mindemoya website

Old Woman Bay

Price: $14.13 per vehicle, with some discounted categories.

Address: Algoma, Unorganized, North Part, ON

Why You Need To Go: Walk the sandy shores of Lake Superior at Old Woman Bay, an inlet surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. A part of Lake Superior Provincial Park, there are camping grounds and hiking trails, including the Nokomis Hiking Trail that will lead you to a spectacular view of the bay and Lake Superior.

Lake Superior Provincial Park website

Burley Beach

Price: $14.13 per vehicle, with discounted categories.

Address: Pinery Provincial Park, 9526 Lakeshore Rd., Grand Bend, ON

Why You Need To Go: Another Great Lakes escape, Burley Beach sits at the southern end of Lake Huron. The grassy sand dunes lead you out to clear green-blue water that is perfect for a summer swim. With camping available at several sites throughout Pinery Provincial Park, this weekend getaway is far cheaper than a trip to Fiji.

Pinery Provincial Park website

Rock Point Provincial Park Beach

Price: $14.13 per vehicle, with discounted categories.

Address: 215 Niece Rd., Dunnville, ON

Why You Need To Go: In Rock Point Provincial Park, you can see a colourful coral reef dating back 350 million years. After exploring underwater, take a short scenic hike or relax on the 1-kilometre stretch of sandy shoreline along Lake Erie. You can also plan to stay overnight with the camping options available.

Rock Point Provincial Park website

Darlington Provincial Park Beach

Price: $14.13 per vehicle, with discounted categories.

Address: 1600 Darlington Park Rd., Bowmanville, ON

Why You Need To Go: At this Ontario provincial park, you can find multiple short hiking trails and a golden sand beach on Lake Ontario. While car camping spots are available, this beach is only an hour's drive away from Toronto, making for a simple summer day trip from the city.

Darlington Provincial Park website

This article has been updated since it was originally published on July 20, 2021.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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