Tired of visiting the same, busy beach year after year? Whether you’re looking for rigorous hiking and canoeing or simply relaxing by the water as your kids enjoy the playground, North Bay has a lot to offer.

You’ll soon realize that you need more than just a day trip to see and do it all, so we put together a few accommodation options, including campgrounds and RV sites. Enjoy your trip!

Beach Days in North Bay, Canada

“Let’s head to the beach!” is one of the best sentences you can hear mid-summer in Northeastern Ontario. Your first thoughts are probably to head south, but many local options will scratch that itch. And if there aren’t any North Bay beaches that come to mind, you’re missing out. 

Check out the top beaches in North Bay, Canada—including the one you can only reach by boat!—as well as some choice spots for camping. Get inspired to swim on Lake Nipissing, explore stellar North Bay hiking trails like Duchesnay Falls, canoe multiple lakes in the same day, and all-around enjoy a lovely mix of vacation activity and relaxation.

The 7 Best Beaches in North Bay to Visit This Year

There are 43 beach access points in North Bay alone, so consider starting with the following seven. Then check out some of the others in the area, report back to us, and fill us in on what beaches you think should be added to the list!

1. Marathon Beach

This beach is beside the waterfront marina on Lake Nipissing and is one of the three supervised beaches in the town. While swimming lessons have been canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, 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 beachfront of clean, white sand for you 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 during a socially distanced vacation in Northeastern Ontario. 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 Marathon 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

Another excellent family-friendly beach option on Trout Lake, Olmstead Beach, has a safe playground, swing set, and teeter-totter available for the young ones. It’s located in the Brichaven neighborhood, 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

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, pop a squat on one of the benches and watch the sun sink below the horizon over Lake Nipissing.

6. Manitou Islands Provincial Park

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—make 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. Note: the park is currently closed due to COVID-19.

7. Champlain Park

Flanked by the Lavase River and a large park, the beach at Champlain Park is a favorite 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

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 kilometers) 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.

Sandy beaches and snowy slopes, Northeastern Ontario has it all. For more ideas on what there is to do in this scenic and sustainable destination, take a look at our Northeastern Ontario Travel Guide.