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Dive Into Ontario’s 20 Coolest Swimming Holes to Beat the Heat!

When it’s sweltering outside, a melting freezie in one hand and a sad little fan in the other just won’t cut it. And cranking the AC at home? Snooze fest. 

Here’s my favourite move: dipping my toes into cold, crisp waters—not your typical pool, but a magical swimming hole straight out of a fantasy novel. Trust me, once you see it, you’ll get it. Plus, you’re surrounded by stunning nature, and each spot has its own unique charm. 

If you’re done with your ankle-deep inflatable pool, we’ve got your back. Our team did the legwork (and a bit of nose-plugging cannonballs) to bring you the best swimming holes in Ontario. Dive in and enjoy!

St. Marys Quarry

Media from  108trace

Address: 425 Water St S, St. Marys

Contact details: +1 519-284-3090

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM


Hey, have you heard about the quarry in St. Marys? It’s been a go-to spot for locals forever. This place isn’t your average pool—it’s Canada’s biggest outdoor freshwater swimming spot, and it’s perfect for a summer dip!  

What makes it so awesome? Well, they’ve got everything: diving boards, a water trampoline, and even a cliff jump for the daredevils out there. And let me tell you about the backdrop—surrounded by these breathtaking cliffs, it feels like stumbling upon a hidden oasis. 

And if swimming’s not your thing, you can kick back and float around or give paddleboarding a try. Trust me, there’s something here for everyone, whether you’re chasing thrills or just looking to soak up some sun.

Pro tips:

Once you’ve paid for your swim, you’ll need a separate pass for the Super Splash Waterpark (inflatable park), which isn’t covered by the general admission. You can buy your pass online at the Super Splash Waterpark website or in person.

Bathtub Island

Media from hannahrowswell

Address: Lake Superior Provincial Park, Algoma District


Let me tell you about a hidden gem in Lake Superior Provincial Park—Bathtub Island. It’s named after this cool natural rock formation that creates this calm, warm “bathtub” feel in the water. Getting there is part of the fun—a short hike through the park adds a bit of adventure to your day. 

But once you arrive, oh man, it’s worth it! Picture crystal-clear waters that just beg you to plunge in and enjoy views of Lake Superior that’ll leave you breathless. This place isn’t just for thrill-seekers; it’s perfect for families and anyone who wants a unique swimming experience. 

The vibe? Totally peaceful. It’s like nature’s own spa, where you can kick back, relax, and take in all the beauty around you. Bathtub Island is where you go to unwind and soak up the best of what Ontario’s nature has to offer.

Pro tips:

To reach Bathtub Island from Katherine Cove, follow a short, well-marked trail through the woods to the shore. From there, it’s just a 45-meter wade through shallow water to reach the island.

Eugenia Falls Gorge

Media from brittlaurajane

Address: Grey Highlands

Contact details: 519-376-3076


Eugenia Falls Gorge near Flesherton is a cool spot to explore. You’ve got this awesome waterfall in the middle of this gorge that’s like a natural oasis. 

The area around the falls is so peaceful—you can swim or just hang out and enjoy the scenery. With all those rocky cliffs and lush greenery, it’s like stepping into a tranquil paradise.

And hey, if you’re up for it, there are some great hiking trails nearby to keep the adventure going. The sound of the water rushing adds this really chill vibe to the whole place. Definitely a top pick if you’re into relaxing and soaking up nature’s beauty in Ontario.

Pro tips:

It’s really risky and strictly off-limits to wander off official GSCA trails and viewing spots to reach waterfalls.

High Falls

Media from natashaakazak

Address: Algonquin Park


High Falls in Algonquin Park is one of those places that feels like a hidden treasure once you discover it. 

To get there, you’ll take a short but scenic hike. Picture yourself wandering through dense forests, maybe catching glimpses of wildlife along the way. The anticipation builds as you follow the trail, and then suddenly, you hear it—the rush of water growing louder with each step.

And there it is, High Falls—a breathtaking cascade framed by lush greenery and rugged rocks. The sight is enough to make you forget the world outside exists. You can feel the mist on your face, hear the water crashing down, and just soak in the pure, untouched beauty of nature.

Pro tips:

The last stretch to the falls has some big boulders to navigate, which can be a bit tricky but nothing too crazy. Oh, and heads up, the area tends to have a lot of mosquitoes, so definitely pack some bug repellent.

Trout Lake Quarry

Media from jamesbytes

Address: 51 George St, Innerkip

Contact details: +1 519-469-3363

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM


Trout Lake Quarry is a real favourite around here in North Bay, and for good reason. This place is like a hidden oasis—a quarry with clear, deep waters that are just perfect for swimming and diving. 

The best part? It’s so peaceful out there. A total escape from the city buzz. Whether you’re floating lazily on the water or getting in some serious laps, Trout Lake Quarry has something for everyone. And let me tell you, the water’s crystal clear makes for such a refreshing swim.

It’s not huge, but it’s got these spring-fed waters and plenty of spots to dip in from the shore. With an average depth of about 30 feet, you can swim, boat, fish, camp—there’s even scuba diving if you’re up for it. So next time it’s scorching hot out, you know where to find me cooling off at Trout Lake Quarry.

Pro tip:

You can totally camp overnight there. They’ve got these units you can rent for a night or even a whole week.

Elora Quarry

Media from britany.burnside

Address: 319 Wellington Rd 18, Elora

Contact details: +1 519-846-5234

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM


If you’re looking for the perfect spot to spend a day on the water, Elora Quarry is a must-visit. Nestled near the stunning 70-foot limestone cliffs of the Elora Gorge, this place is an absolute gem. 

This ‘old swimming hole’ is surrounded by beautiful trails and dense forest, making it ideal for hiking, picnicking, and barbecuing. It’s an easy day trip from Toronto and a total hit with everyone who visits. 

The Elora Quarry is managed by the Grand River Conservation Authority, and for a small fee, you get access to all the park facilities, including washrooms, picnic tables, and barbecues.

You can expect to see sheer limestone cliffs, a white sandy beach, and a shimmering teal-coloured pool almost a full hectare in size. Add in the deep green forest surrounding the whole area, and it’s easy to see why the locals love it so much. 

Pro tips:

Just a heads up: dogs, alcohol, and watercraft aren’t allowed at the quarry. But on the bright side, your entrance fee also gives you access to the hiking trail around the Elora Quarry Conservation Area, which has some awesome views of the Grand River.

Hilton Falls Conservation Area

Media from  samantha.flatley

Address: 4985 Campbellville Rd, Milton

Contact details: +1 905-854-0262

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM


Hilton Falls Conservation Area is just a short drive from Toronto and a perfect spot to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. The coolest part? They’ve got this awesome waterfall that’s just perfect for a swim on a hot day. The water’s crystal clear and feels so refreshing.

The hike to the falls is pretty easy, winding through these scenic forest trails that make the whole trip chill. Once there, you can kick back by the water, take a dip, or even pack a picnic. 

And just the sound of the waterfall and all the greenery around—it’s seriously relaxing, like the ultimate escape from the daily grind. Whether you’re with family, your S.O., or just craving some nature time, Hilton Falls is spot-on for unwinding and soaking in the outdoors.

Pro tip:

Don’t forget to bring a waterproof camera to snap some awesome pics of the falls! Oh, and since the trails can get a bit muddy, it’s a good call to wear some sturdy footwear.

Bruce Peninsula National Park

Media from attemas.outdoors

Address: Tobermory

Contact details: 519-596-2233


Bruce Peninsula National Park is a must-see for anyone who’s all about the outdoors. The big draw? The famous Grotto—a seriously stunning sea cave with unreal turquoise waters. 

It’s the perfect spot for swimming, snorkelling, or just checking out all the cool rock formations under the clear water. 

And the park itself? It’s got everything—cliffs that look like they’re from a movie, forests that are just so lush, and trails that are made for exploring. You could spend the whole day hiking, checking out caves, or relaxing by the water. 

Oh, and the views of Georgian Bay are absolutely unreal. There are tons of spots to set up for a picnic or just take a minute to soak in all that natural beauty. Whether you’re up for some adventure or want to kick back, Bruce Peninsula National Park totally delivers.

Pro tip:

If you’re heading to the Grotto at Bruce Peninsula National Park, make sure to book a timed parking permit online ahead of time. It gets crazy busy there, especially during peak hours, so planning ahead will save you some hassle.

Byng Island Conservation Area

Media from byngislandconservationarea

Address: 4969 County Road 20, Dunnville

Contact details: +1 905-774-5755

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM


Byng Island Conservation Area is a great spot for a family day out. It’s right along the Grand River, and they’ve got this awesome swimming area with really calm waters that just invite you in. 

The sandy beach is perfect—whether you’re soaking up the sun, building sandcastles, or just chilling with a picnic. And hey, there are plenty of shady spots with picnic tables and BBQs, so you’re all set for a day of pure relaxation.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, they’ve got canoe and kayak rentals, too, so you can paddle around and explore the river. And the splash pad? Kids love it—it’s guaranteed fun for hours. 

With swimming, boating, and all these picnic-friendly spots, Byng Island is the perfect place for a summer escape. 

Pro tip:

You can grab a life jacket if you need it, and there are change rooms available too. The pool’s wheelchair accessible, plus there are lifeguards on duty—basically, it’s the perfect spot for everyone to enjoy some sun and fun with peace of mind.

The Cove at Canatara Beach

Media from dillonfphotography

Address: Canatara Park, Sarnia


If you’re craving all the fun of the sand and sun without the worries of strong currents and big waves, you have to check out the Cove at Canatara Beach on Lake Huron. This hidden gem is tucked away behind a cozy little peninsula at the western end of the beach, offering a safe haven for families and anyone looking to chill by the water.

Picture this: You stroll along the sandy shores of Canatara Beach, maybe grab a quick snack or scoop of ice cream, then wander over to the secluded Cove. It’s like stepping into a serene oasis away from the hustle and bustle. 

Not to mention, the water here is calm and perfect for a relaxing swim or just dipping your toes in while you soak up the stunning view of Lake Huron. What’s awesome about the Cove is not just its peace and quiet—it’s also how it shields you from the usual beach crowds.

Pro tips:

Don’t forget to check out the nearby Animal Farm—it’s a favourite with the kids. You can also explore the trails for a leisurely walk or bike ride along the waterfront.

Crawford Lake

Media from hippielyre

Address: Milton

Contact details: (905)854-0234


Crawford Lake is such a cool spot to unwind in nature. The lake itself is really unique—it’s meromictic, which means the layers of water stay separate, giving it this mysterious, calm vibe. Surrounded by a thick forest, it’s perfect for a peaceful swim. 

You’ve also got a bunch of hiking trails circling the lake, including this neat boardwalk that gets you right up close to the water’s edge. And if you’re into picnicking, there are plenty of shady spots and picnic tables scattered around.

Oh, and don’t miss out on the Crawford Lake Conservation Area nearby. They’ve got even more to explore, like a recreated Iroquoian village—it’s not only educational but fascinating, too.

Pro tips:

Before you dive in, take a stroll on the boardwalk trail around the lake. It’s a nice way to soak in the scenery and maybe learn a thing or two from the interpretive signs about the area’s history and ecology.

Topaz Lake

Media from pascallefebvre

Address: Killarney


Topaz Lake is one of those hidden gems you stumble upon and instantly fall in love with. Tucked away in the forest, it’s like a quiet oasis for anyone needing a break. 

The water is ridiculously clear, this beautiful blue-green that makes it look like a little jewel in the middle of nowhere. 

It’s also wonderful for a dip to cool off, and the whole atmosphere is just so relaxing. Surrounded by dense forest, it feels like your own private hideaway where you can totally unwind. 

Whether you’re floating in the water, taking a swim, or just chilling by the shore, Topaz Lake is all about escaping the daily grind and soaking up some peaceful nature vibes.

Pro tip:

Ensure you’ve got some solid hiking shoes for the trek to the lake. It’s a bit of a hike, so you’ll want the right footwear. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water and snacks—it’s worth being prepared since the trail can be demanding.

DeCew Falls

Media from haleyymunroe

Address: St Catherines


Alright, so here’s the scoop on DeCew Falls—it’s a real adventure no matter which way you tackle it, but I have to say, the longer route is where the fun’s at. 

You can park a bit away and get ready for a hike that’s more than just a walk in the park. You’ll pass by an old abandoned bridge, tackle some lively rapids, and finally chill out at the picturesque Lower DeCew Falls.

Once you’ve soaked up all the Lower DeCew goodness, keep on trekking towards the main event. You’ll hear DeCew Falls before you see it—this 72-foot beauty dropping into a stunning turquoise pool. 

But before you hit DeCew, don’t skip Tunnel Falls—a cool little waterfall fed by a pipe from a nearby hydro plant. When you finally make it to DeCew Falls, it’s pure nature vibes—water, rocks, and nothing but peace and quiet. It’s the perfect spot to ditch the city grind for a while.

Pro tip:

If you’re feeling like a shortcut, just park up at Morningstar Mill and look for the yellow rope tied to a tree. It’ll guide you down into the gorge for a more direct route to this natural wonderland.

Forks of the Credit Provincial Park 

Media from perfectoglimpse

Address: 17760 McLaren Rd, Caledon

Contact details: +1 705-435-2498

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM


Let me tell you about Forks of the Credit Provincial Park—it’s a real gem tucked away in Caledon, Ontario, and it’s got something special: a fantastic swimming hole. 

Imagine this: You’re surrounded by lush forest, with the gentle flow of the Credit River nearby. The swimming hole is like a natural oasis, with clear, inviting water that’s perfect for a refreshing dip or lounging on the riverbank with friends. 

But there’s more to Forks of the Credit than just swimming. It’s a paradise for hikers and nature lovers alike. You can explore scenic trails that wind through forests and open meadows, offering breathtaking views of the river and the countryside. 

Pro tip:

If you’re planning to visit, there’s plenty of parking at Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. Just remember, you’ll need to reserve your spot and choose a time slot, and it’s around $8.50 for entry.

Paradise Lagoon (Blue Lagoon)

Media from seanchaseswaterfalls

Address: Paradise Lagoon, Sudbury


Paradise Lagoon, also known as the Blue Lagoon, is one stunning spot worth the trek. The water’s vibrant blue just calls you in for a swim—it’s like nature’s own swimming pool. Surrounded by all this lush greenery, it’s super peaceful and tucked away. 

Now, getting there involves a bit of a hike, but let me tell you, it’s worth every step. Once you arrive, you’re greeted with this beautiful, chill swimming hole where you can just kick back and relax. The water’s crystal clear, and the ambiance is pure tranquillity—a perfect spot for unwinding. 

Oh, and don’t forget to pack a picnic and make a day of it, soaking in the natural beauty of Paradise Lagoon. It’s like stumbling upon a little slice of paradise in Ontario, just waiting for you to enjoy. 

Pro tips

For a bird’s-eye view of the lagoon, head up to the Wolf Lake Mountain Lookout. It’s the highest point, around 1,654 feet (504 meters), so get ready for an impressive view that’s totally worth the climb.

Vermillion River

Media from emkwilson

Address: Fairbank Township


The Vermilion River near Chelmsford, not far from Sudbury, is where it’s at. Imagine this: lazy, slow-moving waters that are just perfect for floating along without a care in the world. It’s the kind of place where you can spend hours on the water, soaking up the sun and enjoying the tranquillity.

Now, it’s about a 4.5-hour drive from here, so it’s a great excuse for a road trip or even an overnight adventure. Once you roll in, you’ll be greeted by gentle bends in the river, sandy beaches to laze on, and water so clear and shallow you’ll want to jump right in. 

Whether you’re tubing down the river, taking a refreshing swim, or just exploring the area, there’s plenty to keep you relaxed and entertained.

Pro tips:

You can’t bring alcohol along, and don’t forget to put on a lifejacket—it’s mandatory to have one with you when you’re tubing.

Bell’s Lake

Media from pascallefebvre

Address: Markdale


Bell’s Lake is a hidden gem for a relaxing day out. The water is calm and crystal clear, just right for a refreshing swim, and the surrounding forest adds to the peaceful vibe. Since it’s off the beaten path, it’s usually nice and quiet, perfect for unwinding and soaking up the tranquillity.

Fishing is also popular here, with plenty of spots along the shore to cast your line and enjoy the serene surroundings. And if you’re into picnicking, there are some great spots to spread out and enjoy a meal surrounded by nature’s beauty.

Bell’s Lake is truly a perfect spot for a quiet escape into nature, where you can leave the hustle and bustle behind and just relax.

Pro tip:

Just a heads-up, there aren’t any facilities at Bell’s Lake. Also keep in mind that powered watercraft over 10 HP aren’t allowed here.

Bridal Veil Falls

Media from lilyslensonlife

Address: Kagawong, Manitoulin Island


Just a stone’s throw from the village of Kagawong on Manitoulin Island, you’ll find the enchanting Bridal Veil Falls—a must-see on this vast freshwater island. 

Imagine this: a graceful 11-meter cascade plunging from the edge of the Kagawong River cliff, creating a tranquil pool below before its waters continue their journey into Lake Huron’s North Channel.

Getting to the swimming hole at the base of the falls is a breeze. There are two small parking lots off Highway 540, and it’s free to park. The closest lot leads you down a cool steel zigzag staircase with awesome viewpoints along the way. 

For the adventurous types, there’s even a path that takes you behind the curtain of the falls—talk about a unique perspective! And hey, if you need a break, there are seasonal washrooms nearby and a few picnic tables to kick back and enjoy the scenery.

Pro tip:

If you’re tackling the longer hikes on Manitoulin, they can take hours. Bring along some trail snacks in reusable containers to keep your energy up, and remember to pack out all your scraps—leave no trace on the trail!

Indian Falls

Media from dianawithlovephoto

Address: 318614 Grey Rd 1, Owen Sound

Contact details: +1 519-376-3076

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM


If you’re looking for a picturesque getaway not too far from Owen Sound, Indian Falls is where it’s at. Nestled in Ontario’s scenic landscape, this place is a gem waiting to be discovered.

Imagine this: a stunning waterfall that cascades into a cool, inviting pool below. It’s the perfect spot for a refreshing swim, especially on a hot summer day. The hike to reach Indian Falls is a leisurely stroll through lush forests that really sets the mood for a relaxing outing.

When you get there, it’s all about kicking back. You can jump into the cool pool, wander around the beautiful surroundings, or just chill out and soak in the peaceful vibes of the rushing water and rustling leaves at Indian Falls. 

Whether you’re into nature, hiking, or just need a break from the usual grind, you can count on Indian Falls to unwind and appreciate Ontario’s awesome natural beauty.

Pro tip:

There’s also a tennis court, baseball field, and a playground with swings and teeter-totters near the parking area for the little ones to enjoy.

René Brunelle Provincial Park

Media from renebrunellepp

Address: Unorganized North Cochrane District

Contact details: +1 705-367-2692


René Brunelle Provincial Park is a fantastic spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Imagine yourself strolling along its beautiful beach, dipping your toes into clear, clean water for swimming on a sunny day. 

As you explore the park’s hiking trails, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape, where nature’s beauty unfolds in every direction.

Need a break? The park is well-equipped with picnic areas and barbecues, inviting you to relax and enjoy a delicious meal amidst nature’s embrace. For those looking to linger a bit longer, René Brunelle offers camping facilities with options, from cozy tent sites to more comfortable cabins.

Basically, you can swim, hike, picnic, or camp in a peaceful and picturesque setting, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing day or weekend getaway immersed in Ontario’s natural beauty.

Pro tips:

At René Brunelle Provincial Park, you’ve got plenty of camping choices, with 88 sites available for tents, trailers, RVs, and even a neat camp cabin option.

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