Canada may be one of the coldest countries in the world, but that doesn't mean ice and snow are all it has to offer. In fact, Canada gets considerably hot in the summer months, with temperatures reaching tropical highs in some locations. On the most torrid days, many Canadians become inclined to seek out swimming spots to cool off in. But don't be mistaken—a community pool or a local beach just won't do.
With so many incredible swimming spots across Canada to choose from, it would be a great injustice to simply resort to those options. So if you're looking for a place to take a satisfying dip, do yourself a favour and go exploring! You never know what hidden treasures you might find in your province or territory.
To lend you some inspiration for the summer, here is our list of secluded swimming spots in Canada:
Fairmont Creek Waterfall
The Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in BC is home to the largest natural mineral hot springs in Canada. Yet, perhaps more impressive than its thermal pools is the less-frequented waterfall that is hidden in plain sight nearby.
A short five-minute hike below the resort's grounds will bring you to the Fairmont Creek Waterfall, one of the best-kept secrets in the Canadian Rockies.
A heated cascade spills into small, Pamukkale-like rock pools, creating a true hot spring. Bathers will enjoy the waterfall's warm waters, as well as the spectacular panorama of the mountain range in the distance.
Located in the heart of BC's Kootenay Mountain range is the Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, a tucked-away paradise with unique offerings.
The mineral waters of the naturally-heated baths were first discovered by the Ktunaxa First Nations hundreds of years ago. Later on, in the 1930s, the resort was opened to the public, and since then, the healing properties of the hot springs have helped treat the ailments of people from all over the world.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the resort is the all-natural, 150-foot horseshoe cave where bathers can soak all of their troubles away in cozy, 42°C waters.
A great time to visit the Comox Valley in Vancouver Island is during the summer when you can take advantage of the area's beautiful swimming holes.
One spot you can't miss is Barber's Hole, a freshwater swimming hole that is perfect for cooling off in on hot summer days. Its calm waters consist of natural clay treatments that cleanse your skin as you swim.
The 2.6-kilometer trail that leads to Barber's Hole will also take you to the spectacular Nymph Falls, a rushing waterfall where you can also take a dip.
Courageous hikers will want to stop by Horseshoe Lake, one of the deepest lakes in Jasper, Alberta. Its blue-green waters are surrounded by limestone cliffs of varying sizes, making it a popular spot for cliff jumping.
Some people have even leaped at 80 feet above the water and still lived to tell the tale. However, given the risks of the activity, you'd probably be better off just swimming in the lake instead.
Aside from swimming and cliff diving, Horseshoe Lake is also a popular location for scuba diving and fishing.
Little Manitou Lake
One of Saskatchewan's most legendary lakes is located 116 kilometers southeast of Saskatoon, near the charming town of Watrous.
Known as the "Dead Sea of Canada," Little Manitou Lake has a mineral density three times saltier than the ocean, allowing swimmers to float effortlessly on their backs.
The minerals, which mostly consist of sodium, magnesium, and potassium, have healing properties that play a role in soothing arthritis and joint pain.
Steep Rock is a peaceful oasis located on the shores of Lake Manitoba. The site is known for its breathtaking sunsets and striking rock formations.
Its crystal clear waters are perfect for a relaxing swim during hot summer days. Visitors can also partake in canoeing or kayaking, with rentals available at various locations around the lake.
Other features of the park include private coves, sandy beaches, scenic trails, and even ATV routes throughout the forested area.
Opened in 1956, this man-made lake in the town of Stonewall, Manitoba was developed at the site of a former limestone quarry.
Located just 34 minutes from Winnipeg, Kinsmen Lake is a quick escape for Winnipegers looking for a beach adventure. Its relatively shallow waters warm up on hot days, allowing for comfortable swims.
The site is also equipped with a long dock and various concessions along the beach.
The clear-cut gem of Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario is Topaz Lake, the hiker's reward at the end of an 11-kilometer trek through the park.
This private oasis features blue-emerald waters that are bordered by white quartzite mounds. Explorers who decide to spend the night at the nearby campsite can experience the picture-perfect sunsets and the dark skies for stargazing.
Fun fact: Topaz Lake is the subject of an iconic painting by artist Arthur Lismer who was a member of the Group of Seven.
Morrison's Quarry is one of Quebec's most prized hidden gems. Located in the village of Wakefield, the swimming hole is known for having some of the clearest waters around.
In fact, they are so clear that you can see as far down as 100 feet! Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the quarry is a preferred site for scuba diving.
Visitors who are brave enough can also go bungee jumping at this location via the Great Canadian Bungee, which towers 200 feet above the quarry.
A short hike along a 2.6-kilometer trail near Cheticamp, Nova Scotia will lead you to the Gypsum Quarry, a secret swimming spot with emerald waters and gypsum cliffs.
Hikers can take a soothing dip in the man-made lake below, as well as enjoy the heart-stopping views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the elevated hills above.
There is also a zipline that stretches across the length of the quarry for thrillseekers who crave an adrenaline rush.
Sandy Cove Beach
Newfoundland and Labrador may not be primarily known for its beaches, but that doesn't make them any less worth exploring.
A great place to start is Sandy Cove Beach, a little corner of paradise in the Eastport Peninsula. The picturesque cove features soft, fine sands and shallow waters which make for a truly tranquil beach experience.
There are also hiking trails that can be accessed above the beach that lead to various lookout points and vistas.
Kildare Capes Beach
Prince Edward Island's famous red sands are on full display at Kildare Capes Beach, a cozy beach situated on the banks of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
A walk by the water will reveal an array of eye-catching shells, driftwood, and sea glass which add dimension to the red sands of the beach.
Along its shoreline are also a collection of old sandstone cliffs that become beautifully saturated with colour during sunsets.
Photo by Ainsworth Hot Springs
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