There's something sweet about swimming outdoors in the summertime. A dip in the lake, floating in a stream, splashing into the ocean. Take a weekend to relax and savour the swims - fresh, salty and wild - on this wild swimming weekend in Halifax.
Day 1: Go wild & stay wild
- Take an ocean swim among the 100 Wild Islands
- Stay in a cozy Nordic hut at Norse Cove Camping
Day 2: Fresh & salty unsupervised swims
- Steep yourself in Tea Lake, then fuel up for the next adventure at The Armview Restaurant
- Cool off in the Harbour with a view of Dartmouth at Black Rock Beach
DAY 1: Go Wild & Stay Wild
Explore the white sand beaches and sheltered coves of the 100 Wild Islands
Book an adventure with Norse Cove Boat Tours. They'll drop you off on an uninhabited island that’s yours alone to explore - and swim! - for the day, returning later to pick you up. Or for a truly wild experience, bring camping gear and spend the night!
Bonus: Prefer a more chill day on the water? You can also rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards!
Stay in a Nordic Hut
Relax and enjoy the coastal breeze from a cozy Nordic hut at Norse Cove Camping. You can walk out your door and into the ocean - wild swimming at its best!
DAY 2: Fresh & salty unsupervised swims
Note: The beaches recommended below are unsupervised and are not tested for water quality by the city. Visit at your own risk.
Steep in Tea Lake
Located off Purcells Cove Road, just before Battery Drive (about a 20-minute drive) – its actual name is Purcells Pond. People say it gets its nickname from the orangey-hue of the water (don't wear a white suit!) and/or because it runs a little warm. The climb in is a little rocky and a little steep; as the lake leads into some excellent hiking trails in the Herring Cove backlands. But it's worth it!
Grab lunch (or brunch!)
Conveniently located en route to your next stop, The Armview is a classic diner with one of the most popular brunches in the city (and a view of the Northwest Arm from their patio!). We recommend their eggs benedict or the lobster club!
Finish your day at Black Rock Beach
Located in Point Pleasant Park with a great view of Dartmouth, Black Rock Beach is a great spot to swim (unsupervised) on a warm summer day in the Halifax Harbour. It is also said to be haunted by Patrick Tulligan, a young man who was falsely accused of pirating and hung at the beach in the 1700s!
The beach is ideal for scuba diving because of the breakwater from the nearby Halifax Pier and eelgrass beds. But is also a great spot for lounging and taking in the view.
Note: This beach is vulnerable to bacteria contamination especially after heavy precipitation and is not supervised, therefore not tested for water quality by the city. Always avoid water contact a minimum of 3 days after heavy rains.
Pack & Prep:
- Always check before heading to a lake to ensure no water quality issues. The HRM tests water quality at all of its supervised lakes. Visit and swim at unsupervised beaches and lakes at your own risk.
- You’ll need a bathing suit and towels - bring extra to cover your car seats. Water shoes can come in handy to access some of the rockier spots.
- Swim goggles guard against the sting of salt water
- A mask and snorkel open up the undersea world - you‘ll be amazed at the amount of aquatic life you’ll see.