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Lakefront Beaches in Halifax

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There's nothing quite as soothing on a hot summer day as a refreshing dip. And for those who prefer a cool, freshwater lake to the salty kiss of the ocean, Halifax boasts over 1,000 lakes. While not all of these lakes are suitable for swimming or accessible to the public, we've curated a list of six great lakefront beaches in the region that offer both safe swimming conditions and public access.

Papermill Lake Beach

Drive from Downtown Halifax: 20 minutes

This lake has a supervised beach in the summer months, perfect for nervous swimmers or families with young kids. If you want to get away from the beach and inevitable summer crowds, you can always walk around the lake to find other more secluded areas and jump right off the rocks or shore.

Birch Cove Beach

Drive from Downtown Halifax: 10 minutes

Located on popular rowing lake, Lake Banook, Birch Cove Beach is a popular spot for summer swimming. It’s part of the Birch Cove Park, which features plenty of grassy areas and is supervised by lifeguards during the summer months. The beach is fairly narrow, so many people set up their belongings or towels on the grass just on the other side of the beach path.

Kinsmen First Lake Beach

Drive from Downtown Halifax: 25 minutes

Part of the Sackville Lakes Provincial Park, this is a fantastic, mid-size and well-groomed beach in Lower Sackville. Bonus: just adjacent to the beach is a playground and swing set for children! In the summer months there is also a splash pad.

Chocolate Lake Park & Beach

Drive from Downtown Halifax: 10 minutes

Just beyond Downtown Halifax is a human-made lake and popular swimming destination for locals, called Chocolate Lake (named after the chocolate factory that once excited there!). There is a sandy beach, lots of room for swimming, and lifeguards on duty during the summer months.

Dollar Lake Beach

Drive from Downtown Halifax: 40 minutes

Dollar Lake Provinical Park is home to some amazing amenities, such as camping, trails, parks and a fantastic sandy beach on the fresh-water lake. The park is divided into two sections, the “day use” section (which is free to use) and the “camping section” which has a fee. The day use side offers access to the boat launch, the beach (which is supervised in the summer months), picnic area and more.

Penhorn Lake Beach

Drive from Downtown Halifax: 15 minutes

Tucked away in Dartmouth, Penhorn Lake has a sandy beach which is supervised by lifeguards in the summer months on well-weathered days. There are a few benches that line the beach area as well if you are sick of sitting on the sandy ground.