Summer days are made for the beach. Fortunately, it’s easy for Ottawa beachgoers to escape the city and find a tranquil stretch of sand for sunbathing, swimming and launching canoes, kayaks or SUPs. These beaches are also perfect for sandcastle building or simply relaxing with a good book. Cradled between the Ottawa River and Algonquin Park, the Ottawa Valley is home to over 900 lakes and four major river systems—that means scores of off-the-beaten-track beaches where you can enjoy clean sand and welcoming water, without the crowds. Even better, these beaches are just an hour or two drive from the Capital. Here are 15 of the best beaches near Ottawa.

[This article is part of the Ultimate Ottawa Valley Adventure Guide. Find all the resources you need to plan an adventure-filled trip to the Ottawa Valley.]

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The beaches of the Ottawa Valley are the perfect places to spend a summer day. | Photo: Destination Ontario

Burnstown Beach, McNab/Braeside Township

Just a 45-minute drive from Ottawa, Burnstown Beach is a beautiful beach that feels worlds away from the Capital. Situated along the Madawaska River in the picturesque community of McNab/Braeside, the unsupervised beach offers visitors a large sandy swim area, boat launch and rowing area. The river is also a scenic destination for kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. On shore, there is a play structure, picnic tables, a seasonal snack bar, change rooms, washrooms and a shaded grassy area. Don’t miss Burnstown’s renowned artist galleries, shops and eateries—all housed in heritage buildings and within walking distance from the beach.


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Lake Clear Beach, Eganville

Lake Clear is well known for its crystal-clear water and scenic setting in the pastoral Bonnechere Valley. Lake Clear Beach features fine, white sand that’s perfect for sandcastles and a smooth, gradual drop-off that’s ideal for younger swimmers. Wade out 200 meters to reach deep, refreshing water for swimming and snorkelling. There are no picnic areas or lifeguards on duty, but compost toilets are available. Launch from the beach for a peaceful paddle to nearby Hurds Creek, where you may spot snapping turtles or even peregrine falcons performing their aerial acrobatics above the cliffs.

Fitzroy Provincial Park Beach, Fitzroy Harbour

Situated along the Ottawa River in the heart of the Ottawa Valley, Fitzroy Provincial Park is just under an hour away from the Capital, but it’s quiet and secluded enough to make you feel like you’re in a whole new world. There are two beaches in the park. The main beach is located in the day-use area and has washrooms, drinking water, picnic tables, stand-up barbecues, a volleyball court and canoe/kayak rentals. The camper’s beach is located in Two Rivers Campground and is ideal for families with small children. Both beaches are unsupervised and dogs are not permitted.

While you’re visiting, don’t miss taking a short hike through the park’s century-old white pine forest and stand of majestic, 200-year-old bur oak. Paddlers will find relaxing opportunities for exploration among the smattering of islands just off the main beach, as well as along the meandering Carp River.


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Petawawa Point Beach, Petawawa

Petawawa Point, located at the junction of the Petawawa and Ottawa rivers, is the town of Petawawa’s premiere waterfront park. A lovely sandy beach, stunning vistas, a boat launch, a snack bar and canoe/kayak/SUP rentals are available at “the Point” during the summer season. Petawawa Point extends as a series of islands across the Ottawa River to Quebec, making for excellent paddling opportunities among the islands. This beach is unsupervised, but it is cleaned and monitored daily by municipal staff. The large size of the beach and the broad expanse of the river mean this location has plenty of space to find your own piece of paradise.

Barnet Park Beach, Calabogie Lake, Calabogie

Found just up the lake from Calabogie Peaks Resort and walking distance to the village of Calabogie, Barnet Park Beach enjoys stunning views south across Calabogie Lake to some of the highest hills in the Ottawa Valley. This unsupervised beach is dog-friendly and has both sand and grass areas for sunbathing and a covered area to relax out of the sun. The shore slopes gradually into the crystal-clear water, so it’s perfect for young children to enjoy safely. This quiet park offers washrooms, picnic tables, a play structure, a snack bar and a boat launch.

Beyond the beach, explore this beautiful lake from the water or view it from high above. Kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals, hiking/biking trails and mountain bike rentals are available nearby at Calabogie Peaks Resort. If you’re considering a stay in the area, the resort also offers accommodation, lakeside dining and its own pet-friendly sand beach.


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Bon Echo Provincial Park Beaches, Cloyne

If you’ve never heard of Bon Echo Provincial Park, it is well worth the two-hour drive from Ottawa. The park is best known for Mazinaw Rock, a 1.5-km-long sheer rock face that rises 100 meters out of Mazinaw Lake and features over 260 indigenous pictographs—the largest visible collection in Canada. Visitors can take interpretive boat tours over to the cliffs and climb to a lookout atop the Rock. Canoe and kayak rentals are also available near the park’s Main Beach for self-propelled explorations of Upper and Lower Mazinaw Lakes.

Bon Echo’s Main Beach on Lower Mazinaw Lake is the park’s most popular, featuring a spacious sandy beach with buoyed swimming area (but no lifeguards) and shady areas with picnic tables, water taps and barbecue grills. North and South beaches are nearby and offer a quieter experience for campers and day-use visitors, respectively.

Pine Point Beach, Deep River

Situated along the Ottawa River at the town of Deep River, Pine Point Beach is a true gem of the Ottawa Valley. This unsupervised beach boasts over 200 meters of golden, sandy shoreline with a gradual drop-off for 100 meters followed by an abrupt plunge into deep water. Washrooms and parking are available onsite. While visiting Pine Point, keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles soaring in the air currents above the river. The beach is surrounded by majestic mixed forest with walking trails perfect for an afternoon stroll. Paddlers can explore north along the Ottawa River to a trio of sandy points ending at secluded Burkes Beach.

Driftwood Provincial Park Beach, Stonecliffe

If you don’t mind a bit of traveling, Driftwood Provincial Park is located 220 km northwest of Ottawa and boasts road trip-worthy beaches, riverfront campsites, spectacular sunsets, gorgeous Canadian Shield shoreline and outstanding paddling on the Ottawa River.

Enjoy the refreshingly cool, clear waters of the river from the sandy camper’s beach—which stretches the entire length of the park’s Ottawa Campground, adjacent to many of the campsites—or at the smaller, more private day-use beach. Both beaches are unsupervised. Facilities include washrooms, showers, a boat launch and a park store. Canoe/kayak rentals are available for exploring the park’s secluded shoreline, while experienced paddlers can venture across the Ottawa River to the mouth of the Dumoine River.

Foy Provincial Park Beach, Round Lake

Foy Provincial Park is a hidden gem on the east side of Round Lake, just a few kilometers away from the better-known beach and campground at Bonnechere Provincial Park. Foy is a non-operating provincial park, which means you’ll have to leave your vehicle at the road gate and walk through a stately forest of mature white pine, oak, aspen and birch to the gorgeous sand beach. Round Lake owes its fine sand to the glacial meltwater of the last ice age, when this area was the delta of a great spillway that drained the Algonquin Highlands. Along with swimming and picnicking, paddling on the lake and Bonnechere River are popular activities at this park. There are no visitor facilities, but dogs are welcome on the unsupervised beach.


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Robert Simpson Park Beach, Arnprior

Located in Arnprior just 45 minutes from Ottawa, Robert Simpson Park overlooks the meeting of the Madawaska and Ottawa rivers and offers one of the best beaches near Ottawa. The clean, sandy beach here is well-maintained by the town and offers daily lifeguard supervision during the summer. This lovely park is dog-friendly and features a playground, splash pad, spacious picnic area, lookout pavilion, washrooms and food stand. Walking trails extend upriver to a dam and falls on the Madawaska River.

Braeside Beach, Braeside

If you are looking for a more rustic beach experience, this beach on the Ottawa River just north of Arnprior fits the bill. Braeside Beach is unsupervised with coarse sand and a steep, rocky drop-off into deep water. There are a few picnic tables and a composting toilet onsite. Another beach area with more picnic grounds, flush toilets and a boat launch is located a few hundred meters south of here. Paddlers can launch from either beach for a pleasant tour upstream along the lightly developed shoreline to pretty, petite Sand Point Lighthouse (4 km each way).


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Pakenham Beach, Mississippi Mills

Located on the Mississippi River in the historic hamlet of Pakenham, this small, quiet beach offers washrooms and lifeguard-supervised swimming on designated days throughout the summer. The warm, shallow water is ideal for families with young children. Picnic tables have recently been added to enjoy a picnic by the Mississippi River. Pakenham Beach is a great spot for launching a laidback canoe, kayak or paddleboard exploration of the river’s peaceful meanders. Pakenham’s historic downtown shops, eateries, ice cream parlour and beautiful, stone five-span bridge are within easy walking distance from the beach.

People swimming in a lake with buoy line and forest in background.
The warm lakes in the Ottawa Valley are the perfect temperature for swimming. | Photo: Destination Ontario

Charleston Lake Provincial Park Beaches, Landsdowne

Nestled in the Frontenac Arch—an extension of the Canadian Shield notable for its rocky lake and forest landscape—Charleston Lake Provincial Park is found 150 km south of Ottawa, but feels like it belongs much farther north. Pristine Charleston Lake is the focal point of this large park, which boasts excellent swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing, and is a favorite family camping destination. Paddlers can explore the lake’s 75 km of shoreline and numerous islands, bays and coves. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent in the park.

Charleston Lake has two beautiful swimming beaches, one in the day-use area and one in Shady Ridge Campground. Both beaches are unsupervised but marked with buoys and excellent for all ages, as the shoreline and lakebed are gently sloping. Picnic areas with barbecue grills, water taps and washrooms are located adjacent to the beaches. There is also a designated pet beach beside the Shady Ridge Beach.

Rideau Ferry Yacht Club Beach, Lower Rideau Lake

Located at Rideau Ferry Yacht Club Conservation Area on Lower Rideau Lake between Perth and Smith’s Falls, this 10-acre conservation area is a popular local park with a sandy swimming beach, picnic area, changing cabins, outhouses and boat launch. Families love the warm, shallow water off the beach and the peaceful setting. Lower Rideau Lake forms part of the historic Rideau Canal Waterway, extending from Ottawa to Kingston. The canal’s Beveridge Locks and the bird-filled wetlands of the River Tay are within easy paddling distance from the conservation area.

Two kids playing in the water at sunset
Beaches so beautiful you’ll be there from sunup to sundown. | Photo: Destination Ontario

Silver Lake Provincial Park Beach, Maberly

Just an hour’s drive from Ottawa near the town of Maberly, Silver Lake Provincial Park is situated on a clean, clear and picturesque lake that offers great swimming, paddling and fishing—not to mention one of the best beaches near Ottawa. This wide crescent of sandy beach is Silver Lake’s main attraction, with a smaller sand beach found near the picnic shelter. Barbecue facilities, buoyed swim area and a playground make this beach ideal for family gatherings. There are no lifeguards on duty.

While you’re here, explore the marsh boardwalk at the eastern end of the lake that crosses through a noisy, colorful habitat of painted turtles, bullfrogs, red-winged blackbirds and mallards. Canoe rentals are available in the park and paddling is a relaxing way to enjoy the Silver Lake shoreline. Plan a longer stay and take advantage of the park’s waterfront campsites.

The beaches of the Ottawa Valley are the perfect places to spend a summer day. | Photo courtesy of: Destination Ontario


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