Swimming at Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: July 2021

Sturgeon Bay is located along the rocky shore of Georgian Bay. It’s reputed to be a great spot for swimming as the bay is shallow and protected which means that the water is usually warm in the summer. Sturgeon Bay also offers a variety of other recreational activities on the water including boating, canoeing and fishing.

We spent most of the day hiking in Awenda and Six Mile Lake Provincial Parks. On the drive to Restoule Provincial Park, we made one last detour to go for a swim at Sturgeon Bay. The park is conventionality located a few minutes off of the Trans-Canada Highway 69. We pulled into the park just after 4p.m.

We first stopped to check out the boat launch. There’s a small dock, fish cleaning station and canoes available to rent here. Apparently the fishing in Sturgeon Bay is excellent. The park offers dock slips at the boat lunch area for campers and day-use visitors, but docking is by permit only, and on a first-come-first-serve basis.

We then drove through the small campground. Sturgeon Bay offers around 80 campsites, some of which are located along the waterfront. While some sites looked nice, many of them are grouped close together and don’t offer much privacy.

Afterwards we drove down to the day-use and beach area to go for a swim. The washrooms were still being cleaned, so we just sat at a picnic table at a nearby empty campsite and waited for a few minutes. No complaints from us as we didn’t mind the wait to then use the clean washrooms.

We changed into our bathing suits and were ready to hit the water even though it was overcast. The beach is sandy and the swimming area is buoyed off into two sections. It felt great to finally go for a swim after a long day of hiking. The water felt amazing.

Afterwards we sat on a rocky outcrop that overlooks the water to dry off and just enjoy the views. The skies were more noticeably hazy here from all the recent wildfires in northwestern Ontario.

We then got changed out of our bathing suits and continued our drive to Restoule. While I don’t think I’d ever want to camp at Sturgeon Bay, it was well worth the detour to go for a swim.


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

44 thoughts on “Swimming at Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park

  1. Ab says:

    Looks like a nice spot for a swim. You can always never go wrong with Georgian Bay! This seems like a lifetime ago now that we are in mid autumn weather.

  2. Ken Dowell says:

    I don’t know exactly what, but it does say something that they thought it necessary to put up a sign reminding parents that their children are their responsibility.

  3. John says:

    If parents can’t be responsible for their children then perhaps they should reconsider parenthood? No French on the sign. The water has got to be so cold!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      HA, no kidding. I thought the sign was hilarious. Perhaps the park has had issues in the past with parents not looking after their children. Georgian Bay is usually pretty chilly year round, but this protected bay was surprisingly quite warm. It was the perfect place to go for a swim.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a nice reward after spending the day hiking. The campground didn’t look the greatest, but the beach area was pretty nice and wasn’t very crowded.

      We had beautiful weather yesterday for Halloween. We had about 50 kids come to our door, which is more than we thought would come, but luckily didn’t run out of candy. Hope you had a wonderful Halloween weekend as well.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure, it was hot and humid that day and it was nice to go for a swim after after spending the day hiking. The water felt refreshing. While I doubt we’d ever camp here, it was a nice spot to take a break to go for a swim as the beach area is quite lovely and it wasn’t very busy. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      While most of Georgian Bay is usually chilly, even in the summer, the water in this area was quite warm. The beach is located in a small protected bay so the water usually warms up during the summer months. It was definitely worth the detour to stop here just to go for a swim.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Even thought it was overcast, or rather hazy from all the wildfires, the views of those windswept pines that are scattered along the shoreline were lovely. It was also a nice treat to go for a swim to beat the heat. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Totally! That sign reminding parents that their children are their responsibility still cracks me up. I love that some people still need that reminder! Agreed, those signs should be more widespread!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. It was a hot day and the water felt amazing. There’s something about taking a shower or going for a swim after a long day of hiking that just leaves me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Thanks for your kind words. If it weren’t for spending time in nature, I’d probably go insane. It’s a nice way to momentarily forget about provincial and federal politics, the pandemic, and everything else that is wrong in this world. I read in the news the other day that your premier wants Saskatchewan to have nationhood status.

      • annemariedemyen says:

        He is hellbent on convincing everyone in this province that we are all so angry, frustrated, and hard done by, that he is our only hero and salvation. I think he is an idiot but unfortunately a lot of people here have bought into his pity party. A lot of people want to be his pathetic ‘victims’. 🤷 I would rather be Canadian 🇨🇦.
        You are right about nature keeping one sane. It is my lifeline and more in the midst of all of this stupidity. 🌲🐦🐿️

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I hope the other leaders don’t follow a similar plan where it becomes the “us versus them” mentality, although it sort of seems like Alberta is heading down that path already. And here I thought times of crisis are supposed to bring people together, but instead it seems like as a country and society we’re more divided than ever.

      • annemariedemyen says:

        Yes, the pandemic has not brought out the best in everyone sadly. I think a lot of it is the media constantly harping on how everyone is struggling and stressed.

  4. alisendopf says:

    Lucky you to be able to swim in your lakes – every summer. The sign about parents being responsible for their children … classic. You know that sign is there for a reason 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’re lucky that Ontario has no shortage of nice sandy beaches and clean lakes to go swimming. The sign reminding parents that their children are their responsibility gave me a good laugh. And yes, it’s probably there for a good reason!

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