This article was independently produced by our editorial team with financial support from Develop Nova Scotia, connecting our city to the water. Visit Halifax waterfront this summer for food, art, shopping and adventure. Find a list of things to do and see here.
Sunny days are here, and we're itching to take a dip in some fresh water. No car? No problem. Some of Halifax's best lakes are accessible by public transit. If you're looking for a quick nature getaway, here are the lakes just outside the city you can take the bus to.
Long Lake, Spryfield
Located in Long Lake Provincial Park, there’s tons to do at this popular spot. Hike one of many wilderness trails, rent a paddleboard or kayak, or go for a swim. It’s a large lake with multiple entrance points, so there’s something for everyone.
Bus routes: 9A/B, 22, 24
Amenities: Washrooms, paddle launch, equipment rentals, bike racks
Chocolate Lake, Armdale
This delicious-sounding lake is one of Halifax’s most popular swimming spots because it’s easy to get to, and super warm. Chocolate Lake is perfect for an evening dip after a long day, when you’re more likely to beat the crowds. Just make sure to check if there’s an algae bloom warning first.
Bus routes: 9A/B, 22
Amenities: Change rooms, showers, washrooms, lifeguards, tennis court, basketball court
William’s Lake, Spryfield
This tucked-away lake is clear, cool and great for swimming. There are trails to explore in the area, too. A 15-minute walk will lead you to a popular cliff-jumping spot.
Bus routes: 25
Kearney Beach, Bedford
Kearney Beach is a popular swimming destination for families. You can also watch rowing or sailing practices at the aquatic clubs on the lake, or explore the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Wilderness Area.
Bus routes: 90
Amenities: Washroom, playground, lifeguards
Sandy Lake Park Beach, Bedford
There’s plenty to do at this Bedford lake. Sandy Lake is a popular swimming destination, but you can also fish for bass and speckled trout, or take a walk on the hiking trail that loops around the water. And with a beach volleyball court and picnic benches thrown into the mix, this beach is a one-stop shop.
Bus routes: 90, 91
Amenities: Change rooms, washrooms, lifeguards, picnic area, beach volleyball court
Kinsmen First Lake Beach, Lower Sackville
Kinsmen Lake is a kid-friendly spot with a playground and a splash pad. There’s also a big gazebo overlooking the water.
Bus route: 84, 92
Amenities: Playground, splash pad
Lake Banook, Dartmouth
A city swim in the heart of Dartmouth, Lake Banook is a busy spot right next to Sullivan’s Pond. The lake is dotted with aquatic clubs, so you can watch a regatta or go kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding yourself. There are a few different beaches around the lake for you to try out, including Birch Cove Beach, Lions Beach and Brookdale Beach.
Bus routes: 62, 55
Amenities: Change rooms, washrooms, lifeguards, showers, canoe/kayak launches
Penhorn Lake Beach, Dartmouth
Penhorn Lake is a quaint alternative to Banook Lake, great for swimming or just lounging by the water.
Bus routes: 62, 10
Amenities: Change rooms, washrooms, benches, lifeguards
Albro Lake Beach, Dartmouth
Nestled in a residential area of Dartmouth, Albro Lake has a small beach, but the lake itself is spacious to swim in.
Bus routes: 10, 53, 72
Amenities: Change rooms, washrooms, lifeguards
Shubie Beach, Dartmouth
There’s plenty to do at this inviting beach located on Charles Lake in Dartmouth. Camp in Shubie Park, rent a Kayak, go for a swim or explore the 11km of trails around the park
Bus routes: 55, 56, 72
Amenities: Lifeguards, equipment rentals, campground, baseball field