Northumberland is surrounded by the waters of Lake Ontario, Rice Lake and the Trent River (the basis of the Trent-Severn Waterway). Sandy beaches, warm lakes and quiet rivers offer a chance to relax, have a family picnic or go for a refreshing swim.
The Lake Ontario shoreline offers white sand beaches at Cobourg, Port Hope and Presqu'ile Provincial Park. A quiet pebble-and-sand beach is found at the Alnwick/Haldimand Conservation Area in between Grafton and Colborne.
Try swimming the Crowe River at the Crowe Bridge Park, a 26-acre outdoor recreation paradise located on the Crowe River just north of the town of Campbellford. The weir dam creates a wonderful swimming area with peaceful picnicking spaces and hiking trails.
The Trent River offers a couple of swimming holes: Hastings (west of the main bridge) or head over to the Lion's Park beach in Campbellford complete with children's play equipment and a picnic shelter.
Little Lake public beach between Colborne and Brighton offers a small lake for swimming. Spend the day on the sloped, grassy shoreline with a sandy-bottomed swimming area.
Rice Lake has cottage rentals, where you can swim, paddle or relax by the water. Enjoy the newly-renovated Bewdley Waterfront Park with playground equipment, public docks and swimming. Take a dip at the Gores Landing public dock (pebbly) or enjoy the views from the gazebo. Try a short hike down to the water at the Rice Lake Conservation Area and enjoy aquatic nature on the lake.
If you prefer a swimming pool, public swimming is available year-round at the Cobourg YMCA and Port Hope Sports Complex. Centennial Pool in Cobourg is an outdoor seasonal facility, open to the public and the pool is available for rentals for birthday parties, sports teams, family reunions and other functions. Outdoor swimming pools are also located in Brighton and Campbellford.
Are you looking for more than just a swim? Give Brighton a try for your scuba diving adventure since it has a unique island character and 800 km of spectacular coastline for diving.
It is home to the shipwrecked, 80 ft. long, HMS Speedy which was a 1798 battle schooner with four-pound guns. There is also a small wreck in very shallow water just off Salt Point on the north side of Presqu'ile Provincial Park.
In Port Hope, the P.B. Locke has found her place on the charts of Great Lakes shipwrecks and is now equipped with radar reflector, flasher and tagline (a first for Northumberland County). The Locke was built in Ohio in 1873, 136-foot, three-mast wooden schooner which sailed the Great Lakes for many years before being repurposed as a barge for the Point Anne Quarries out of the Bay of Quinte. She sank during a storm in 1912 while carrying a cargo of stone. No lives were lost. Visit the Save Ontario Shipwrecks site for even more information on the Locke