Header photo by Yoga with Kalie

Whether you prefer to dive right in, drop oh-so-carefully into an inner tube or lower yourself into the water in the most painstaking manner (the stomach is the hardest...), our cool and crisp lakes beckon even the wimpiest to take a dip. While we continue to work on our listicle of all 100,000 lakes in Manitoba (anyone have an idea for a clever title?), we have 9 refreshing lakes you MUST swim in this summer in Manitoba.

1. North Steeprock Lake

Not to be confused with Steep Rock on Lake Manitoba, North Steeprock Lake Provincial Park is located north of Swan River in the area known as the Porcupine Hills. As part of the Manitoba Escarpment, the region is lush with forested uplands and clear lakes, with a campground for overnight stays.

2. West Hawk Lake

As Manitoba's deepest lake, West Hawk Lake is a must-must-must-dip this summer. Formed by a meteorite crashing into the Earth, the lake is 111 metres deep and also a hotspot for scuba divers, believe it or not. Here, you can stay overnight at the campground or just hang out for the day on the beach. The water can be a wee bit chilly! 

3. Clearwater Lake

Even if you don't like swimming, you'll be tempted to take a dip in the crystal clear, cold waters of Clearwater Lake Provincial Park. We tested this in-office with a Travel Manitoba staff member who prefers to stay landlocked. Spoiler: she went swimming. While at this spring-fed lake, be sure to also check out the nearby Caves Hiking Trail.

4. Lake Athapapuskow

This vast glacial-fed lake in northern Manitoba is known for fabulous fishing opportunities - but its clear, refreshing and cold waters will beckon you in for a swim, too. There are plenty of access points, but a stay at Bakers Narrows Lodge will provide you with a beach and kayaks/paddleboards for exploring more of the lake. 

5. Dauphin Lake

Head to the western shore of Dauphin Lake and uncover a fine selection of sandy beaches. Take your pick from Rainbow Beach Provincial Park, Sifton Beach, Stony Point Beach and Ochre Beach and enjoy a day with your toes in the sand!

6. Black Lake

Get off the beaten path and head into Nopiming Provincial Park to Black Lake - the starting point of many daring and lengthy canoe trips. Even if you aren't the adventurous type, you can easily spend a day or two at the campground basking in the raw wilderness and swimming in the lake's beautiful waters.

7. Caddy Lake

Caddy Lake is first and foremost known for its amazing canoe route and tunnels - but did you know it also has a cute beach? Whether just visiting for the day or staying in the campground, this area of Whiteshell Provincial Park simply can't be missed. Boat, canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals are available nearby at Caddy Lake Resort.

8. Child's Lake

On the western side of Duck Mountain Provincial Park sits Child's Lake, a stunning blue-green body of water fed by fresh springs. While you might already know about the East and West Blue Lakes of Duck Mountain, it would be a mistake to overlook this gorgeous area of the park. Yurts and campground sites are available for overnight stays.

9. Nutimik Lake

If you've managed to snag a spot at the Nutimik Lake Campground in Whiteshell Provincial Park, consider yourself a happy (and lucky) camper! This gorgeous spot features a lovely little beach and the oh-so-beautiful Nutimik Lake, with its rocky shores and lush surroundings. Oh, and make sure you don't miss the suspension bridge that crosses the Whiteshell River.

Please practice water safety and take some time to review Manitoba's drowning prevention tips before heading out to the lake.