The beaches on the north eastern shores of Lake Erie offer some excellent swimming. They are for the most part fine sand, and with the lake being very shallow, the water is warm. Although a few decades ago, this lake had murky water and was not pleasant for swimming, things have changed drastically since then. Due to environmental controls and the invasion of the zebra mussels which eat algae, Lake Erie now has beautiful clear water that compares with Lake Huron, but much warmer! Temperatures on the shallow beaches in summer range from the mid 70's to high 80's degrees Fahrenheit. The quality of water at the beaches in the Niagara Region is monitored every few days in the summer by the Niagara Health Authority and posted online. They also provide water temperatures. Click here to access Niagara Beach Monitoring.
You may be surprised and delighted to know that there are beautiful beaches in Fort Erie and the views are lovely. However land on either side of the Town owned beaches is privately owned and some of the beaches are fenced in during the summer months by the adjoining cottage owners.
Crystal Beach/Bay Beach West end of Erie Road, Crystal Beach, west end of Greater Fort Erie
The combined Crystal-Bay Beach is the jewel in the crown of Fort Erie's Beaches. Sometimes referred to as "Canada's South Coast", it is a wide stretch 1000 feet long of soft sand. Sparkling clear water slopes gradually on a pure sand base. The pastel coloured cottages above the sea wall, bright umbrellas and huge crowds on a good day give the feeling of The Riviera. In the distance is a view of the old pier that existed when Crystal Beach had an amusement park. There are two entrances - a footpath off Erie Road at Ashwood Road at the east end and an entrance off the parking lot at the west end. Washrooms, outdoor snack bar and beach vendors. Free admission, paid parking lot, free parking available nearby. Security guards at entrances check for alcohol and glass.
Entrance to Crystal Beach
Beach View & Old Pier
Waverly Beach Foot of Helena St., south end Fort Erie
This is a fair sized beach with a pleasant tree shaded park and benches. The beach is bordered by a breakwater on one side and wall from old ruins on the other so tends to collect seaweed. The sand bottom is interspersed with rocks. Although not ideally suited to swimming, this is a lovely place to come for a picnic and stroll. A concrete promenade runs along the shoreline where one may see interesting ruins from an old amusement park known as Erie Beach Amusement Park. Parking lot (free) and public washrooms.
Waverly Beach Park
Bernard Beach (also known as Thunder Bay Beach) Foot of Bernard Avenue, between Fort Erie proper and Crystal Beach
This is a small beach, about 66 feet wide, located in a beautiful bay. There is a pure sand bottom all the way out and shallow water sloping gradually. Large parking lot. Free.
Bernard Avenue Beach View to east
Bernard Avenue Beach
Bernard Avenue Beach View to west
Crescent Beach Foot of Crescent Rd., south end Fort Erie
This is a small beach, about 66 feet wide, located in a crescent shaped bay. Pure sand bottom, but tends to get silty farther out in late summer. Shallow water slopes gradually. Parking lot across the road (free).
Crescent Beach - view to west
Centralia Beach Access off Thunder Bay Rd., west of Colony Rd.
This is a small beach, about 66 feet wide. Pure sand bottom all the way out, sloping gradually. Access is reached by a 10 minute walk on a signed trail through a wood. The woodchip trail leads off the parking lot.
Path to Centralia Beach
Centralia Beach - View to east
Windmill Point Park Quarry Entrance off Dominion Rd. between Stonemill Rd. and Windmill Point Rd.
If you like swimming in deep cool water, you might like to visit the quarry at Windmill Point Park. This picturesque quarry has a designated swimming area with lifeguard. As this is a private mobile home park, there is an entry fee, or a seasonal pass can be purchased.
Bathing Area & Raft
Windmill Point Park Quarry
Pleasant Beach Foot of Pleasant Beach Rd., just outside the western border of Greater Fort Erie
If you like to go where the action is you might like this beach. A long stretch of soft sand, with a high dune at one end. Adjacent and accessible to Sherkston Beach, a private mobile home park. On a good day this beach is an awesome sight, crowded with bathers, umbrellas, golf carts and vehicles tailgating. No parking lot or facilities but cars park along the road.
Pleasant Beach to Sherkston Shores
Sand Dune at Pleasant Beach
Nickel Beach Port Colborne, west of Fort Erie
A large beach with good sand. Some parking at entrance gate, no facilities. In Port Colborne, turn south to the lake on the eastern side of the bridges over the Welland Canal.