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Things to do in Blue Mountain and Collingwood, Ontario

 

Looking for things to do in Blue Mountain Ont

 

 

 

ario? We’ve got it covered. Blue Mountain resort is our old stomping ground. Having previously lived up north, we buy the Blue Mountain 5X7 ski pass annually in the winter and camp on the shores of Georgian Bay every weekend in the summer.

Located just two hours northwest of Toronto, the Blue Mountains have everything you could want in a vacation destination. With great dining, excellent spas and incredible adventure activities, a visit to the Blue Mountains is like going on vacation without having to leave the country.

Best things to do in Blue Mountains Ontario.

The Blue Mountains are truly Ontario’s playground, and if you’re looking to get out of town after COVID, here are all the things to do in Blue Mountain and Collingwood that will keep you busy all summer long.

Scenic caves eco-adventure 2.

One of the most interesting things to do in Blue Mountain is to take the Scenic Caves Eco-Adventure. This tour starts with a breathtaking walk across the longest suspension bridge in Southern Ontario. It’s a thrilling ride, as it bridges 420 feet above Georgian Bay. It offers the best views of the surrounding area. Then it’s on to the high ropes, where wooden planks set high in the treetops taper down.

high ropes at blue mountainEnjoying the high ropes near Blue Mountain.

It’s a thrill followed by a visit to the historic caves. This natural wonder took millions of years to form and was an important historical village for the Petun First Nation people. After touring these beautiful caves, finish with a 30-meter long zip line with a 150-meter drop.

Self-guided tours of the Scenic Caves are available. We have done both and had a great time each time. But I must admit that the guided tour was much better, as I learned a lot about the history and geology of the area. Check out the tour here.

3. Blue Mountain Suspension Bridge

Suspension bridge overlooking Georgian Bay.

The suspension bridge is part of the eco-tour, but you can cross it yourself if you go to the scenic caves on your own self-guided tour. The 420-foot-long bridge is suspended 82 feet above the forest.

4. Scandinave Spa

blue mountains scandinave SpaScandinave Spa in Georgian Bay

If you’re looking for a gentler spa experience near Blue Mountain, Scandinave Spa, just a short drive from town. This spa is a spectacular experience that is open year round. I find it even more magical in the winter.

Scandinave Spa is an outdoor oasis with thermal baths, Nordic waterfalls and cold pools with a Finnish sauna, eucalyptus steam room and relaxation areas. It’s a place to really take your time to relax and enjoy after a full day of outdoor adventures in the Blue Mountains.

5. Explore Blue Mountain Village

In Blue Mountain Village there is always something to do and chances are there will be musicians performing (regardless of the season). The shops are great for outdoor gear and there are plenty of places to eat.

6. Stay at Blue Mountain Village

things to do in blue mountains ontarioPicturesque town in the Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountain Village is located at the base of the Blue Mountains and is our favorite place to stay. This pedestrian area is full of restaurants, shops, bars and cafes.

There are many hotels in Blue Mountain Resort to choose from. In the winter, we love staying at the Blue Mountain Inn Slopeside. It’s located directly on our favorite black diamond slopes.

In the summer, our choices are the gorgeous Westin Trillium House, located in Millpond, overlooking Blue Mountain Village, which is a bit removed from the crowds in town. But we also like the Moasic Boutique Suites, located in the center of town. Its year-round outdoor heated pool is a treat.

Find more Blue Mountain Resort and Collingwood hotels on TripAdvisor.

Places to Eat in Blue Mountain Resort

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Blue Mountain Village

Firehall Pizza – Modeled after an authentic firehall in downtown Toronto, you feel like you’re eating your food in the middle of a firehouseOliver & Bonacini – one of Canada’s premier fine dining restaurants located in the Westin Trillium HouseCopper Blues – We love the ambiance of this bar and grill located at 156 Jozo Weider Blvd.

There are also plenty of cafes and shops to grab a snack. Grab an ice cream cone at Little Blue House Scoops and check out the boutiques in town. Whenever we go on vacation, we get the urge for fudge and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory satisfied our craving. For breakfast, head to the Sunset Grill for apple cinnamon pancakes.

7. Collingwood

Collingwood is the main town in the area and is the perfect place to base yourself while traveling to neighboring towns to explore all there is to do.

Nestled between Georgian Bay and the UNESCO biosphere reserve, the Niagara Escarpment, offers many opportunities for adventure travel. We always stop here for beer and wine and some cheese and bread to snack on in our room at the Blue Mountain Hotel.

When you’re in Collingwood, visit the South Georgian Bay Visitor Centre and Collingwood Museum to learn about what’s happening in the area. Located in an 1873 train station, the two share a building, so you can explore Collingwood’s shipbuilding history and culture while learning about today’s happenings.

8. Walk the Apple Pie Trail

The Apple Pie trail is a great day of outdoor exploration.

Speaking of apples, one of the best road trips in the area is to travel the Apple Pie Trail. The Apple Pie Trail is a driving route that takes you through the charming towns and villages of Georgian Bay. The moderate effects of Georgian Bay make for perfect apple growing conditions and area businesses are happy to showcase their food and art designed around the land of apples.

Three generations at Grandma LambesThree generations at Grandma Lambes on the apple pie trail.

There are stops in Blue Mountain Village and Craigleith, Beaver Valley, Thornbury and Meaford. We stopped for fresh apple pie at Grandma Lambes in Meaford and stocked up on cheese at Cheese Gallery in Thornbury.

See the Apple Pie Trail website for a full itinerary and to create your own self-guided tour.

9. Climbing the Niagara Escarpment

The Collingwood and Blue Mountain area has some of the best rock climbing in Ontario. Back in the day, our favourite spot was Metcalf Rock just outside of Collingwood, and we hear it is now too popular. We used to ride the top ropes and sport climb this wall and loved spending the day out in nature. But there are many other climbing routes in the area, such as Old Baldy and Pinnacle Rock.

If you have no climbing experience, book a climbing route with On The Rocks climbing They are a great introduction to outdoor rock climbing. If you want to try indoor climbing, Climbers Corner in Collingwood has some climbing walls. Indoor climbing is great fun.

10. Go hiking in the Blue Mountains.

There are plenty of hiking trails in the Blue Mountain and Collingwood area. You don’t even have to leave town to go on a great hike. The Blue Mountain slopes are full of great nature hikes and you can leave right from your hotel room. Located on the Niagara Escarpment, Blue Mountain Resort is in the heart of some of Ontairo’s best hiking.

But if you want to get out further to explore more of Georgian Bay and the Escarpment, the Bruce Trail is nearby, with countless loops to get you outdoors.

The Loree Forest Loop is one of the most popular short routes that offers outstanding views. The Bruce Trail Beaver Valley Route is an excellent hike and the Georgian Trail is another top choice.

11. Mountain biking at Blue Mountain

blue mountains mountain bike 3 stage

There are amazing trails around Blue Mountain and again, you don’t even have to leave the town of Blue Mountain to hit the trails. There are great mountain bike trails in the resort which is one of the main places for downhill biking, but they also have cross country.

Our favorite trail near Blue Mountain is the 3 Stage Mountain Bike Trail in Pretty River Valley Provincial Park. It has 2500 acres of biking for all abilities and levels.

I don’t know the exact location anymore, but there was an awesome trail that Dave and I used to ride between Wasaga Beach and Collingwood. We were looking for the freeway exit.

12. Cycling at Collingwood Loops

cycling to scenic Blue Mountains caves.

Collingwood has some of the best cycling in Ontario, with challenging routes. When we were training for Africa, we rode up here all the time. The Scenic Cave Route was the toughest. There’s Dave in front of me, enjoying a great ride just outside of Collingwood.

There are loop routes ranging from 40km to 100km. We loved going to Creemore, where there’s a great place for a coffee or a beer. But there are many routes to choose from. If you want a longer route, try the Collingwood to Kimberly route.

13. Georgian Bicycle Route

mountain bike blue mountains

If road biking isn’t your thing, the Georgian Trail is a 34 km coastal trail that runs from Collingwood to Meaford. Grab your bike and ride this trail. You don’t have to ride it, this trail is also good for walkers.

The former Northern Railway line has been transformed into a recreational trail that passes through Craigleith and Thornbury Provincial Park with many scenic viewpoints and attractions.

In winter it is open to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

14. Meaford Museum

meaford museum

Meaford Museum gives you a history of the area where you can explore the exhibits behind the walls. We stopped here on the Apple Pie Trail and it was a great start to the day, as we had a better understanding of the area as we headed off to see the actual places where the items in the museum came from.

It helped us plan our route better and reminded us to slow down and enjoy the ride. As the museum curator said, “People have to give themselves time to stop. You don’t have to just b-line from place to place, the towns surrounding the Blue Mountains have some fascinating hidden gems.” We agree.

15. The Plunge Aquatic Center

If you don’t want to go to Scandinave Spa, the Plunge Aquatic Center is located right next to the Westin Trillium House in Blue Mountain. With their indoor/outdoor heated pool, you have the option to go outside and play or stay inside and stay nice and warm. It’s fun for all ages all year round.

Other activities at Blue Mountain

Ridge Runner roller coaster is fun for the whole family Wind River zip line is a fun short zip lineMonterra Golf Course.

16. Craigleith Provincial Park

This is our favourite camping spot near Collingwood. Located directly on Georgian Bay, it’s an ideal starting point for exploring the Blue Mountains for hiking and mountain biking. But it’s also a destination in its own right. The magnificent slate rock coastline is the perfect place for outdoor activities such as kayaking and SUP (stand up paddleboarding). The Georgian Trail runs right past Craigleith, so grab your bike and cycle along Georgian Bay.

17. Wasaga Beach

Located 40 minutes from Blue Mountain and only 20 minutes from Collingwood, Wasaga Beach is not to be missed. It is the longest freshwater beach in the world. Its long sandy shore on Georgian Bay is perfect for swimming, relaxing and enjoying beach activities.

If you get a day pass for Craigleigh Provincial Park, your vehicle permit is valid for Wasaga Beach.

There is much more to do than just relaxing on the beach, there are many hiking trails, you can go to the Nancy Island historical site or you can do some bird watching in their protected wildlife habitat.

Winter in the Blue Mountains, Ont.

Ontario’s Blue Mountains are an amazing getaway from the city. (Or anywhere in Ontario). And it’s not just summertime to visit. Winter at Blue Mountain Resort is when the activities really pick up.

18. Skiing and snowboarding

blue mountains world cup
Blue Mountains Ontario World Cup

As we’ve said, the Blue Mountains are a year-round destination. In fact, we visit Blue Mountain Resort more in the winter than in the summer. The snowboarding is pretty good and the resort even hosts world cup events.

We once got a press pass to photograph the event. It was a lot of fun. But Blue Mountain has a great half pip and snowboard pipe for regular people too.

19. Snowshoeing

All of the trails around Georgian Bay and Blue Mountain offer excellent opportunities to try snowshoeing. The Georgian Trail is a great trail along Georgian Bay.

20. Cross-country skiing

If you don’t fancy downhill skiing or snowboarding, Scenic Caves Nordic Centre has great groomed trails for all levels. With 27km of terrain, it has something for everyone. It’s the highest point on the Niagara Escarpment and offers beautiful views of Georgian Bay.

21. Apres Ski

apres ski blue mountain

Blue Mountain Village is a Swiss ski resort with restaurants and shops located directly at the base of the hill. Half the fun of skiing here is staying overnight to enjoy the hotel services and apres ski culture. With 30 restaurants, cafes and bars, there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or a cocktail. I love that Blue Mountain sets up outdoor bonfires where people can relax in winter or summer.

Our favorite places for Apres Ski in Blue Mountain are Jozo’s Bar and Firehouse Pizza Co.

And these are the best things to do in Blue Mountains Ontario. Are you planning a road trip this summer? What’s your favourite place in Ontario to visit?

Heading north to the cabin country is a Canadian tradition. For as long as we can remember, we load up the cars at the beginning of the weekend and head into the wilderness to enjoy our many lakes, forests and hiking trails.

There are so many outdoor activities, places to eat and shop and scenic views, it’s no wonder it’s one of Ontario’s top destinations.


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