The Collingwood/Georgian Bay area is one of Ontario’s most enchanting destinations for those seeking adventure, recreation or just a little R&R. Here we’ve narrowed the list to 6 places you should visit, so you won’t miss out.
1. Scenic Caves Nature Adventures
In Collingwood, there’s a labyrinth of caves carved by glaciers, buried deep inside a mountain, with an ice cave that has a crevasse so deep and cold that snow and ice are often present in early summer. Here too, you can cross a suspension footbridge (southern Ontario’s longest) more than 300 meters above Georgian Bay or – get birds-eye-view hiking across a bridge arching 25 meters above a treed valley. All this wonder awaits those, not-of-faint-heart, who love adventure and dare to challenge nature. For the children, and the less courageous, there’s also gemstone mining, mini-golf, a trout pond, Children’s Adventure Playground, a snack bar and a gift shop. Location: 260 Scenic Caves Road, Blue Mountains.
2. Take Golf Lessons at Cranberry Golf Resort
Cranberry Golf Resort 18-hole golf course occupies 6,750 yards of fairgrounds on a challenging golf course. Whether you are a serious or recreational player the course has a lot to offer. There is a pro shop on the property along with a dining facility and a saltwater swimming pool. Golf Private lessons via Miles Bradford are available as well as group instruction and golf clinics. Location: 19 Keith Avenue, Hwy 26 West, Collingwood. Season: Apr 15 to Nov 1.
3. Where To Eat
Memories Restaurant at Cranberry Resort; this warm, comfortable dining room is perfect for a romantic dinner for two or a big family celebration. Memories Chef has created a menu featuring dishes from around the world including fine Italian cuisine, always a crowd pleaser. Location: 19 Keith Avenue, Hwy 26 West, Collingwood.
Brunello serves authentic Italian cuisine, just like your Nona used to make. As the name suggests, this homey restaurant is located in a converted house at 27 Fourth St., E., in Collingwood. Location: 27th Fourth Street, Collingwood
4. Go To The Beach
Northwinds is a lovely sandy beach close to Craigleith Provincial Park and just across the road from the historic Craigleith Depot. This is a popular beach for kiteboarding and windsurfing as well as paddleboarding. You can also take a zodiac excursion to the Mary Ward a shipwreck 4km offshore. Location: Hwy 26 West between Collingwood & Thornbury.
Memorial Beach on the eastern side of Meaford. Just offshore are “the Sisters” large rocks jutting out of the water, which (according to legend) mysteriously appeared after two sisters drowned. Despite this gruesome story, the park is very popular, there are 400 meters of shoreline, a picnic area, miniature golf, and a children’s playground. Location: Grant Avenue
Tip: Note these beaches are great for visiting from “Spring to Fall”.
5. Hike or Bike the Georgian Trail
The Georgian Trail is a fantastic all-season, hiking, and biking destination. It stretches from Collingwood’s beautiful Harbourview Park in the east (just off Hwy 26W) to the magnificent waterfront of Meaford Harbour in the west. Along this scenic south shore of Georgian Bay, there are many opportunities to rest or (in the summer) cool off with a dip in the Bay. There are great spots to shop, eat or just relax in the towns and villages along the way.
6. Follow the Apple Pie Trail
If you’re looking for other areas to bike to, consider the ‘Apple Pie Trail’. Just west of Collingwood (near Thornbury), you’ll find Ontario’s “Apple Country”. Where, thanks to Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment, there are perfect weather conditions for growing apples.
Following are a few good spots on the trail to put on your list:
At T&K Ferri Orchards, in their market, you can sample cider and some of their 7 varieties of apples as well as purchase apples and all-natural, unpasteurized honey, taken from their hives and, pressed (on-site) Apple Cider. Open in fall Thurs – Sun. Location: 496415 Grey County Rd 2, Clarksburg
Farmer’s Pantry, where you can get a wagon ride & pick your own apples, or purchase, all farm-fresh produce including berries, grapes, and vegetables. They also sell their own preserves and fresh or frozen pies and other goodies and they’re open from July to the end of October.
Location: 788030 Grey County Rd 13, Clarksburg
At Blackbird Pie, you’ll find a hard-working family who makes over 20,000 fruit pies a year. Everything is baked from scratch using only all-natural ingredients. They’re open 7 days a week in spring and summer, 6 days a week during the fall and winter. Location: 788030 Road 13, Clarksburg.
The Thornbury Cider (and Brewery) is a new addition to the Apple Trail. They produce high-quality apple ciders, perfectly light and crisp – like a traditional English cider – but made in Canada. They also brew, if you’re into beer, a pilsner, and 3 lagers, which can be purchased in cans or by the keg. Location: 90 King St., E., Thornbury
If you go:
Visit the following websites for further details on where to stay, eat, and play: