The Blue Mountains Where Blue Mountains meet Blue Waters
Blue Mountain Resort continues to develop as Ontario's largest alpine skiing and snowboarding complex. The Village at Blue Mountain has an astounding choice of dining options, entertainment, film nights and festivals. The resort also offers a spate of summer activities: Tennis courts and golf on signature courses are ever popular. Mountain biking trails, terrain parks, ramps and jumps provide adrenaline highs for downhill or free-ride cyclists. Both climbers and novices who wish to learn can attempt the Climbing Wall or Timber Challenge High Ropes Course with 75 elements up to 15 metres high. A Woodlot Low Ropes Course is designed for children. Apex Bag Jump features two levels of platform jumps onto an air bag. The resort’s private beach, water toys and watercraft rentals combine fun, sand and surf on Georgian Bay. The Plunge! Aquatic Centre is a boathouse style water park with year round outdoor pools, hot tubs, docks, slides and a rope swing into the water. Everyone can enjoy the Mill Pond’s pedal boats, kayaks, remote control boats, the splash-park, or a ride up the escarpment on the Gondola. Thrill seekers can take a faster way back down the hill on the Ridge Runner, a one or two-person, rider controlled, mountain coaster that shoots down an elevated track of twists and corkscrews between the trees. Wind Rider Triple Zips offer side by side downhill cable rides. A more sedate way to explore trails is with the Mountaintop Segway Tours.
The Craigleith Heritage Depot has been restored as a museum and tourist information centre from its former days as a railway station. Nearby Craigleith Provincial Park has an intriguing, fossil shale shoreline, fishing, playground and camping next to sandy Northwinds Beach on Highway 26.
People who like to be pampered can find “purr-fect” pleasures at Scandinave Spa, located at 152 Grey Rd 21. Optional massage therapies complement the solariums, sauna, steam bath, outdoor thermal pools and fireplaces to relax by. The tranquil setting is enhanced by the spa’s manicured gardens surrounded by a forest filled with soothing music and choruses of birds.
Eons of time, water and ice have sculpted deep crevices and grottos at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures on top of Blue Mountain. The limestone crags are covered with lush mosses, ferns and wildflowers. Visitors can see the unusual pillar known as the Worshipping Rock, squeeze through tunnels and see a natural refrigerator cave. Ontario’s longest Suspension Footbridge spans a deep gully for a panoramic view of Georgian Bay. Children can enjoy Gemstone mining, mini-golf, miniature train ride around a log sculpture garden, adventure playground and feeding pet fish in the pond. The Nordic Centre maintains ski and snowshoe trails, rentals, shelters and refreshments during winter.
The newest adventure at the Scenic Caves is the amazing, Thunderbird Twin-Zip Line that lets parallel riders vie for speed, side by side down a dizzying 785 metres of cable. The view from the top of the launch tower is stunning and riders can control their speed with individual braking systems on the exhilarating ride through a forested corridor. The adventure ride is the longest in Canada. Eco-Adventures at Scenic Caves takes intrepid trekkers for a 3-hour guided adventure into the treetop canopy on a web of platform decks and arboreal walkways for a squirrel's-eye view of the forest. Naturalist guides explain the ecology of this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Strap on a harness and zip down on a thrilling, 100-metre ride through the branches. The park’s 307-metre cable ride gives a spectacular view of Georgian Bay with a 50-metre descent at speeds up to 40 km. per hour. (by reservation only) Sturdy shoes are required.
Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park is located north of Singhampton at 794730 Osprey-Clearview Townline (Rd 31), where the Bruce Trail provides a panoramic view of Nottawasaga Bay. A side trail west of the park encounters the Singhampton Crevice Caves, where huge rock chunks have split off the escarpment to form a maze of deep corridors that lead in all directions. Interesting formations include Standing Rock and yawning chasms that meet at the top to make tunnels between the cool, mossy walls that drip with condensation.
Kolapore Uplands Wilderness is located on Road 2 between Ravenna and Feversham; over 60 km. of well-marked trails for skiing, hiking or mountain biking, intersect hilly forest. Metcalfe Rock, a favourite rock climb and numerous grottos are found at the west side of Kolapore along 10th Line.
Old Baldy Conservation Area is located on the Bruce Trail off Side Road 7-B northeast of Kimberley. The massive escarpment lookout presents fantastic views of the Beaver Valley and challenging rock climbs for more adventurous explorers. Parking is $4 pay by phone.
The famous Bruce Trail traverses Pretty River Valley Provincial Park, which has hidden nooks to explore such as its Crevice Caves and Three Stage Trails for serious mountain biking thrills. The entrance to the park and trails is at the junction of 2nd Line and Side Road 6.