Collingwood and the Blue Mountains is known as a world-class skiing destination, but there are so many other things to enjoy in this charming, beautiful area of Ontario.
This is a year-round destination to visit, especially during a road trip, but fall is an especially gorgeous time of year, with the changing of the leaves along the escarpment and the bounty of fall harvest.
It’s an easy two-and-a-half hour drive from Niagara, at the other end of the Niagara Escarpment, with stunning scenery, wide open spaces, beaches, adorable cottages, apple orchards and an abundance of great restaurants, wineries, cideries, and breweries.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend break from the city, and escape to the country not too far from home, Collingwood is the perfect place to visit, especially during the fall! Get outdoors and experience all of what the area offers!
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Follow the Apple Pie Trail
If you’re visiting during the fall, it’s the perfect time of year to get out on the Apple Pie Trail! I know – what an adorable name, right?
The Apple Pie Trail contains the best culinary, drink and outdoor experiences in the region throughout Southern Georgian Bay. From local orchards to breweries, apple-inspired art, seasonal menus, outdoor activities, and the history of apple country, this is quintessential FALL.
Take a self-guided cider tour around the bay! All of these cideries are within an hours’ drive of one another. Get out and enjoy the fall sunshine, fresh air, and pass by apple orchards as you meander your way through beautiful South Georgian Bay.
Grey and Gold Cider
If you’re looking for a true artisanal cider, Grey & Gold Cider is a must-visit while visiting Collingwood. This charming property is small but you’ll instantly feel at home as you’re guided through each cider and what makes it special.
These apples have been left to ferment which leaves the cider lightly carbonated. Some of the ciders offered even have foraged ingredients like chamomile and spruce tips added to give it a unique taste.
Open Thursday – Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
Address: 788171, Grey County Rd 13, Clarksburg, ON N0H 1J0
Georgian Hills Vineyard and Ardiel Cider House
Just around the corner from Grey and Gold Cider is Georgian Hills Vineyard. Flanked by apple orchards, this century-old farm is known for their Ardiel Cider, alongside their award-winning wines.
The old barn on their property has been converted into a rustic tasting room, where you’ll have beautiful views of Beaver Valley as you sip your cider. You can even get married here!
Open daily 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Tastings available Wednesday – Sunday. Reservations required.
Address: 808108, Side Rd 24, Clarksburg, ON N0H 1J0
Duntroon Cyder House
Maintained organically and in an eco-friendly way, Duntroon Cider uses heritage hand-picked apples for their cider. They pride themselves on their authentic English-style cider. Duntroon’s cider is sulfite-free, gluten-free, and nut-free.
Open daily 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Address: 3079 Simcoe County Rd 124, Duntroon, ON L0M 1H0
Thornbury Village Cider
Did you know that Thornbury is the largest apple-growing region in Ontario? This area was discovered as a superior place to grow apples in the mid-1800s, with the soil of the Niagara Escarpment and the Nottawasaga Bay made for the perfect growing conditions.
Thornbury Village Cider is located in an original apple storage building, where trains would once arrive from Toronto and return with crates of apples. The building has been through a lot over the years – from a fire, market, storage for ammunition and also a nuclear fallout shelter!
You can visit for a flight of cider (try their spiced apple!), beer, or their new seltzer!
Open Sunday – Thursdays, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 8:00 pm.
Address: 90 King St E, Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0
Spy Cider House and Distillery
Spy Cider uses their own apples (and sometimes some from nearby farmers!) to make their ciders using the same passion that goes into winemaking.
Their goal is to create unique ciders that pay homage to the region – and with a beautiful patio and lots of standing room, you won’t need a secret password to visit here, but you will need a reservation. Sample their ciders, wine, cocktails and spirits!
Open Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, seated tastings by reservation only.
Address: 808108, Side Rd 24, Clarksburg, ON N0H 1J0
This micro-cidery is nestled right in the heart of Georgian Bay’s apple country! Windswept Cider has tended to lost and forgotten orchards once abandoned by commercial apple growers and have turned it into award-winning small-batch cider and perry.
Using foraged fruit, their “lost” orchards, and apples from local farms, Windswept Orchards are a tribute to these rosy gems we’ve all grown to love.
Open Thursday – Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Address: 317282 3 Line, Meaford, ON N4L 1W7
The Apple Pie Trail just isn’t about cider! There are lots of farmer’s markets and bakeries nearby. Visit Blackbird Pie Company, where they make over 20,000 pies a year, Ravenna Country Market, or Thornbury Bakery Cafe – just to name a few!
Visit Scandinave Spa for a relaxing day in the Blue Mountains! This Nordic-style outdoor spa has a variety of hot and cold plunge pools to rotate through, saunas, steam rooms and relaxation areas to unwind in. Once you arrive and cross the bridge you’ll be transported into a soothing spa setting where all of your worries melt away.
The rustic charm of the cabins, muskoka chairs and trees makes it feel like you’ve been transported miles away from civilization.
Visit the pools for the morning or afternoon (plan at least 3 hours!) and enjoy the peaceful forest atmosphere with soothing waterfalls, fires, and hammocks under the trees.
Pool temperatures range from 68 degrees – 104 degrees! The cold pool is a shock to the body but you’ll leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
This is a year-round spa! Don’t let the cold weather throw you off – you’ll relish relaxing in a superheated pool while the snow falls around you during the winter!
Come for a massage (and receive access to the pools for free) or just enjoy the hydrotherapy baths and take in the views of the Blue Mountains and Niagara Escarpment.
Bring your bathing suit, water bottle, sandals, and if you have one, a robe. You can also rent one for $20. You’ll be provided towels and a locker with complimentary toiletries.
Address: 152 Grey County Rd 21, The Blue Mountains, ON L9Y 0K8
Visit Blue Mountain Village
Known as the place to come skiing during the winter months, Blue Mountain Village is a fun central place to go for great hiking with access to biking trails, beaches, and scenery.
There are lots of adorable boutiques, restaurants and breweries, a mountain coaster, and ropes course to take part in! The off-season can be a lot quieter and is a great place to enjoy during your visit to Collingwood.
The Niagara Escarpment never ceases to amaze – and one way to experience the wonder surrounding it is by visiting Scenic Caves Nature Adventures!
With over 15 km of hiking trails, a network of 450 million year old caves, unique geological formations, Southern Ontario’s longest suspension bridge and stunning views, if you’re looking to get outdoors while you’re in Collingwood, this is an amazing place to visit for people of all ages!
Looking for something just outside of Collingwood, similar to Scenic Caves but much quieter? Visit the Singhampton Caves! 20 minutes south in Singhampton, this part of the Bruce Trail will lead you through a network of caves.
This 2.3 km loop makes for a great spot to get out and stretch your legs during a road trip or on the way to Collingwood from Niagara.
There are tons of amazing places to hike in Collingwood! Connect to the famous Bruce Trail, visit Loree Forest, Nottawasaga Bluffs Provincial Park, Pretty River Provincial Park, and Duncan Escarpment Provincial Park, just to name a few!
Visit a Park
There are a lot of great parks to enjoy right in Collingwood!
The Arboretum is a beautiful place to visit right along the water, with a trail network, boardwalk, gardens, gazebos, and places to enjoy a picnic.
Stroll down to Millenium Overlook Park for gentle breezes and views of the water and the iconic Collingwood Grain Terminal.
If you want to catch a stunning sunset, head over to Sunset Point Park. All of these parks have interpretive signage telling you a little about each spot and its history.
Tip: Parking at Sunset Point Park is steep ($10 an hour!). You can easily park close by downtown for $0.75 – $1.00/hour and catch the waterfront trail a few blocks over!
Where to Eat
There are a ton of great eateries to check out in Collingwood. Try The Smoke downtown for amazing BBQ dishes like smoked ribs, beef brisket and pulled pork. They have great pulled pork nachos, brisket poutine, and sandwiches! They’re currently only open for takeout/delivery, but there are lots of parks nearby.
Visit one of the breweries in town, Northwinds Brewhouse & Kitchen, either downtown or at Blue Mountain Village for craft beer in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Try their Nosey Parker – a licorice and maple porter, or the Hacky Sack Peach Guava – a citrus sour. Try these with buffalo pulled pork mac & cheese, a pulled jackfruit sandwich, soft pretzels, or tacos!
Craving German? Take a drive over to The Alphorn for authentic German cuisine, like schnitzel, stroganoff, cabbage rolls, and specially curated meats and cheese, with all the traditional accompaniments like spaetzle, strudels and black forest cake.
Or, for something with Latin flair, Al Carbon uses seasonal ingredients to create Peruvian dishes (cooked over a wood-oven grill!) you won’t find anywhere else. For quick takeout for authentic Mexican, head over to Baked and Pickled for some incredible tacos, tostadas, enchiladas and more.
Looking for some health options? Press Market has a ton of amazing smoothies to pick from as well as plant-based options.
Where to Stay
There are quite a few places, ranging from budget-friendly to more extravagant in and around Collingwood – it depends on what you’re looking for! Typically the chalets at Blue Mountain Village will be the most expensive, but also offer numerous amenities.
For something different just outside of Collingwood in Stayner is an adorable Victorian-style Bed & Breakfast called The Gables. You’ll get a home-cooked breakfast (which is amazing!) and the hosts are so lovely.
You’ll be able to enjoy the backyard with a firepit and hot tub, while falling asleep in a cozy and charming room, surrounded by beautiful mature maple trees outdoors.
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