The Best Trails in Collingwood, ON

Collingwood is famous for its outdoor activities. With Blue Mountain and Georgian Bay on either side, there is an endless list of recreational sports to fill your time. But what if you aren’t into sports? What if you prefer a nice leisurely walk or light hike? Here is a list of the best trails in the area.

 

Pretty River Provincial Park

Part of the Escarpment and located 6 km southeast of Collingwood, Pretty River Provincial parks is a nature lover’s paradise. There no facilities and no camping permitted, so there is nothing but nature. The 6 kilometers of trails are on some of the highest points of the escarpment. Visitors can enjoy fishing, hiking and skiing. The area has a variety of terrains and users should be aware that some locations in the park are for more advanced hikers.

 

Harbourview Park Loop in Collingwood

Harbourview Park is perfect for a leisurely afternoon walk for the whole family. Starting on Birch Street, the trail goes all the way to Georgian Bay. Visitors can expect to walk or cycle about 1.3 km from start to finish. The trail is well maintained and has a great mix of trees, greenery, and flowers.

 

 

Kolapore Uplands Trail

Part of the Bruce Trail Network, the Kolapore Uplands Trail is quite long. Beginners should expect a challenge and bring a map. The trail itself is about 9 km, but in the winter it turns into about 50 km of cross country skiing trails. The trails are clearly marked and their difficulty is marked on the trail as well.

 

Western Circle Route

For the seasoned and ambitious hiker, this is a system of 6 trails that tour throughout the Collingwood area. During a hike, users can stop in at a number the local resorts as they will pass many. The total circle can take about 2.5 hours so visitors should be prepared. A map is also suggested.

 

Blueberry Plains

Described as an easy to moderate hiking trail, the trail is located on some very unique sand dunes. The dunes have been marked as a nature reserve. The area and vegetation are very fragile so families should be aware of that when walking.

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Collingwood in the New Year

As we enter into January, and the prime of the winter season, in many ways Collingwood is just starting to come alive.  The days may be short, and the darkness comes early, but there are lots of fun and exciting events to get you through the winter and into spring.  Not to mention, a great line-up of exciting things to come in the latter half of the year, and plenty of events to look forward to for kids and adults alike as we embrace a new year with new possibilities as a community.  Get out your calendar to mark down some dates and get ready to join in on the fun!

Celebrating Winter

As a town located at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, and spending much of the time in winter mode, there are still several months of snow and snow activities to look forward to as we kick off 2018.    The Skate Trail through Discovery Harbour will open on the weekends until (hopefully!) mid March, and this year, in addition to skating, will be offering a snowshoe trail and a snow tubing hill.  As has become an annual event, Locations North will host their annual Winter Blast fundraiser as a ski and snowshoe day in February.  Book your tickets now to enjoy a day of outdoor winter fun and support a good cause at the same time. And finally, for all the pie lovers and food connoisseurs in town, don’t miss out on the Apple Pie Trail Feest!  For an evening combining snowshoeing, wine, and pie, strap on your snowshoes and trek across moon-lit trails and stop at fire-lit cabins where you get to enjoy food and drink featuring local chefs and local products.  Definitely an evening not to pass up!

Take in the Arts

We have mentioned before about the amazing arts scene available in Collingwood, and this year will be no different.  With an exceptional line up of plays and on-stage performances happening at Theatre Collingwood, and Meaford Hall, and the Elvis Festival taking over the scene in July, if your heart lights up when you see shows on stage, you’re in for a delight in the year ahead.  The call for artists has gone out for the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts annual Juried Art Show, and awards will be presented on April 22.   Put your talent to the test and submit your artwork for the whole community to enjoy.

collingwood in summer

Let’s Do Summer

While there may be lots to love about Collingwood in the winter, things come alive in the summer too!  The prime location on the Georgian Bay means there are endless options for beach days, spending time with the kids building sand castles and swimming.  And don’t think that the mountains are only best when they are covered in snow.  In fact, the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster is a summer-only activity in the Blue Mountains and is a must-do in the warmer months – if you dare!  While you’re there, go on a hike or enjoy a gondola ride, and then enjoy a beer at one of the many local breweries once you reach the bottom.  Summer has lots to offer and spending it out in the community in the sunshine is the best way to take it all in.

With 2018 just around the corner, start now to plan your year, book your vacation and secure your theater tickets.  Collingwood is sure to live up to your desires for a year of fun.

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Frozen in Time Festival

If you are looking for family fun over the holidays, be sure to add the Frozen in Time Festival to your calendar. Happening December 28th until the 30th, this completely free festival happens throughout downtown Collingwood.

Start by checking out the seemingly amazing ice sculptures around town. You will be wowed as you see what local ice sculptors can do with a chainsaw and ice! These sculptures are extra special too, because they will focus on Collingwood’s history and celebrate Canada’s 150th year. Be sure to download the map so you don’t miss even one! If sculpting ice wasn’t enough, these ice carvers will also do a battle! Each day at 1pm, check  out the carving skills of these talented people.

Thrill your kids or impress your loved one with a horse-drawn old-fashioned wagon ride around downtown. Leaving from Town Hall each day of the festival, the rides will be happening from 12pm until 4pm.

Don’t go hungry! There will be local vendors selling delicious baked goods, along with hot chocolate to warm you up, just in case you are frozen as well. Of course, you’ll want to dress warm, but there will be complimentary runny nose and chilly toes supplies being handed out for those who need a little extra. You can also stop in and warm up with soup, hot apple cider, wood-fired pizza and lattes from all of the best restaurants on Simcoe Street. The Tremont Café will be serving mulled wine and German sausage on their patio, where you can sit by the fire and enjoy. Another not-to-miss will be, Soco who will be cooking wood-fired pizza from their 1951 Mercury Truck.

There’s so much family fun to be had. Start with the brand new for this year, giant double ice slide! It is just as fun as it looks! Enjoy some giant classic family games like Jenga, Connect Four and Yahtzee. These are all compliments of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. There will be spirited games of street hockey and free concerts and theatre too. Every day at 2pm, head to the Quarter Century Theatre for classic children’s stories told by interactive performers. The kid’s craft centre will be at the Collingwood Public Library and includes toy testing, baby and me stories and an imagination playground. Moving around is one of the best ways to keep warm and you can do this at the Living Water Celebration Stage where there will be high-energy performances each day at 3pm.

If you enjoy the arts, there is an open house at the Tremont Studios at 65 Simcoe Street. As well, the Simcoe Street Theatre will show free films, starting at 3pm.

If all of this impresses you, or if none of it does, be sure to warm up at the Fireside Lounge in the Winter Wonderland Village and just connect with family and friends. See you there!

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Generosity in the Collingwood Community

If you live in Collingwood, you undoubtedly know the generosity of its residents. Our community is one of the best, not just because we live where the landscape is beautiful, but because of great entrepreneurial opportunities and a giving spirit.

Chris Dopp of The Mortgage Centre in Collingwood is one of the people here who proves this giving spirit, year after year. On December 22nd, Dopp and his company will give away 250 turkey dinners to those in need in the community. This will be his 18th time give away turkeys (and other items) to those who need it most at Christmas.

Anyone in need can attend and pick up a dinner, with no applications or process to go through. The dinner includes a turkey, vegetables, dinner rolls, potatoes, juice, apple pie, plus a toque and socks.

Pickup starts at 9am at 192 First Street and everything is first come, first served. You can call ahead at 705-445-1300 to be put on the list or have someone put on the list who could use this generous offering this year. For those who can’t get there on the day, because of mobility issues or a lack of transportation, Dopp’s team will deliver.

While the Collingwood community does have some affluent residents, there are many in need as well.

The Salvation Army in Collingwood is also a good resource for families in need. Every month they and the churches in the community host a warm and tasty dinner for those who need it. The Trinity United Church will be hosting a dinner at 6pm on December 20th and this happens every third Wednesday of the month.

The Salvation Army also does a Christmas hamper program for low income families. Register with them until December 13th.

Of course, it is up to us in the community to help those that are less fortunate. It is easy for you to do your part, by donating to one of these causes or any other community cause. There is a Simcoe County toy drive across the region, and the next one happens today at the Walmarts in Barrie and Elmvale Foodland. If you wait until December 16th, you can drop off new toys at the Craighurst Foodland.

You can also donate to the food bank, which is always in need at this time of year. There are many in the area and three in Collingwood:

  • Trinity Church
  • The Salvation Army, Collingwood Community Chruch
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul (St. Mary’s)

Be sure to do your part this year and keep the Collingwood giving spirit alive!

 

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Community in Collingwood

The holiday season is the time of year where we catch up with friends, spend time with family, meet the neighbors for the annual neighborhood potluck, and take the kids into the town square for the tree lighting.  In essence, the holidays are about community and about cultivating connections.  They’re about coming together, uniting and celebrating. This holiday season – and in the New Year ahead – make every interaction count. Here are some fantastic ways to embrace your Collingwood community:

Support the Community

While many community events this time of year are holiday and Christmas themed, participating in any events organized by the community supports community mentality and of course, encourages community economic growth.  Head to the Collingwood Winter Farmer’s Market, where you can support local farmers and local small business owners. Happening every Saturday, it’s a great way to get out in the community, plus get some fresh food for the week ahead.  You can also take part in the local art scene. The Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts Annual Winter Gift Show and Sale is on until December 31st at the Arts Centre, and the Broadway Tenors are visiting Casino Rama on December 2nd.

Involve the Kids

The holiday season has an array of special activities and events that happen only once a year, and this is especially exciting when you’re a kid and have been waiting for it all year long. There is something special and heart-warming about being out in the community, surrounded by snow and seeing storefronts all aglow with their Christmas displays. It is the perfect setting to share with your family.  Head out to the streets for several Holiday Gift Market and craft fairs around town, or take in a performance of The Nutcracker.  You can visit Santa and his reindeer, or enjoy the Festival of Lessons and Carols.  All of these are kid-friendly events so they are a great chance to get the whole family out into the community as well as meet other families who live within the Collingwood bounds.

Relish in the Rich Culture

Whether you are learning about the history of the town, or attending culturally supportive events, holding onto culture and history is an important part of building a strong community.  You can think of it as building a foundation: when you understand the culture and seek to preserve it, this acts as the building blocks for a community everyone wants to support and maintain.  Support cultural awareness by attending events at the Simcoe County Museum, such as Christmas Past and Present or at the Meaford Hall Arts and Cultural Centre.  The cultural centre regularly has plays and concerts on, so be sure to check the schedule and get your tickets!

 

Despite the busyness of the upcoming weeks, put in an extra effort to show your support and get involved in the Collingwood community.  You’ll have fun, meet new people, and in the process, contribute to helping support this charming place we all love and call home.

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Collingwood in the Winter

If the colder temperatures, snow-covered ground, and icy roads have you feeling like you just want to hibernate inside, think again! Collingwood has an amazing winter scene.  There is so much to see and do here at this time of year, you’ll be sad that you missed it if you wait out the winter inside.

 

Play in the Snow

Located as the gateway to the Blue Mountain Ski Resort, a Collingwood winter isn’t complete until you go play in the snow.  Take advantage of Collingwood’s proximity to the mountains and stay in town by night, visiting the mountains to ski by day.  If skiing isn’t quite your thing, there are still lots of snow playing opportunities around town.  There are many hiking trails, which go along Georgian Bay for you to explore – by foot or on snowshoe.  Pack a thermos of hot soup and make a day of it.  If you are interested in some old-fashioned snowman building and rolling in the powder, head to Harbourview Park where kids and adults alike can play. In addition, although a bit colder, the beaches are still a great winter destination and create the perfect landscape for a nice weekend walk or afternoon out with the dogs.

Go to Events

If you can’t get the family out walking outdoors in the winter, it’s a wonderful time of year to get them together and go to some local community events.  The winter market happens on Saturday mornings, and is a great way to support local farmers as well as stock up on healthy food for the week. There are several Santa Claus Parades coming up in early December, and you can take the kids to visit Santa and his Reindeer every Saturday all month long! And don’t forget to look into upcoming Christmas craft and gift markets.  These happen most weekends around the town and are the perfect opportunity to tick some shopping off your list or find a unique gift for that hard to buy for person.

See the Town

Once you’ve done your shopping, it’s time to take a little stroll around town.  You may have spent plenty of time strolling around Collingwood under the summer sun, but have you seen it in it’s snow-covered glory? The town takes on a completely different life when you walk around under starlit skies, seeing rooftops laden in freshly fallen snow, and houses glowing with Christmas lights.  Instead of ice cream, stop in to one of our lovely cafes and get a hot chocolate or warming tea to walk around with, and finish the evening staring up at the gorgeous Blue Mountains or sitting on the waterfront.  It might be a bit chilly, but you’ll appreciate the town that little bit more for its ability to be a delight in all four seasons.

 

Don’t let Old Man Winter fool you and keep you inside.  There is lots happening around town over the winter months and you’ll be sure to find something you enjoy.  And even if it is a little colder than sitting inside by your fireplace, it will totally be worth it.

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Art Events in Collingwood

Collingwood is a town not only known for its fantastic skiing and recreation, but also a thriving art scene. During the month of November, there are a number of art events to keep anyone even vaguely interested in the arts busy while you wait for the snow to fall.

Music for a Sunday

This event has been happening since September, but if you haven’t heard of it yet, you’ll definitely want to check it out in November. It is a series of 10 concerts over five Sundays and four of them are happening this month. ZimZum, CCI Jazz Band, the Venuti String Quartet and Rowyn Campbell are all playing at the Simcoe Street Theatre this month. Ticket prices vary, but you can get through Blue Mountain Music or at the Simcoe Street Theatre box office.

Points of View: John David Anderson and Mark Hope

Head to The Blue Mountains Public Library to witness the points of view of John David Anderson and Mark Hope, as expressed through a painting exhibition. Their work will be displayed from November 3rd until the 30th.

Annual Square Foot Show

At the Loft Gallery in Thornbury, this show happens on November 4th from 4pm. You’ll start at the Corner Café, across the street, where you’ll be getting a numbered ticked for the show. All paintings sold will be 12×12 in size and sell for $144 plus tax. All work is original and gorgeous!

Candle Making Workshop

You don’t have to just view art, you can make it. Head to Serendipity Candles at 20 Balsam Street, Unit 14, for a 60-minute candle making workshop, where you’ll learn to make four candles. You’ll select your scent and jar and do all of the fun stuff yourself!

Creative Collingwood Symposium

An initiative for arts and positive change in communities, the 4th annual Creative Collingwood Symposium happens on November 8th at the Simcoe Street Theatre. This incredible event brings together what they call “creatives” from across the South Georgian Bay area for learning and networking. There will be keynote speakers, breakout sessions, plus networking with refreshments. The event is completely free and you just need to register to reserve a spot. Anyone who is a creative professional or even who has an aspiring talent is welcome to join.

Sweetwater Film Festival

Film buffs will love the lineup of 11 short films focusing on the outdoors and outdoor recreation. Happening at the Gayety Theatre, this event donates 100% of the proceeds to outdoor programs for local youth. It happens on November 11th at 7pm and tickets are $25.

Do you know of any other great arts events happening in our region? Let us know!

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The New Woodview Mountaintop Skating Trail

Get ready to go skating on top of the mountain this winter! The Woodview Mountaintop Skating path will be a 1.1 km path located at the top of the ski hill in Blue Mountain. A very unique twist on traditional recreational skating, the path will meander through a tree-covered trail with gorgeous scenic views.

Construction has already begun on the skating trail, which will be located at the top of the Orchard Express and Southern Comfort chairlifts. The trail will open in January 2018, not long after all of the ski hills and chairlifts open for skiing and snowboarding at Blue Mountain.

Using the snowmaking equipment that Blue depends on during those winters when it just doesn’t snow enough to make skiing enjoyable, the skating trail will be flooded and then smoothed with a Zamboni machine.

There will also be a skating hut located at the top of the mountain, where visitors can purchase tickets, rent skates and lockers. It will also be a spot to warm up with a hot chocolate or a coffee while taking a break for skating.

After its grand opening, the skating trails will be open weekdays from 12pm until 5pm, Friday and Saturday from 10am until 8pm and Sunday from 10am until 5pm. On Friday and Saturday, the skating trail will be closed from 4 until 6pm for maintenance. After that, at 6pm, they will have tiki torch illuminated skating.

Two hours of skating will cost you $16 for adults and $13 for youth (kids 12 and under). Tack on skate rentals to that and adults will cost $22 and youth will cost $19. Helmets are required on the skating trail.

If skating at the top of the mountain doesn’t interest you, or you are wondering what other activities there are to do in Collingwood at Blue Mountain, there is so much to do this winter.

As always, there is also skating on Mill Pond in the village. Hike and Tube lets you sit and slide down the mountain. Snowshoeing is a great way to see the scenic Niagara Escarpment and there are guided tours if you need them. Bring your own equipment or rent snowshoes at the base of the mountain. Winter caving is also seriously cool and something that will make your holidays extraordinary. Discover all of the wildlife who live on the mountain this winter.

While we are having a beautiful and warm fall so far, the forecast is calling for a ton of snow this winter, which to some is a great thing. Winter will be here before you know it!

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Canada Day in Collingwood

As you will definitely know, Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. Celebrations are going on all over the country, but there is no better spot to celebrate this historic birthday than in Collingwood. There are so many events going on that you truly don’t want to miss.

Collingwood Festival for Canada

Happening all weekend from June 30th until July 2nd, this family festival is exciting and one-of-a-kind. Start on Friday by heading downtown and celebrate not just Canada, but also Collingwood’s 40th anniversary. From 4pm until 10pm in the parking lot at Pine and Second streets, there will be entertainment from the 70s, food, dancing, trivia and a cash bar. If that doesn’t appeal to you, the Centennial Aquatic Centre is hosting a free family swim from 7 until 8pm. If you want to get out on the water, there are a number of harbour cruises available.

On Canada’s birthday, the list is endless for things to do. Start with a pancake breakfast at the town hall, prepared by celebrity chefs. After that, head to the kid’s fishing derby in the Collingwood Harbour. Get a prize for the biggest, the smallest and the ugliest fish. The bike parade starts at 10am and the anniversary BBQ and free family swim is from 10am until 3pm.

You’ll enjoy a lumberjack show, fashion show, a presentation by Princess Emilie, a rubber duck race, face painting, balloon creations, plus art exhibits and a Canada150 reaffirmation ceremony. Don’t forget your free piece of birthday cake! Kids will enjoy the kid’s activity centre and the healthy kids community challenge.

There will be many musical entertainers at Millennium Park including:

  • Brianna McGowan
  • Sharing Dance
  • Songbird Music Studio
  • Mila Filatova and Friends
  • Ninety-One 1
  • Harmony North Chorus
  • Coming of Age
  • Austin McCarthy
  • Mike McCarthy Band

Watch the sunset over the water, while you have a family picnic with a free meal compliments of Loblaws at Millennium Park starting at 7pm. Enjoy the evening together while waiting for the fireworks, which start at 10pm. Millennium Park is the best place to watch from, but anywhere along the waterfront will work! If you’d prefer to watch from the water, consider a harbour cruise.

The celebrations aren’t over yet! On Sunday, there’s still lots more to do. The Georgian Bay Cup Race happens at 7am, and is followed by another lumberjack show, children’s activity centre and more. The evening starts with a farm to table street feast. Simcoe Street will transform into a pedestrian-only outdoor celebration of local food, with a menu prepared in collaboration with local chefs. There will be one long community dinner table of 150 people with two seatings. The Simcoe Street Theatre will play short films between seatings.

Cap off your night with the Mudmen in concert at the Shipyards Amphitheatre.

Happy birthday Canada!

 

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Treat Dad in Collingwood this Father’s Day

He helped you with your homework, threw the baseball until you finally hit it and wiped your tears away when you felt you had no friends. He’s your dad and he deserves to be celebrated this weekend! What better place than Collingwood to celebrate Dad and all he stands for. Here are some great ideas for celebrating this weekend.

Fossils on Father’s Day

Head to Delphi Point Park and have a tour of the fossil beds. Any Dad will enjoy the fun day out that is also a great educational opportunity for the kids. Families pay $5, but Dad is free!

Go caving

Visit Scenic Caves this weekend and Dad gets free admission with a paid child admission (that’s a switch we like to see!). A great bonding experience for Dad and the kids, this deal is on both Saturday and Sunday. There is a printed coupon that you must take as mobile reproductions aren’t accepted.

Let him have time to himself

All Dads need time to themselves to recoup and be the best Dad they can. How do they do that? At Scandinave Spa of course. Let Dad enjoy soaking in the hot pools and cooling down in the cold pools. Buy him a book, a robe and a reusable water bottle and his day is set!

Take him golfing

I don’t know one Dad who wouldn’t appreciate a day on the links (with or without the kids) and Collingwood is amazing spot to hit them. Visit the Blue Mountain Golf Course, Cranberry Golf Resort or check out Monterra Golf. Tee times are probably filling up so call and see if they can squeeze in a time for you! If the day is full on the courses, you might want to try out the mini golf course at the mountain instead – it will still be tons of fun!

wasaga beach

Head to the Beach or go Boating

Living on beautiful Georgian Bay is a pure treasure and any resident or visitor of Collingwood should take advantage of this amazing body of water. Wasaga Beach, which is a very short drive east of Collingwood is very popular and is the world’s longest freshwater beach. Sunset Point Park is a rock beach, but also a great place to spend the day with a Frisbee and a picnic basket.

Take him out for a beer

Dads love beer more than they love golf, so any Dad will appreciate the great number of brew options in the Collingwood area. From the Collingwood Brewery, which is a definite local wonder where you can kick back and watch the beer being made or the Northwinds Brewery, which has an amazing atmosphere and tasty offerings.

Head to the mountain

This one is so obvious that we almost don’t need to mention it, but a day spent at Blue Mountain’s Village is better than any day spent anywhere else. Walk around, enjoy the scenery and then people watch from Rusty’s patio. Dad will love it.

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