Collingwood and The Blue Mountains is Hiking Trail Heaven
The area around Georgian Bay in the Blue Mountains has vast system of forest hiking trails, footpaths, and “rail to trails” that wind their way through diverse landscapes along the Niagara Escarpment, along Georgian Bay, through historic Collingwood and the beautiful Blue Mountains.
THE BRUCE TRAIL
The Bruce Trail crosses Ontario from the Niagara region through to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. In The Blue Mountains region, the Bruce Trail from Lavender to Craigleith boasts the highest elevation at 540 m at Osler Bluff Lookout. The trail from Craigleith to Blantyre through Loree Forest and Kolapore is also well travelled by hikers and off road cyclists. The Bruce Trail is marked with white blazes 5cm wide by 15cm high. They are painted on trees and fence posts. A single blaze indicates the route continue forward, a double blaze (one above the other) marks that a turn is imminent. Blazes in blue signify side-trails that may lead to lookouts, campsites or for circle trails. Diamond shaped Bruce Trail symbols and access signs also mark the routes. For more information about the Bruce Trail Clubs go to www.brucetrail.org.
THE GEORGIAN TRAIL
The Georgian Trail from Collingwood to Meaford is 34 km long and follows the old rail route of the original Northern Railway alongside Georgian Bay. This is an excellent trail for easy walking and cycling. The trail cuts through some of the region’s best features, the mountain, waterfront, apple orchards and beaches.
The Kolapore Uplands has over 50 km of forest trails, about 20 km southwest of Collingwood. The trails are maintained as wilderness hiking and mountain biking trails in the summer, where permitted by landowners.
METCALFE ROCK AND THE BEAVER VALLEY
At Metcalfe Rock, the white blazes of the Bruce Trail cross a small stream and climbS into the tumbled rock of the Niagara Escarpment. Here you have a choice of climbing to the top on either the main Trail or via a blue-blazed side trail. The adventurous will want to take the latter through a rocky gorge 30 m high. The Trail reaches the summit of Metcalfe Rock with splendid views to the west over the Beaver Valley. It is hard to believe that 100 years ago there was a community here thriving on lumbering and other resource industries.
LOREE FOREST LOOP
For a moderate level hike, the Loree Forest trail is 7.1 km long. Highlights include dramatic views over Georgian Bay and the Beaver Valley, maple and birch forest and ferns.
PRETTY RIVER VALLEY PROVINCIAL PARK
This park has provincially significant geological features related to glacial and post-glacial processes along one of the highest point of the Niagara Escarpment. Features include meltwater channels, moraine and talus slopes. Over 400 species of vascular plants have been identified in the park.
THE BEAVER RIVER TRAIL
Connecting the Thornbury Harbour to Clendenan Dam, the Beaver River Trail has a number of scenic rest areas and vistas with benches. The Trail also meanders through some lovely parks for some rest and relaxation. Many interpretive signs provide historical and environmental education opportunities along the way making this trail both enjoyable and educational.
SIGERMAN SIDE TRAIL LOOP
Located between Kimberley and Heathcote, this loop trail begins at the corner with the 3rd Line. Follow the white blazes of the main Bruce Trail to the west on the old cart track that is the continuation of Sideroad 22C. After about 1 km on your right (north side) you will see a sign for the blue-blazed Siergerman Side Trail. This trail affords great views across the Beaver Valley and a nearby ravine. The intersection of the main Bruce Trail and the Siegerman Side Trail is a perfect spot for a picnic and a splash in the river.