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Best Hiking and Walking Trails in Southern Georgian Bay

Posted by Admin on May 12, 2018
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Southern Georgian Bay has a large trail system including wilderness trails, footpaths, and railway trails that wind through the landscapes along the Niagara Escarpment, Georgian Bay and through Collingwood and The Blue Mountains.

COLLINGWOOD TRAILS

Collingwood Has a network of more than 60km of trails with mostly flat terrain.
The trails are four-season, multi-use paths for walkers, joggers, cyclists, skiers, and snowshoers. The 3.8km Harbour Loop starts at the Waterfront Promenade with lakefront and harbour views. Stroll through the Arboretum and the Collingwood Labyrinth, then make your way down the Boardwalk Trail and return via the Harbourview Trail. Drop into the visitor centre at The Station (45 St Paul St, Collingwood) for a trail map.

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THE GEORGIAN TRAIL – COLLINGWOOD TO MEAFORD

A 34 km trail following the old Northern Railway route that runs from Harbourview Park in Collingwood to the Meaford waterfront, the Georgian Trail is great for hiking and cycling. With more than 30 access points, spacious pathways and a route that runs through some of the area’s most scenic features including apple orchards, golf courses, the waterfront and beaches, this trail will keep all age groups entertained

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THE BLUE MOUNTAINS TRAILS

Blue Mountains offers a variety of trails from Blue Mountain Resort area on-site trails with stunning views of Georgian Bay. Pretty River Provincial Park, Osler Bluffs, Scenic Caves, Nippissing Ridge and The Beaver Valley all offer trails with stunning views of the area.

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THE BEAVER RIVER TRAIL – THORNBURY, CLARKSBURG

An especially scenic 10.7 km trail including a stretch from Thornbury Harbour to the Clendenan Dam and providing scenic rest areas and vistas begging to be photographed.  More of a walk than a strenuous hike, the path guides you through local parks such as Thornbury Riverwalk, Lion’s Park and Fireman’s Park in Clarksburg.  Lots of interpretive signs for those interested in local history and environmental info.

 

WASAGA BEACH TRAILS

Wasaga Beach has over 100 km’s of both on and off-road trails within its borders. These are managed by both the municipality and Ontario Parks. Wasaga Beach offers some of the most exciting nordic ski terrain in Central Ontario with 30 kilometres of trails.

The Blueberry Plains Trail is part of the Blueberry Plains Nature Reserve, which is a unique ecosystem. It traverses rare pine savannah and sand dunes and is home to a wide variety of wildlife and many rare species of wildflowers.

The Wasaga section of The Ganaraska Hiking Trail begins just south of Archer Road on River Road East. The trail winds through the sand hills of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park to Wasaga Beach, providing great views of the Nottawasaga River deep below in the valley.

THE BRUCE TRAIL

The Bruce Trail runs from the Niagara region to Tobermory and the Blue Mountains Club maintains the trail from Lavender to Craigleith, which boasts the highest elevation (540 meters) on the Bruce Trail at Osler Bluff Lookout.

Maintenance duties then get handed over to the Beaver Valley Club who look after the trail from Craigleith to Blantyre, including paths through Loree Forest and Kolapore. Hikers who are unfamiliar with the area are encouraged to have a trail map on hand, download the Bruce Trail App or pick up a Guide book, available for purchase at South Georgian Bay Visitor Centres  or download from Bruce Trail Beaver Valley Club. The Trail is marked with a series of blazes painted on trees and fence posts. A single white blaze signifies the route continues forward, double white blazes show you are approaching a turn. Blue blazes indicate side-trails.

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KOLAPORE FOREST

Kolapore boasts over 50 km of marked trails which attract outdoorsy types year-round for hiking and cross-country skiing. This is a fairly complex trail system and visitors are advised to bring a map.  Reference guides are available at the Visitor Centre and the Ravenna Country Market.  Parking indicated by signs on Grey Road. Link to Kolapore Map

 

LOREE FOREST LOOP 

This moderately difficult 7.1 km hike offers dramatic views of Georgian Bay.  The trail is not maintained but is relatively flat and easy to maneuver.  Located south of Thornbury, the entrance is on 21st Sideroad, 5.2 km from Grey Road 2.  Follow the blue blazes on the north side of the road for 200 meters until it intersects the main Bruce Trail (white blazes) and turn left. Link to Loree Forest Trail map.

 

NOTTAWASAGA BLUFFS LOOP

Connect with nature along the Bruce Trail as it makes its way through the property or venture down a side trail to catch a variety of unique features such as hardwood and coniferous forests, open meadows and the caves of the Nottawasaga Bluffs. Follow an old stagecoach route along the Ian Lang Memorial Trail to discover traces of an old limestone kiln and the ruins of an original homestead and foundation.  Park in the Nottawasaga Bluffs Conservation Authority parking lot and follow the white blazes of the main Bruce Trail south towards the camping area.  Take the Keyhole Side Trail to the west (right) down to Keyhole rock, then join the Nottawasaga Bluffs Side Trail.  Turn left, follow the trail uphill to re-join the main trail, and follow the blue-blazes out to the bluffs.  Returning to the top of the Escarpment, continue straight ahead to the east and back to the parking area. Link to Nottawasaga Trail Map

Plan, track, and log your hikes on Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath with this easy-to-use, official Bruce Trail App. Carry the most up-to-date Bruce Trail information with you on your day-hikes or long-distance adventures on the Niagara Escarpment. Bruce Trail App Information >

 

PRETTY RIVER VALLEY PROVINCIAL PARK

This trail includes a number of different loops, is suitable for all fitness levels, is accessible year-round and is dog friendly as long as your four legged companions are kept on a leash.  Located near the Blue Mountains and easily accessible from Collingwood: West on Mountain Road to 10th Line, turn left.  Follow to Sideroad 33-34, turn right. West to Collingwood-Clearview Townline to parking lot on the left.  Download Pretty River Map

 

METCALFE ROCK

Hike through crevices and caves that surround the popular Metcalfe Rock climbing area. Access is easy and a parking lot is just off the road.  Free Spirit Tours  offer guided tours for climbing and caving in this area. Bruce Trail Guide to Metcalfe Rock

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