There’s something genuinely emancipating about going off the beaten track. The thrill of zigging while everyone else is zagging. The freedom to explore and experience something different that few others will ever see or do. And, of course, an opportunity to escape the crush of crowds, lineups and go at it alone.
Such is the unbridled joy of snowshoeing in Collingwood. While everyone else is skiing and snowboarding down Ontario’s highest mountain, far away from the hubbub of humanity you can strap on a pair of snowshoes and set out on a snow-blanketed trail while the calming sounds of nature echo through your ears and an invigorating winter breeze whispers through your hair.
Snowshoeing is actually one of Canada’s most invigorating pastimes. With casual elevation changes and breathtaking winter scenes everywhere around you, snowshoeing along one of Collingwood’s many trails offers a unique opportunity to revel in nature to the beat of your own step.
Enjoy this classic Canadian activity along one of these many trails as part of your next wintertime Collingwood escape.
The Bruce Trail
Accessed in Collingwood through Blue Mountain, this picturesque winter trail is actually part of Canada’s oldest marked footpath and stretches all the way in Ontario from the Niagara region right through to Tobermory. The trail here in Collingwood is maintained by the Blue Mountains Club between Lavender and Craigleith, and features the highest elevation on the Bruce Trail at 540 m, culminating in the spectacular Osler Bluff Lookout. The trail is clearly marked with white and blue blazes painted on nearby trees and fence posts, so you’ll always know where you’re going. For your convenience, snowshoe rentals can be purchased at the Fat Bike and Snowshoe Rental Centre located in Blue Mountain’s south base parking lot.
The Georgian Trail
Another popular trail located within Collingwood is the Georgian Trail, which follows the former Northern Railway route. The trail is a staggering 34 kilometres long stretching from Collingwood all the way to Meaford, which can give you a full day out in the open air traipsing through this spectacular winter wonderland. Less travelled than the Bruce Trail, your time on the Georgian Trail will give you ample opportunity to pause and enjoy spectacular views including waterfront lookouts, snowed-over beaches and even apple orchards.
Loree Forest Loop
The Loree Forest Loop is a 7.1-kilometre track that is part of the Bruce Trail. With its relatively flat terrain, this trail is an excellent introduction to the sport of snowshoeing for beginners and is also appropriate for families with young children. Unsurprisingly, the trail features positively gorgeous scenic views of Georgian Bay that will make you stop in your tracks to snap pics and selfies. Like the greater Bruce Trail, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing where you are simply by following the blue and white blazes on trees and fence posts.
Metcalfe Rock Climbing Area
To explore the great outdoors on snowshoes just slightly further afield, the epic Metcalfe Rock Climbing Area can be accessed just outside of Collingwood in the small hamlet of Ravenna. There are only a couple of trails near Metcalfe Rock that permit snowshoeing but what is available is incredible including an opportunity to explore caves and rock crevices.
Whatever snowshoeing trail you decide to explore, make sure to bring your phone and pack yourself a water bottle and a couple of nutritious snacks. While winter in Collingwood is exciting beyond compare, it can also be unpredictable and in the event of a huge snowfall, a fun outing can quickly turn into a dangerous situation. Always make sure to check the weather forecast before you head out and you’re guaranteed to be smiling as you ’shoe all day long.