You may have heard of Blue Mountain Resort, near Collingwood, Ontario—especially if you live in Canada or the northeastern U.S. It’s best known for skiing, but it has been building up the activities available in the summer and fall. A few weeks ago, I took my teenage boys for a long weekend, and it was a really great little trip.
I live in London, about three hours away from Collingwood. And apparently there’s a Blue Mountain resort in Pennsylvania as well because Siri kept trying to direct me there. Once we arrived in Collingwood (despite Siri’s best attempts to divert the car), the area was instantly familiar, as we had been there several years ago when we toured the Scenic Caves and rode the Thunderbird twin zip line. The Blue Mountain Resort dominates the area and has a huge choice of accommodations. Rather than stay in one of the hotels, we stayed in a condominium that was part of the resort. It was much roomier, a 15-minute walk from the village, and a free shuttle bus ran in both directions.
Lots of Activities
My twin boys just turned 17, and it’s getting a little tougher to find activities that hold their interest. We bought season passes to Canada’s Wonderland this year and we’ve made good use of those (despite another a five-hour return drive for each trip), and they came camping with us in the summer, but we wanted to try something different for a few days.
Blue Mountain Resort proved to be a great choice. There are plenty of outdoor activities, including a pretty sweet 18 hole miniature golf course and the Ridge Runner. This is a mountain “coaster” with about 3,300 feet of track running down the side of the ski hill, through forest canopy—but no loops, thankfully. It can hit speeds of 26 mph, which is a lot faster than it sounds when you’re coming up against a highly banked turn and staring at the tree trunks just a few feet away. You do have brakes, which I have to admit I used once or twice… One trip hurtling down the mountain was enough for me, but the boys went down it a few times.
You can also hike up the ski hill for free (with great views of Georgian Bay in the distance), and there are plenty of hiking and biking trails. The village is surprisingly hopping, with plenty of stores and a variety of restaurants.
We were only there for two nights, but there were no complaints about being bored. All the outdoor activity made for big appetites and early bed times.
Fall Is a Great Time to Visit
Fall is the perfect time to visit Blue Mountain. The weather was typical for Ontario fall (cool), which made it ideal for hiking. The trees were just beginning to turn color. All the shops and restaurants were open, but the ski crowds were missing so we only had to wait for seating on one occasion. And the line-ups for attractions like the Ridge Runner were short. If you’d like to experience the fall colors in Ontario, get a great view of Georgian Bay in the distance, and enjoy attractions and dining all in one place, Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood is a great, kid-friendly option.
As an added bonus, in fall the resort offers a number of discounted accommodation packages.