The Apple Pie Trail is more then just, well, a trail of pies. It’s a collection of food, art and experiences all embracing the regions rich apple growing history and traditions. Over the last decade, the Collingwood region has been undergoing a transformation. Sure, at the heart of it all is gorgeous apple country–rolling hills of orchards on a back-drop of escarpment ridges and Georgian Bay–but more amazing is the unique story waiting to be picked around every bend.
Excitement junkies can ski, snow shoe or take a ride on The Ridge Runner–a brand new coaster weaving through the woods up and down the mountain. The rider controlled coaster can reach up to 45km an hour if you let it! Nature lovers can escape to Metcalfe Park or the Scenic Caves on snow shoes, casing deer tracks amongst frozen apple trees with Free Spirit Tours. Discover local stories like I did by stopping your trek on the ridge look out, 1800m above see level, for a cup of local hot apple cider with your guide. Did you know that some of the white cedars growing on the ridge are over 1600 years old? Or that skunks walk differently then squirrels, making for completely different and recognizable tracks?
For those of us looking to slow down, there’s The Scandinave Spa or the cornucopia of Trail restaurants like Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill serving up apple treats. Sit in steam rooms or hot baths and finish off with mugs of spicy hot apple tea at the spa. Discover one of the hundreds varieties of apples in local baked goods–like pie! I personally recommend the Ravenna General Store’s baked goods. Apple tart or butter tart may have been the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make!
After your explorations, head to one of the local vineyards or cideries. The Georgian Hills Winery tasting room is nestled perfectly at Victoria Corners with a view of their vineyards and the surrounding hills. Look out their window and you can glimpse of Georgian Bay to the north. As the perfect ‘apres’ to snow shoeing, they offer a special tasting called “Perfect Pairings”–5 wines paired with local cheeses, pate, and fruits. Their Ida Red ‘Frozen to the Core’ wine perfectly paired with spicy curried nuts from Cafe Chartruese is an apple-y experience definitely not to be missed. Sweet, but fresh with that acidity unique to the regions apples. It’s brought even more alive paired with the spicy yet savoury nuts!
Not to be over-looked as well is The Village at Blue Mountain Ski Park. Restaurants, shops, skating ponds and cozy fire pits begging for marshmallows bring the experience to a new level just outside the Westin Blue Mountains.
So now you see, The Blue Mountains are more than just a ski hill or a pie shop.A The Apple Pie Trail is a collection of unique and special experiences, unlike any other in Ontario.Whether you actively search for unique flavours or enjoy stumbling upon them accidentally, The Apple Pie Trail should be your next secret to discover!
Before visiting, discover something delicious at your neighborhood grocer by trying some Red Prince Apples–a variety unique to the region!