Thornbury & Clarksburg

Thornbury and Clarksburg are two neighbouring communities just 10 minutes northwest of The Blue Mountains. They sit at the Beaver River’s mouth, emptying into Georgian Bay and offering visitors gorgeous views and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities. If you’re interested in water sports, you can swim at one of the beaches, go kayaking or try your luck fishing.

Other outdoor activities in Thornbury and Clarksburg include golfing, hiking, cycling and skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. But if you prefer to simply relax, you can enjoy the towns’ character with their numerous shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants. The area is well-known for its apple harvest and offers several cider varieties at Thornbury’s cidery. In Clarksburg, learn more about the town’s unique history at the Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum and soak up the local arts vibe.

To learn more about all there is to see and do in Thornbury and Clarksburg, scroll down or visit the region's tourism website.

Where is Thornbury & Clarksburg?

Thornbury and Clarksburg are two small towns that sit along the Beaver River and Nottawasaga Bay near The Blue Mountains. They’re about 170 km northwest of Toronto’s centre and a two-hour drive from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Some things to do may not be available due to COVID-19.

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Things to Do in Thornbury & Clarksburg

Thornbury and Clarksburg, and the region surrounding the two communities, are a mecca for foodies, art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. You can rent boats at the communities’ harbour, take tours out into the bay or enjoy kayaking, canoeing or fishing. Popular beaches include Little River Beach Park and Bayview Park. Both offer Blue Flag status for swimming, plus parking, picnic tables, playgrounds and washrooms. At Bayview Park, you’ll find courts for shuffleboard, tennis and volleyball. Just northeast of the communities is Peasemarsh Nature Preserve, where you’ll find a more extensive, sandier beach.

If you prefer to explore inland, you can opt for a walk, hike or bike ride. The Georgian Trail is an excellent option for all ages and abilities and mostly follows the waterfront, stretching from the town of Meaford to Collingwood. Just outside of Thornbury and Clarksburg is the Beaver Valley section of the famous Bruce Trail. It’s an excellent spot for hiking at any time of the year, but it’s especially cherished in the winter for snowshoeing.

Golfers can enjoy two nearby courses, Lora Bay Golf Club for the golf aficionado and Tomahawk Golf Course, a municipal course that offers kid-friendly experiences. Other activities in the surrounding area include mountain biking and skiing at the Blue Mountain Resort. Kids (and those who are still kids at heart) will love the nearby Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster and the Plunge! Aquatic Centre. You’ll also find hiking trails with views of the bay and plenty of opportunities to shop and eat.

There are many ways to spend time outside and enjoy nature in Thornbury and Clarksburg, but you’ll also find cultural activities. The communities are home to numerous parks, including the Clendenan Dam Conservation Area that follows the Beaver River upstream. At the north end of Mill Pond, you can watch the salmon returning from the ocean to spawn as they make their way up fish ladder.

Be sure to visit the famous Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum to learn more about the area’s history. When you need some peace and quiet, spend time walking the Cedar Grove Labyrinth.

Thornbury & Clarksburg Neighbourhoods & Districts

Thornbury and Clarksburg are a charming duo of towns. Together, they house less than 10,000 residents. Because they are small, the main neighbourhoods are the two towns themselves.

Thornbury

Thornbury is the larger of the two and sits at the mouth of the Beaver River. Here you’ll find the majority of activities to enjoy, including boat rentals and tours at the harbour, access to the Georgian Trail and the two main beaches. Mill Pond and the Cedar Grove Labyrinth are also in Thornbury, as is the Thornbury Village Craft Cider & Beer. If you’re feeling hungry, most of the restaurants, cafes and bars are located within walking distance of the town's main intersection at Bruce and Arthur Streets.

Clarksburg

Clarksburg is slightly south of Thornbury and a bit smaller than its neighbour. Here you’ll find the Clendenan Conservation Area along the river and a few local shops and a surprisingly rich arts community with events, displays and art galleries. The town’s biggest attraction is the Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum.

Things to Know About Visiting Thornbury & Clarksburg

There is so much to offer in Thornbury and Clarksburg, start your visit with some local favourites and follow the inspiration from there.

Favourite local beach

Spend the day swimming and sunbathing at Little River Beach Park or use one of the sports courts at Bayview Park. 

Where to go paddling

Rent a kayak or canoe at the harbour and paddle around the bay or up Beaver River.

Where to go for a hike

Stroll, hike or cycle along one of the numerous trails. Check out the Georgian Trail for views of the bay or catch the famous Bruce Trail.

Where to see local art

Peruse Clarksburg's art galleries and find a unique keepsake.

Where to learn about local history

Visit the Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum to learn more about Thornbury and Clarksburg’s unique history. 

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