The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is a town that sits on Nottawasaga Bay, a sub-bay of Georgian Bay located off Lake Huron. Its central community is Thornbury, where the Beaver River meets the bay. A combination of woodlands, plains, river canyons, hills, rocky shores and small-town charm, the region provides an endless list of outdoor recreational and cultural activities.
A destination for nature lovers in all four seasons, The Blue Mountains offers hiking, cycling, caving, swimming and golfing. With adequate snowfall in the winter, you can enjoy sports like snowshoeing and skiing. Alternative activities include relaxing at spas and resorts, boutique shopping and dining, or visiting vineyards and craft breweries. The area of The Blue Mountains accommodates all types of travellers. There are plenty of family-friendly ventures, plus fun for friend trips, partner getaways or solo excursions.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in The Blue Mountains, scroll down or visit the town's tourism website.
Where is The Blue Mountains?
Located about 170 km north and slightly west of Toronto, The Blue Mountains is an excellent getaway from the busy city. The drive will take about two hours, winding north through quiet agricultural land with rolling ski hills to the east. Eventually, you’ll arrive at Nottawasaga Bay. Stay in the town’s main hubs, including Thornbury’s small district or near the spas and resorts at Craigleith.
Things to Do in The Blue Mountains
Perfect for various travellers and their interests, The Blue Mountains has something for nearly everyone. Its main draw is the abundance of seasonal outdoor recreation. You can enjoy year-round hiking, plus cycling, mountain biking, golfing, swimming, boating, caving and other attractions at the resorts. There are beachfront campgrounds, relaxing spas and, in the winter months, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.
One of The Blue Mountains’ primary attractions is the Scenic Caves Nature Adventures near Craigleith. Explore hiking trails and a series of caves and caverns, some that dip to over 20 metres below ground. Get gorgeous views while braving the suspension bridge or from one of the various lookout points. Family-friendly activities include gemstone mining, picnicking and enjoying the playgrounds.
Nearby are ski and mountain resorts, where you can enjoy winter sports, outdoor adventures, spas and dining. Closer to Nottawasaga Bay are horseback riding facilities, cycling trails and beachfront campgrounds.
Discover more of nature at some of The Blue Mountains’ parks and conservation areas. Favourites include Pretty River Valley Provincial Park, with trails and fishing spots, and Duncan Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve, with forests and river canyons. Clendenan Conservation Area spans parts of the Beaver River, while Craigleith Provincial Park and Peasemarsh Nature Preserve offer beaches for swimming in Nottawasaga Bay. Golfers can delight in the water views at The Golf Club at Lora Bay.
If you’re a beachcomber, check out the small but sandy Christie Beach or enjoy the solitude of Peasemarsh Beach. Northwinds Beach in Craigleith is one of the most popular spots in The Blue Mountains, and it’s a great spot to find some shade in the hot summer months.
If you’re interested in cultural activities, take a stroll around Thornbury and visit the Sheffield Park Black History & Cultural Museum. Afterward, browse the boutique shops and art galleries, or try a regional cider or craft beer. If you’re a wine drinker, you can partake in local winery tours and tastings.
The Craigleith district hosts The Craigleith Heritage Depot, which preserves an old train depot from the 19th century. It also houses a museum, community centre and fine-dining restaurant. And if you want to discover a delicious part of the region’s history, consider the Apple Pie Trail. This adventure takes you to a handful of orchards, restaurants, cideries and bakeries to learn about apple harvesting. Plus, you get to taste some treats along the way.
The Blue Mountains Neighbourhoods & Districts
Although The Blue Mountains is relatively small, there are a few distinct neighbourhoods and districts worth a visit. As noted above, the two main hubs are Thornbury and Craigleith. You’ll find the ski and mountain resorts closest to Craigleith, whereas art galleries, museums and vineyards are generally clustered near Thornbury. Other neighbourhoods house the bulk of the town’s green spaces.
Here are a few of the most popular neighbourhoods and districts in The Blue Mountains, Ontario:
Along the coast of Nottawasaga Bay — and roughly directly between Thornbury and Craigleith — is the small neighbourhood of Camperdown. You’ll find a cycling path (the Georgian Trail) that connects the main hubs and offers delightful bay views. There are several beaches and campsites here.
The eastern hub of Craigleith is home to some of the town’s mountain and ski resorts. Here you’ll also find Craigleith Provincial Park and the historic Craigleith Heritage Depot.
Lora Bay & Christie Beach
Visit these communities to enjoy time at the famous sandy Christie Beach or the Golf Club at Lora Bay.
Close to Craigleith is Blue Mountain in Ravenna. Visit this neighbourhood to enjoy the Blue Mountain ski area, the Blue Mountain Resort and many of the area’s spas and name-brand shopping. Ravenna is also home to the famous Scenic Caves Nature Adventures.
Thornbury & Clarksburg
Thornbury and Clarksburg are a charming duo of towns. Thornbury is where the Beaver River meets Nottawasaga Bay. Clarksburg is virtually connected to Thornbury upstream from the river. There’s a small marina where you can find boating activities, plus most of The Blue Mountains’ art galleries and shopping boutiques. The area also features the Sheffield Park Black History & Cultural Museum.
Things to Know About Visiting The Blue Mountains
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to The Blue Mountains, it’s nice to learn what the locals know about the area.
Delphi Point Park: The large, sandy beach waterfront at Northwinds Beach is a popular spot for non-motorized water sports and families.features a flat rock shale beach with stunning views of the side of Blue Mountain.