2020 Summer of Adventure!
GEORGIAN BAY-Collingwood to Meaford
Celebrate 25 years of trail-building and work to protect and connect our Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waterfront with the 2020 Summer of Adventure!
Off to Georgian Bay’s cerulean coast where families can enjoy a scenic hike or ride on the Georgian Trail (now part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail). The Georgian Trail is a popular 34 km multi-use path, once a railway, connecting the heart of the town’s waterfront to the village of Thornbury and Meaford.
What you’ll love— forests, waterfront parks, beaches to resort villas with mountain views, wonderful shops, craft breweries and wineries, gorgeous countryside views. Cool it off with a day exploring scenic caves and walk across the longest suspension bridge in Southern Ontario. Experienced cyclists comfortable sharing the road and who enjoy the challenge of hills can make a loop out of the ride by following the Apple Pie Trail
Terrain—Easy terrain, flat firm crushed stone dedicated trail.
Distance—34 km each way from Collingwood to Meaford—a 68km round trip. Plenty of opportunities to shorten the trip with visits to Thornbury or Blue Mountain Village. This is not a loop route.
This could be a day trip or extended to overnight with some wonderful options.
Start and Stops:–any one of these locations is a great place to begin.
0km Harbourview Park, Collingwood (At the foot of Birch Street – 3 Birch St, Collingwood, ON L9Y 2T8) Collingwood has a beautiful waterfront so while you are in town you may want to visit Millennium Park for a stunning view of the harbour. Many great places to eat before heading out on your ride.
8 km Blue Mountain Village Resort is another great place to start your adventure with an abundance of restaurants, shops. Accommodations are unavailable during the pandemic though several village restaurants and shops are open (https://www.bluemountain.ca/things-to-do/whats-open) It is located about 3 km south of the Trail. To pick up the trail, leave Blue Mountain Village via Monterra Road and turn South on Grey Road 21 to connect with the Georgian Trail section of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.
11 km Craigleith Provincial Park — Wonderful alternative start point, beach stop, or overnight if you like camping (and don’t mind travelling with gear). Swimming is available but there are no lifeguards. There is a path the connects the Georgian Trail to the entrance of the Park. Careful crossing HWY 26.
19 km Thornby Harbour — At Bay Street East in Thornbury—the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail diverges from the Georgian Trail to use a series of quiet roads closer to the waterfront. The routes rejoin again once past Thornbury’s harbour—the choice is yours!
21 km Bruce Street North, Thornbury—Ready for lunch? Leave the Trail at Bruce Street North where you will find a great variety of places to eat. Get take out and head to the Little River Beach Park. The beach is a mix of both soft sand and rocky pebbles, with a few treed areas for those in need of shade. Watch divers at the nearby Thornbury pier jump into Georgian Bay. You may want to use Elma Street North to bike to the Little River Beach Park if Bruce Street is too busy for your comfort.
24 km — Lora Bay Drive and West Ridge Drive, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail diverges from the Georgian Trail to use a series of quiet roads closer to the waterfront that lead directly into Christie Beach Conservation Area. The two routes rejoin at Christie Beach Road. If you stay on the Georgian Trail, and want to visit Christie Beach Conservation Area, leave the trail at Christie Beach Road and travel north for 1 km.
28 km Meaford-Christie Beach Conservation Area’s sandy beach is a great place for a refreshing stop. During the pandemic washrooms will not be available.
30.5 km Meaford Terminus for the Georgian Trail –Trow Bridge is closed for construction. To access downtown Meaford and its restaurants, turn right onto Denmark and right on Boucher until reach HWY 26. Along HWY 26 you’ll find a range of places to eat. Try the Leeky Canoe or The Kitchen. If you want something lighter go to the bakery for take-out and sit by the water at Jack Raper Park.
Download the Printed Maps:
Use Maps 21, 21A, 22 and 22A in this bundle
Use our custom interactive Google map to check distances. And points of interest.
Learn More About the Communities and Georgian Trail
Blue Mountains Community Profile (includes villages of Thornbury, Clarksburg, and Blue Mountain Village)
Visiting Grey County–great resource with hotels and attractions
Other Activities to extend the fun!
Scenic Caves Nature Adventures– Hiking, ziplining, some light caving, mini-golf and Ontario’s longest suspension bridge.
Peasemarsh Nature Preserve–sandy beach, great hiking trails
Apple Pie Trail—Bike it or drive it. Lots to see along this looped route.
Looking for overnight parking? Check to see if your accommodation provider will permit you to leave your vehicle.
What to bring:
Don’t forget your sanitizer, snacks and water as facilities are not fully open. Please respect physical distancing protocols and call accommodations and facilities in advance to confirm hours.