If you’re thinking of going to Blue Mountain, read on as I recently came back from a 4 night, 5 day stay there. It’s a great place for family or singles to go, keep active or not, do some shopping and have a nice meal or two.
Blue Mountain is a destination for mountain bikers who can ride the gondola up to the top of the escarpment and bike down on trails made for this purpose. In the summer which is June 20 to September 1, the trails are open daily from 10 am to 8 pm. There are many options from getting only a trail pass or a single ride up the mountain to a season pass. Day passes are also available and when I went at the beginning of the summer, it was $38 per day for unlimited rides up the gondola. But you also needed to buy the mandatory bike pass for $10. All of these prices do not include tax.
Whether or not you have a bike, you can ride the gondola up, walk around once you are up there to see the sites and beautiful views and then hike down or for those not into hiking, take the gondola back down. A visitor pass for one ride up the gondola is $15 or if you are a lodging guest it’s only $12. Check the website (details below) for what times the gondola is operating on the day you are there. Here’s the top of the gondola.
And here is what it looks like a few feet from the top of the gondola looking down below the escarpment.
If you walk a few minutes from the top of the gondola, the views are even better. The mid left of the picture shows some of the houses across the street from Blue Mountain while the right shows part of Collingwood.
I after your walk you happen to be hungry or thirsty, you can stop at the Yeti cheese truck just beside the gondola at the top. There are a variety of chip truck items plus an apparently delicious and somewhat famous Yeti cheese sandwich.
When you get back down, if you are adventuresome, you can try the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster which is a cross between a roller coaster ride and a luge. You get in a small luge shaped car on a rail and slowly go up the mountain through the trees. I hiked up beside the Coaster and you really are in the middle of the forest and the views up are likely almost as nice as the views on the way down, albeit slower. Once you reach the top, that is when the adrenaline starts to flow and your speed increases as you sail down on the rail through the forest. I kept putting this off and off and off while I did other things and I really regretted not trying it. You should though as although it looks find and somewhat fast, it doesn’t look too scary at all.
If you are into something more sedate, try the Cascade Putting Course at the base of the mountain just beside the gondola. You can’t miss it.
There are also zip lines, called Wind Rider Triple Zips that you can try but they seemed to be closed when I went as many of the days were rainy and it was just the beginning of the summer season. Here’s a picture from the tower of one of the zip lines.
The Timber Challenge High Ropes looked like it was a lot fun too and these were not far from the base of the mountain. They were up near the towers for the zip lines. If you hike up the mountain, they are on the way.
There are a number of other activities such as the Apex Bag Jump and the Plunge Aquatic Center. Plus there is a very reasonably priced Segway tour where you hop on the gondola to the top of the mountain where you get to jump on your own Segway and go on a 1 hour tour through trails designed for this purpose. I showed up to take this tour later in the day at around 5 pm or so and the last tour had already left even though it was supposed to be open until 8pm. So if you want to go on this or any other tour you probably should call in advance to see if it is available and find out if you can book or even buy tickets in advance.
You can save money on many of these activities if you are a guest on site and also if you purchase a package of 4 activities, which I thought was a pretty good deal.
There are other activities in the area such as golf and at least one course works it way through the mountain village. I headed out and biked on the cart road towards the end of one day when no one was around and the course looked great and pretty well taken care of. I did not try to the course as my main goal was to try out my new e-bike over the course of the 5 days I was there.
There are a number of on site hotel options the largest being the Westin but there are other beautiful on site hotels. Also, people that own there likely rent on various online sites such as VRBO etc.
Although I went alone, I think I will go back with my family during the summer as I found there was a lot to do in the area, not including the swimming pool at your own hotel or lodge. Wasaga beach, which has the largest freshwater beach in the world is only minutes away and a number of the hotels have private sections where you can rest, tan and swim on the beach.
If you decide to go, compare prices of various hotel options to get the best price. There are also specials run from time to time on the Blue Mountain website, so check that out at: http://www.bluemountain.ca
Have fun and come back and post on how your stay went in the comment section below.