Visited Blue Mountain earlier this week, twice in fact. Canada’s third busiest ski resort is just a 20 minute drive from Meaford Haven, but if you’re an avid skier, you don’t have to worry about the “busy” part. A Blue Mountain 5×7 pass is a great deal and allows you to ski Monday through Friday day and night, and nights on Saturday and Sunday. Head there during the week, and you’ll be surprised at how short the lift lines are – if there are line-ups at all. More often than not, you’ll be skiing right up to the lift.
But back to this week’s visits. Blue Mountain isn’t just about winter. Come summer, it seems like there are even more things to do. Last Friday, the mountain bike got its first real ride of the season with a tough climb up the trails alongside Scenic Caves Road. With few glimpses of the road from the treed trails, you didn’t really have an idea of how far you up you were until you finally emerged right across from the popular Scenic Caves Nature Adventures attraction (more on that tomorrow). Then, thankfully, the course flattened out (for a little while). A few downhills were invariably followed by more climbs, which had me dreading the next descent, until the final ride down to a well deserved lunch in the Village at Blue. (It’s the downhill trails that attract most bikers to the hill – an easy ride up in the gondola followed by an exhilarating descent has something to recommend it over the cross-country climb, except for the bragging rights, of course.)
Back on Monday for more leisurely pursuits. For a few years, Plunge! Aquatic Adventure has been welcoming kids (and the young at heart) year round with its indoor/outdoor pools, indoor water playground, hot tubs, rope swing, dock and slides. Paddle boats and kayaks ply the pond during the summer months. Kids try their hands (and feet) at the climbing wall. Shoppers tour the array of shops in the Village, followed by a drink or a meal in their choice of pubs and restaurants. And this year, the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster offers new thrills. It’s like a roller coaster ride down the hill – for more than a kilometre – but you control your speed with a brake; if the max 42 kilometre per hour is too fast, slow down and enjoy the views.
But the newest attraction, and one that might just attract the real golfers among us, is the miniature golf currently under construction at the base of the hill. This looks like it’s going to be much more than an ordinary mini-putt, with realistic greens, bunkers, and challenging lies, all set among monolithic blocks in the side of the hill, recalling the ruins of Greek temple or amphitheatre.