There's a surprising lot of interesting stuff going on around here, and this space is devoted to discovering and sharing it. We'll post regular updates on merchants, activities and events. Look in often and soon you'll see why Meaford calls itself "The other Big Apple".

posted March 5th, 2016
Enjoy it while it lasts.

Still snow on the cross country trails. A couple of photos. One from a sunset ski last night, and another from a daylight ski today. Beautiful!

Massie sunset

Massie 2

posted February 7th, 2015
Hit the slopes for cancer care in the Meaford area

Here’s a rare chance to ski one of the area’s finest private slopes and support the Meaford Hospital Foundation. Next Wednesday, ski at Georgian Peaks and $20 of your $50 ticket will go directly to the MHF to support enhanced cancer care facilities in the area.

The Georgian Peaks Club offers some of the most diverse terrain on the Escarpment, ranging from easy to difficult. The 24 trails offer spectacular views of Georgian Bay.

Head out on Wednesday, February 11 and help expand the cancer care services at the Owen Sound Hospital.

posted April 14th, 2014
Spring skiing in Meaford

Here are some photos from this past weekend — yes, this past weekend! It’s hard to believe how well-covered the slopes are, but for those who enjoy warm-weather skiing, this spring has been exceptional. The first two photos were taken at Blue Mountain on Friday under gloriously sunny skies. And while the sun didn’t cooperate for the Saturday ski at Georgian Peaks, mild temps made for great spring conditions. It’s not over yet. Easter skiing is on its way!

posted February 21st, 2013
Skiing, boarding and snowmobiling in Meaford – a video tour (part 2)

A tour of Massie Hills on cross country skis

Here’s a guided tour to the classic cross country ski trail network at a local favourite – just 20 minutes west and south of Meaford. If you find it too long, scan through and pause at the best parts.

Candid Canada’s look at Blue Mountain

Last time, you got a boarder’s eye view of the snowboardcross course at Blue Mountain. Here’s a report on the event by Ndrika Anyika, who’s new to alpine sports herself. It shows the race – and some more “down to earth” skiers.

Meaford snowmobiling

If you prefer your snow with horsepower attached, check out the snowmobile trails around Meaford in this video.

posted February 16th, 2013
A video guide to Meaford winter activities (Part 1)

Super-fast nordic skiing at Highlands Nordic

This skate skier, with a camera mounted to his head, is flying. Warning: you might get a bit dizzy. It’s a little like one of those racing video games where you have to dodge the slower-moving vehicles. In this case, he’s dodging around less speedy skiers… watch out! About 40 minutes from Meaford Haven

Dick in the ditch at Kolapore

This is not Dick’s finest hour, but while he struggles up from the snow, admire the scenery in this one tiny section of Kolapore Uplands Wilderness Ski Trails – which offer 50 kilometres of varied terrain. About 20 minutes from Meaford Haven.

Snowshoeing at Scenic Caves

Up on the heights of the Niagara Escarpment, the cross country trails are great, but so is the snowshoeing. This tour gives you a taste of what to expect, including a trip across the 420-foot suspension bridge with its vista of Collingwood and Georgian Bay. About 30 minutes from Meaford Haven

Jarryd Hughes at the Blue Mountain World Cup during training with Jonathan Cheever

Blue Mountain held the Snowboard World Cup a couple of weekends ago, just 20 minutes from Meaford Haven. If you never, ever plan on “snowboardcrossing” – in which up to half a dozen snowboarders race side-by-side down a challenging course with bumps and jumps and obstacles – here’s the next best thing. Pretend you’re Jerryd Hughes, and see the course through his eyes.

posted January 4th, 2013
Meaford’s new year’s ski conditions

Meaford had a white Christmas, and as the year kicks off it’s time to break out the skis and/or snowshoes if you haven’t already. Here’s a quick rundown on a few of the local runs and trails and their current conditions.

Blue Mountain
Twenty minutes down the road, Ontario’s largest ski resort is hopping with lots of snow from both Mother Nature and it’s state-of-the-art snowmaking system. With an average base of 55 cm. and groomed powder conditions, Blue has 12 of 15 lifts open and 30 of 36 runs open, as well as one terrain park. And the Village Mill Pond is open for skating.


Massie Hills
Head 20 minutes in the other direction, and you’ll find a groomed 10 km cross country trail system that gives you the feel of a backwoods ski. Though we’d enjoy some more snow (and the weather guys tell us it’s coming), the trails have been groomed and are in decent shape, with a few rocks still poking through.


Kolapore Uplands
Yet another extensive cross-country trail system awaits you within a 20-minute drive. These wilderness trails are ungroomed (and it’s a good idea to carry a map, available from various nearby locations).

Currently, the snow’s about 25 cm deep, and the trails are in decent shape overall; just keep an eye out for rocks. At the moment a small section of trails on the 60-km system are closed for logging.


Nordic Centre at Scenic Caves
Within a half hour scenic drive, this attraction offers 27 kilometres of groomed beginner and intermediate forested trails with occasional spectacular views. As of today, they offer a base of 20 cm., with the entire system track-set. Skating, too.


Highlands Nordic
Not much further down the road, about 40 minutes from town, you’ll discover one of Ontario’s premiere cross country ski resorts. Nestled in the highlands, it seems to be in its own little snow belt within the snow belt. Twenty km of trails are currently open for classic and skate.


Holiday skiing at Highlands Nordic

Sawmill Ski Trail
Take a 40 minute drive in the opposite direction, and head north of Owen Sound for 10 km of groomed classic and skate trails branching off from the cozy log clubhouse. While the trails are not yet track-set this year, skating’s good, and with snow in the forecast it won’t be long.


Oh, and did we mention there’s more snow in the forecast?

posted March 1st, 2012
March is here… and so is cross-country skiing fun. Enjoy it while it lasts

Believe it or not, Meaford still has lots of the white stuff for winter fun. It’s not too late to check out the cross skiing at one of the many great locations near Meaford Haven.

Here are a few photos we took this past week at Massie Hills.

Cross country skiing X-country skiing 2

X-country skiing 3 X-country skiing 4

Cross country skiing is one of those sports you can do at any time of your life, and it’s becoming more and more popular among retirees. A high-calorie-burning, full-body workout, it gives you great cardiovascular benefits and an endorphin rush in a low-impact sport. You can choose your own pace, and you can ski outside your back door or check out one of the beautifully scenic nearby trail systems. (The most distant of these trails is only 40 minutes away.)

Massie Hills
A short drive from Meaford, this 10 km trail system (with numerous opportunities to reverse loops and add distance) offers the feel of a backwoods ski in a nicely groomed trail. Some hills and moderately difficult sections, but nothing extreme. Donate at the entrance or join the club.

Coffin Ridge Winery
Beginning this winter, the winery has groomed trails along the vineyards. After an invigorating ski, head inside to warm by the fire and indulge yourself with a mug of hot mulled wine, local cheeses, paté and freshly baked bread.

Loree Forest
Head south of Thornbury on Country Road 2, and head east on Sideroad 21 to find a spot to park, then strap on your skis. No-fee skiing on a mostly flat course, with views from the top of Georgian Peaks.

Kolapore Uplands
This 60 km classic trail system can keep you active forever. As Grey County’s tourism site relates, “Grooming is completed by the first skier of the day so skiers should be prepared to ‘break trail’ following a snowfall.” Areas for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers.

Nordic Centre at Scenic Caves
Within a half hour scenic drive, you can enjoy 22 kilometres of groomed beginner and intermediate forested trails with occasional spectacular views. Foodservice, rentals, change-rooms and more onsite.

Inglis Falls and Harrison Park
Owen Sound’s Inglis Falls is a popular scenic destination in summer, but it’s just as magical in winter, with a 7.5 km ski trail accessible from the falls or from Harrison Park below. A loop from Harrison Park takes you up the escarpment, tours near the falls, and then heads back down to the park, where the Harrison Park Inn awaits you with warmth, food and drink.

Sawmill Ski Trail
North of Owen Sound and south of Hepworth, you’ll find 10 km of groomed classic and skate trails branching off from the cozy log clubhouse. You can even night ski a section under the lights. Admission by donation or join the club.

Highlands Nordic
One of Ontario’s premiere cross country ski resorts, Highlands Nordic hosts major provincial and national events – and gives you a lot to choose from in classic and skate skiing. Challenging hills, excellent grooming, and a large clubhouse and ski shop with rentals and sales.

Mix it up with a snowshoe jaunt
Many of these cross country ski locations also provide great terrain for snowshoeing – either on marked trails or by making your own tracks. Some areas may require fees, some definitely require a map, and skiers really appreciate it if snowshoers stay off the ski tracks.

But there’s no need to even leave town to snowshoe in Meaford. Step outside your door and explore the countryside around you, or head down to the Trout Hollow Trail to enjoy up to 14 km of varied terrain and beautiful winter scenery. (It’s wise to avoid using the trail along the Bighead River during a thaw.)

posted January 20th, 2012
Winter fun on the Apple Pie Trail

Here are a couple of ideas to keep you warm, fit and well-nourished from Blue Mountain’s Activity Central and the Apple Pie Trail.

Ski at Scenic Caves and finish off with a great post-ski snack. Indulge yourself at Scandinave Spa, and indulge your taste buds with a delicious dinner. Or snowshoe at Blue Mountain, warm up with hot chocolate, and then warm up some more at an area restaurant. Here are the details.

MONDAYS ~ Cross Country Skiing Package ~ Save 20%

Ski through a quiet forest of sugar maples, beeches and oaks high atop the Niagara Escarpment at Scenic Caves overlooking Georgian Bay. Use your Apple Pie Trail certificate at one of the many area Trail locations and enjoy local apple products from pie to cider.

Price from: $38.90 pp +tx
(package is based on adult rates, includes ski rentals, trail pass and $12 Apple Pie Trail certificate)

TUESDAYS ~ Spa Rejuvenation Package ~ Save 20%

Refresh with a relaxing spa experience at Scandinave Spa, featuring Nordic baths, cold plunges, sauna, and steam room. Use you Apple Pie Trail certificate at the on-site Café Chartreuse or one of many other Trail locations in the area.

Price: $48.00 pp + tx (19yrs +)
(package includes bath pass and $12 Apple Pie Trail certificate)

FRIDAYS ~ Blue Mountain Snowshoe Tour, Hot Chocolate & Apple Pie Trail Voucher ~ Save 50%

10:30am A guided 1 hour tour for nature lovers will wind gently up the mountain, through the nature trails at Blue and descend back down. Warm up afterwards to a complimentary hot chocolate at Grand Central Lodge and use your Trail voucher at any of the 20 Apple Pie Trail locations from Collingwood to Owen Sound – including five stops in the Village.

Price: $15.00 pp + tx
(package includes snowshoe rentals, guided tour from Blue Mountain Village, Hot Chocolate at Grand Central Lodge and $12 Apple Pie Trail certificate)
(Excluding February 20, March 12-16, 2012)

Pond Skating Spa Rejuvenation Package at scandinave

That’s just a few. Find more here.

posted December 9th, 2011
Ski season begins next week at Blue Mountain

It’s time to get your skis tuned and ready to go – Blue Mountain opens next Thursday. While Meaford has had a few flurries, not a lot of snow has stayed around. That looks like it might change, with snow in the forecast over the next week, and overnight temperatures below zero.

Blue Mountain

Those colder night temps allow the resort to get into high snowmaking gear, which establishes a base on the hill before Mother Nature gets fully involved. In many years, the season can run from early December with great spring skiing through Easter.

Ontario’s largest ski resort features 34 trails, offering everything from easygoing beginners slopes to challenging double black diamonds and glade skiing. On top of that, three terrain parks and two super pipes let loose your inner “dude”.

Grand Georgian at Blue Mountain

Meaford Haven is less than 20 minutes from the slopes, and since you live so close, you can take advantage of some of the great deals on season’s pass. A 5×7 pass lets you ski days Monday through Friday (avoiding the weekend crowds), and seven nights a week. It’s remarkably economical at the early bird price; get out just four times during the season and you’re already ahead of the game. And with 14 lifts, including four high-speed express chairs, you can be up top within minutes of arriving, enjoying the skiing rather than spending time standing in line.

Three lodges offer warmth and refreshments whenever you’re ready, and simply ski down to the Village at Blue to discover more than a dozen restaurants, bars cafes and bistros to round out your day. There’s great shopping in the village too, along with regular activities, including musical events, bonfires and more. (And if you’ve still got energy, you can check out Plunge! Aquatic Centre or the Ridge Runner sled down the mountain!)

Village at Blue Mountain

posted August 20th, 2011
Scenic Caves Nature Adventure “tops”

One of the things that’s great about Meaford Haven is its proximity to attractions everyone else needs to travel far to experience. Hop in your car, and within a half-hour drive on scenic country roads, you’re at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures.

The site, high on the Niagara Escarpment above Georgian Bay, has attracted people for centuries. A huge standing rock, carved by erosion from the cliff at the site, was seen by the Hurons as Ekarenniondi, the rock that marked the path to the Village of the Souls, or the Afterlife. “Today, no-one disputes that the sacred Rock marking the trail to the Village of the Dead, which is at the same time Ekarenniondi, The Watcher and Oscotarach, the Head-Piercer, is the rock long so identified at the Scenic Caves,” writes Collingwood archeologist and historian Charles Garrad. “It is the only rock which meets all the tests implied in the legends,” he writes.


Ekarenniondi - the sacred Rock marking the trail to the Village of the Dead at Scenic Caves Nature Adventure

But with the arrival of European settlers to the area in the 1800s, the area was more noted for its vistas and the narrow caves that wind through the area. Locals would climb up to the site to picnic, and back in 1850 someone carved their initials in one of the caves – leaving marks still readable today.

The property eventually became a farm, which operated until an enterprising businessman purchased the property in 1932. Aflred Staples built wooden ladders and bridges and offered guided tours of the caves. An irrepresible showman, he called himself the “Man of Nature”, and performed feats and stunts to attract visitors, including crossing the ice of Nottawasaga Bay to Christian Island and walking from Collingwood to Chicago.

His daughter, Sandra took over the operation in the sixties, and ran it for the next quarter century with her husband, adding amenities and building a gift shop.

Then, in 1993, Collingwood businessman Rob Thorburn bought the property. Convinced it could be more than a homespun tourist attraction, he invested heavily in the property, adding attractions and activities to make Scenic Caves Nature Adventures a true tourism destination.

In the last decade, improvements have included:

The Nordic Centre A groomed cross country ski trail network that retains the feel of a backwoods ski route, with trees bounding trails that haven’t been cut wide to accommodate large-scale groomers. The Centre also includes snow shoe trails. Ski and snow shoe rentals and winter warmups make for a full winter experience.

The Suspension Bridge at Scenic Caves Ontario’s longest suspension bridge offers views toward Collingwood, Georgian Bay, and beyond to the Penetanguishene Pensinsula – from a vantage 300 metres above the Bay.

The Eco Adventure Tour The three-hour guided tour takes you across the suspension bridge, along a suspended pathway through the canopy of the trees, then down to the ground via exhilarating zip lines. (The adventure also includes the cave tour.)

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