With the scent of apple blossoms in the air and the anticipation of warm season getaways, Blue Mountain Village is the perfect home base for family adventure on and off the mountain. Did you know Blue Mountain is nestled in the heart of Ontario’s largest apple growing region and home to the award-winning Apple Pie Trail? Dozens of apple varieties are grown here including fan favourites Honey Crisp, Ambrosia and Gala. You’ll discover so many unique finds on the agri-culinary trail as it winds its way from Blue Mountain, through the Beaver Valley to Thornbury and Meaford, all just a short drive from the Village. You’ll find apple inspired art, learn the history of apple growing, explore the many cideries, wineries, bakeries, cafes and farmer’s markets at 28 stops. But everyone knows, this area is all about outdoor adventure so while you’re tasting your way through apple country you’ll also have the chance to enlighten the kids with adventures they’ll remember for years to come.
So let's get you started on planning your best family getaway to apple country!
You’ll need at least a couple of days to explore and we’ve got you covered with Village accommodations
Day 1 : Check in and then hit the Village for an early dinner, leaving time to explore the Mountain in the evening. Kaytoo is great option where kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal until 5pm each day. The ‘Pie’rogies are a must try for desert. A sweet take on perogies made with local apples and topped with cinnamon and ice cream, delicious! Mom and Dad can sample local cider from Coffin Ridge, also a popular winery and cidery destination on the Apple Pie Trail. Challenge the kids to a hike up the mountain or take a leisurely ride up the Open-air Gondola and stroll across the top of the Escarpment for the spectacular views of Georgian Bay. Back in the Village you’re likely to find local musicians in the Plaza and if you happen to be here in the summer on a Wednesday night be sure to bring a blanket and catch a recently released film at Movies Under The Stars.
Challenge the kids to a hike up the mountain or take a leisurely ride up the Open-air Gondola and stroll across the top of the Escarpment for the spectacular views of Georgian Bay. Back in the Village you’re likely to find local musicians in the Plaza and if you happen to be here in the summer on a Wednesday night be sure to bring a blanket and catch a recently released film at Movies Under The Stars.
Day 2: Once you fuel up with breakfast at Sunset Grill or Oliver Bonacini Café Grill, it’s time to head out on the Apple Pie Trail! Be sure to download the Apple Pie Trail App to easily navigate your way from stop to stop in the countryside
First Stop: Beaver River paddling with Free Spirit Tours
The Beaver River winds its lazy way from the Grey Highlands; carving its way through the Beaver Valley on its journey to Thornbury and Georgian Bay. This wide, slow-moving waterway offers the opportunity to view this gorgeous land from another perspective complete with wild life and the occasional beaver dam spotting. Arrive for your pre-booked timeslot at Free Spirit Tours in Heathcote just a 20 minute drive from the Village. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will drive you up river by van with your choice of canoe or kayaks, give you some quick instruction and set you off to paddle back down river to your starting point. All in it’s about a 1.5 – 2 hour gentle paddle full of lots of smiles and a grand sense of accomplishment.
If a snack or bakery sandwich is in order, stop in at Blackbird Pie Company where the Lachance family bakes up everything with love, from pies to the finest butter tarts, breads and frozen meals.
Next Stop: Good Family Farm
If anyone in your family is passionate about healthy eating and local agriculture, Good Family Farms is a must-visit. The farm has been operating for generations with the goal of providing “local, healthy, organic food, from our family to yours”. But what does a commitment to organic mean, when so many products claim it these days? For this family, organic means they don’t use any synthetic chemicals on their farms, and don’t use any genetically modified organisms (GMO). Their soil and animals are fed nutrient dense and organic food. A peaceful afternoon at this Certified Organic Farm will leave your family with healthier eating practices and a renewed interest in eating locally.
Arriving on the farm, you’ll see acres of land filled with animals and crops. After taking in the scene, begin your pre-booked hour long educational tour with one of the farmers. You’ll sit in one of the farm’s tractors as you ride around the 4000+ acres of field and forest. Make sure to wear shoes and clothes you feel comfortable getting a little dirty in, as these farmers want you to get the genuine experience!
After you make friends with the farm animals, learning about the unique ways they’re raised and other Good Family Farm values, stop by the Farm Store. Organic, re-generatively raised meat and vegetables will taste even better after a day in the fresh air.
Head back to Blue Mountain Village via Thornbury
Pull out your phone and follow the App navigation towards Goldsmith’s Orchard Market in Thornbury for a selection of the freshest seasonal products and a Thornberry pie to take back for an evening treat. A stroll through the historic harbour town and more Apple Pie Trail stops is always a pleasure. The kids will delight in trying to spot fish jumping at the ladder by the bridge during spring and fall migrations.
Back at the Village you’ve earned some rest and relaxation by the pool while the kids work up an appetite for dinner. The list of dinner options and kid’s menus are plentiful, from specialty grilled Cheezed to Asian fusion at Mother Tongue to Firehall Pizza and everything in between, choose from 1,000 patio seats, all with spectacular views. You may even catch a concert on the floating stage on Thursdays and Saturdays during July and August. The full event schedule will help your plan the best time to visit.
Day 3: A Mountain of Adventure Awaits!
No doubt the kids slept in a bit and you’re slowly moving to breakfast and coffee from your Blue Mountain suite or pick up something delicious from Royal Majesty Espresso Bar Bakery on Water Street and sit by the pond to soak up the views before the day takes flight.
Action and adventure mean something different to everyone, and Blue Mountain embraces this by offering a wide range of attractions and activities for all ages that ensure you are as comfortable or as challenged as you want to be. High and low ropes courses, 30 km of beautiful hiking trails for all levels, water trikes, Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, Canopy Climb and Chutes and Lumber for younger children and so much more. Let the kids choose the day’s activities and be sure to take advantage of the happy moments, life lessons and good health that comes from the great outdoors, they’ll thank you for it!