Try life in the slow lane and enjoy quiet tree-lined roads, quaint hamlets and wonderful natural attractions for which South Georgian Bay is famous. Most of the tours have Georgian Bay Blue somewhere in the picture, so be sure to bring a camera. Designated and well-signed lookouts provide outstanding views, which have been enjoyed for generations. Be sure to pick up a Georgian Triangle map, pack a lunch and investigate the less travelled routes on your own.
Print a map of all tours.
THE PURPLE HILLS TOUR
Collingwood – Dunedin – Creemore
97 km • Allow 1.5 hours, plus stops
Take County Rd 124 (Hurontario Street) south from Collingwood through Singhampton to County Rd 9. Turn left on 9 and follow signs to Dunedin. At the stop sign at the bottom of the hill turn left and continue on this road to the village of Creemore on your right. Stop and tour through this beautiful historic village. Take a Creemore Springs Brewery Tour and explore the shops, studios and cafés on the tree-lined main street. Hike down to the Mad River or explore North America’s smallest jail. For an enjoyable side trip to an incredible Magnetic Hill, follow the main street back out and turn right on County Rd 9. Turn right onto Airport Rd and continue past the village of Avening to the Nottawasaga / Mulmur townline. Turn right onto this gravel road and go 1.6 km, stop your car, put it in neutral and feel it pulled magnetically backward uphill. Too cool! Return to Airport Rd, turn left and just past the 3-4 Sideroad is Carruthers Memorial Conservation Area on your left. With a covered picnic area, playground, washrooms and the Ganaraska Trail winding beside the Mad River, it’s a great rest stop. To return to Collingwood, follow Airport Rd back to County Rd 9; across from Creemore’s main street (Mill) turn right on Fairgrounds Road. This scenic road climbs then descends back towards Collingwood. Turn left at Hwy 91 and follow it until you reach Duntroon. Turn right at Duntroon and follow County Rd 124 back to Collingwood and a gorgeous view of Georgian Bay. The rural scenery on this trip is spectacular, with rolling hills, winding rivers and breathtaking views of the Mad River Valley.
SCOTTISH HIGH COUNTRY TOUR Collingwood – Rob Roy – Feversham
64 km • Allow 1.5 hours, plus stops
Starting north of the Grain Elevators, the Collingwood Millennium Overlook Park is located at the most northerly point of the historic Collingwood Harbour. The site provides an outstanding panorama of Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment to the west. Head south via Hurontario Street (County Rd 124). South of Nottawa turn right at Local Airport Rd and follow it (33/34 S.R.) as it winds its way through the Pretty River Provincial Park up to the top of the Escarpment (there are several access points to the Bruce Trail off this road). Turn left at the T intersection to stay at the Pretty River Valley Country Inn. Turn right at the T-intersection and continue to the small community named after the Scottish hero Rob Roy. Stop here at the Osprey Museum (open for special events and by appt) and view one of the few remaining original School Houses built in 1889. Visit the Osprey Bluffs Honey Co., nearby on Grey Rd. 63. Turn right on Grey Rd 31 to Grey Rd 2 and then turn left and follow Grey Rd 2 to Feversham. Be sure to check out the Feversham Gorge at the Madeline Graydon Conservation Area. 1.5 km hiking trail with a stairway and lookout stations, picnic area and privies. Continue past Feversham and turn left at Hwy 4, then left again at County Rd 124 back to Collingwood. MAP
BLUE MOUNTAIN TOUR
Blue Mountain Village – Banks – Ravenna
41 km • Allow 1 hour, plus stop
Start at the Blue Mountain Village. Take time here to stroll through this pedestrian village’s variety of shops and cafés or take a gondola ride (seasonal) up the mountain. Once back in your car, exit The Village and turn right on Grey Rd 19. Follow the roundabout to Scenic Caves Road where it climbs the ski hill at the south end of Blue Mountain. At the top of this road is the Scenic Caves Nature Adventure Park. For some real excitement, stop here, tour the crevices and take a walk on southern Ontario’s longest suspension footbridge. It offers the most spectacular views of Georgian Bay. Follow this road until it reaches Banks, turn right and turn via the Loree Forest (good place to stop and hike) to Grey Rd 2 (left). Watch for the Georgian Hills Vineyards on the right where you might want to stop in for a tasting. Stay on this road past Ravenna (the Ravenna Country Market is worth a look) until Grey Rd 19. Turn left here and follow Grey Rd 19 back to Blue Mountain. Dramatic views of Georgian Bay highlight this route
BEAVER RIVER HEADWATERS
Thornbury – Heathcote – Eugenia
80 km • Allow 2 hours, plus stops
Thornbury Harbour is the starting point of this well-known route. Explore the harbour area, wander along the Riverwalk Trail up to the fish ladder and visit the town’s fine shops and cafés. Once back to your car drive up Bruce Street and follow this road (road changes names several times) through Clarksburg, Heathcote, and Kimberley climbing up through the Beaver Valley until reaching Eugenia. Stop for an ice cream cone at the famous Emporium then head down to the Falls Conservation Area across the street to view the 30-metre scenic waterfall and spectacular gorge with cedars clinging to rock layers. There is also a picnic shelter and privies on site. Continue south on Grey Rd 13 to Hwy 4 and turn left until Grey Rd 2. Turn left on 2 and then right on Grey Rd 31 down the Pretty River Valley (follow road left where Grey Rd 31 intersects Pretty River Rd) to the 10th line. Turn left here and follow the 10th line all the way to Mountain Rd and turn right to go back into Collingwood. This drive features lovely fall colours and breathtaking views. MAP
BIG SKY TOUR
Meaford – Kimberly – Eugenia
50 km • Allow 1 hour, plus stops
The starting point of this tour is Meaford Harbour at the foot of Trowbridge St off Hwy 26. Drive around to the scenic marina, with its lovely gardens and harbour-side benches, then on to the beautiful old harbour, past the Meaford Museum and down Sykes St North. to a unique waterfront park and magnificent views of Georgian Bay. Explore the historic and architecturally interesting Golden Town of Meaford before heading east on Hwy 26 to Grey Rd 7. Follow 7 south, up the seven steps of the ancient glacial lake Algonquian and into the Beaver Valley. Make a stop at the scenic Epping Lookout which offers dramatic views in all directions, historical plaque dedicated to American naturalist John Muir, picnic shelter, privies and drinking water. Drive on past Talisman Resort until you come to Grey Rd 13. Turn left on 13 to return to Thornbury. Visit Farmer’s Pantry on your way home (right). MAP
THE GREAT FALLS ADVENTURE
Walters – Eugenia – Hoggs Falls
150 km • Allow 3.5 hours, plus stops
Start at the traffic lights in Thornbury, drive south on Bruce Street through Thornbury and Clarksburg to County Rd 40. As the road climbs up the Escarpment, stop and look back at the spectacular view of Thornbury, Collingwood and Nottawasaga Bay. Turn right on 40 to the junction at County Rd 29. Turn right for Walters Falls. At the stop sign, go straight ahead on Alma Street to Jack Street. Turn left at the Falls. The waterfall is on private property, The Falls Inn, but visitors are welcome to view the Falls from the viewing platform, which will give you an excellent view. Or have a lovely lunch on their falls-view patio. Continue south on 29 and turn left on Grey Rd 40 (a.k.a. Dave McNichol Pkwy). Follow Grey Rd 40 until Grey Rd 7 and turn right. Stop at Epping Lookout along this road for a spectacular view of the Beaver Valley. Turn right on Grey Rd 13 just past Talisman Mountain Resort. Pass through Kimberley as the road climbs out of the Beaver Valley. At the top of the hill is the Eugenia Falls Conservation Area where you can view the 30-metre Eugenia Falls, one of the highest in Ontario. The Beaver River drops over the Escarpment into the rocky gorge below. Drive along the Lower Valley Road, a beautiful wooded, winding route which follows the Beaver River with rippling rapids visible from the road. You’ll pass in front of the Eugenia Power Station on Lake Eugenia, which comes down in large penstocks to the right of the falls. This power station is still operating and is part of the Ontario Power Generating Network. These Falls first hit the spotlight in the early 1850s, when a local farmer discovered some glittering rocks in a remote canyon and immediately set off a major attack of Gold Fever. Unfortunately, for the 200 plus farmers panning the Beaver River below, the gold turned out to be “Fool’s Gold” or iron pyrites. As you leave the conservation area, go back to County Rd 13. Directly across the road you will see the Eugenia Emporium, a great place to stop for coffee, snacks and gift items. To reach Hogg’s Falls, head South on Grey Rd 13. Turn Right onto Hwy #4, a few minutes later; turn right (north) onto East Back Line Road (East Back Line Road jogs when it hits #4, so you’ll see East Back south before you reach East Back Line north). This is a hard packed dirt road. Take the first turn onto Lower Valley Road. The trail to the falls is on the left hand side of the road and is marked by two yellow posts. You can park on the right hand side of the road. It is a relatively small, secluded and mostly wild waterfall, with most of the land reclaimed by the forest. There are only faint traces of William Hogg’s mill from long ago. The Boyne River’s 7 meter cascade is a sheer and shimmering curtain over the rock face. Return to Hwy 4 and return to Collingwood.
DRIVE THROUGH THE ICE AGE
77 km • Allow 2 hours, plus stops
At the end of the Ice Age, small groups of hunters-gatherers began the last chapter of the human settlement. One group, the Early Paleo-Indians left evidence of their existence in our region. This self-guided driving tour takes you through our southern Georgian Bay region, with a different lens. Start in Stayner at Hwy 26 & 91. Travel west on 91, the former bottom of glacial Lake Algonquin. Drive west to the first conc., which is Fairgrounds Road. Turn left (south) towards the Village of Creemore. Follow Fairgrounds Rd. to Simcoe Road 9, just outside of Creemore. Turn west and drive to the village of Dunedin. This is one of the most rugged sections of the Niagara Escarpment and the geological source of Fossil Hill Formation chert, a stone preferred by some Early Paleo-Indians for making tools. At Dunedin, turn right (north) onto County Road 62 toward Glen Huron. Continue along County Road 62 to the intersection with with Highway 124. Turn left to Singhampton. Just a short distance north is the highest point on the Niagara Escarpment, Osler Bluff, a rocky butte with an elevation of 544 meters. This area has numerous recessional moraines, deposited by the ice sheets during temporary halts in its retreat when melting kept pace with the ice flow. You will pass over two of these moraines, named after the area communities, Gibraltar and Singhampton. Follow 124 through Singhampton and turn right (West) at Grey County 4 towards Maxwell for 10 kilometers to Grey Road 2. Turn right (north) on Grey County Road 2 towards Feversham, where you will drive onto the Gilbraltar moraine. At the Osprey – Blue Mountains Town Line, drive onto the edge of the road and park for a moment. You have entered the Kolapore Uplands Resource Management Area. This semi-wilderness area is 12,000 hectares and consists of forests, swamps, pine plantations and farm fields. Drive 9 kms through the heart of Kolapore Uplands on a gravel road through this very rugged country. Turn left (west) off Grey County Road 2 onto the Osprey – Blue Mountains townline. Almost immediately, you hit a fork in the road. Stay on the townline and continue west. Follow this road until you reach the 10th line where you will turn right and drive north. Stay on the 10th line for the remainder of this segment of the tour, passing through dark forests, narrow valleys and around vertical cliffs. At the 6th sideroad and a T-junction, turn right, staying on the 10th line, heading north. To your right, is Metcalfe Rock , a popular place for climbing and caving. There are two archaeological sites not far from here (exact location cannot be disclosed). Continue north on the 10th line through Red Wing, to the intersection of County Road 13 and travel through to Clarksburg and Thornbury. A great spot to have some lunch and take in some shopping. Continue on #26 east to Craigleith and discover 450 million year-old fossils at the Craigleith Provincial Park. East on #26 to the Craigleith Heritage Depot, where you can view displays and artefacts from long ago.Your final destination is Scenic Caves Nature Adventures — a landscape carved by glacial ice. Follow #19 past the Village to the roundabout. Take the Scenic Caves exit on the roundabout up the hill to Scenic Caves.
FLY THROUGH THE ICE AGE
Same journey, with a view from high! Join Marcus / Air 44 Helicopters at the Collingwood Airport. Your Flight ends at Scenic Caves, where you will be able to hike Escarpment trails, through ancient forests and caves. Cross Ontario’s longest Suspension Bridge. Flight and Caves Package — From $199 pp/dbl occ. Choose your ride back with X-treme Hummer Tours or SummerBound.