Summer Activities in Collingwood & Blue Mountain
Over two million people visit the Town every summer
to stroll the shores of the Wasaga's freshwater beach, the longest fresh
water beach in the world (stretching 14 kilometres/8.7 miles)
Swim in warm clean waters and enjoy the panoramic mountain
views across the Bay. There are endless recreational trails that are used for
hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The Nottawasaga River
offers game fishing and great canoe routes to explore.
The beach is divided into smaller beaches with the public beaches numbered 1 to
6 sequentially from east to west. Its position on the waters of Nottawasaga Bay
means its summer temperatures are moderated somewhat by the water, so summer
days are much more comfortable than Toronto's scorching days.
Beach Area 1
If you crave the smell of suntan oil and the hustle and the bustle on the shore,
stick to Beach Area One, home to shops, restaurants, nightly entertainment, This
is where the crowd is younger and the bathing suits are skimpier.
This is also the site of Wasaga's new Special Events Venue, where you'll find
everything from exciting beach volleyball tournaments, Corvette Weekend (Beach
Cruize), Vintage auto displays to Kitefest and Fireworks.
But Wasaga Beach Provincial Park has eight beach area (entry fees for vehicles
only), each with its own washrooms, change facilities and picnic tables. As a
rule, the farther west you go, the quieter and less crowded the beaches become.
Families stake out picnic tables and set up camp for the day, building sand
castles, reading paperbacks and relaxing in the sun. As for Nottawasaga Bay
itself, remember that you can wade out quite a distance in the shallow water and
sandbars, making it ideal for children.
Fractured plates of shale that form this Georgian Bay shore
tell an ancient story. The rock contains invertebrate fossils 455 million years
old. Now, the flat rock is ideal for launching a sailboard, fishing or watching
a spectacular sunset. At the base of Collingwood's Blue Mountain, it's a short
trip to Wasaga Beach, the Bruce Trail and historic Huronia.
On the shore of Georgian Bay, just west of the slopes of the
Blue Mountains, Craigleith is easily visited via Highway 26.
The name Graigleith comes from the Gaelic (rocky bay), probably bestowed by an
early settler of the family of Sir Sandford Fleming. William Pollard developed
an shale oil extraction works in the mid 1850s.
An Ontario's Historical Plaque at the east end of Craigleith Provincial Park on
the north side of Highway 26, dedicates 'The Craigleith Shale Oil Works 1859' in
which a growing demand for artificial light led to the establishment, in 1859,
of a firm headed by William Darley Pollard of Collingwood.
He erected a plant here to obtain oil through the treatment of local bituminous
shales. The process, patented by Pollard, involved the destructive distillation
of fragmented shale in cast-iron retorts heated by means of wood.
The 27 to 32 tonnes of shale distilled daily yielded 950 litres of crude oil,
which was refined into illuminating and heavy lubricating oils. The enterprise,
the only one of its kind in the province's history, failed by 1863. The
inefficiency of its process made its products uncompetitive after the
discoveries of "free" oil at Petrolia and Oil Springs, near Sarnia.
One of the last remaining wooden CNR stations is located
here amidst acres of lilacs that blossom profusely every spring. Craigleith
Provincial Park offers visitors a carefree relaxing experience while Northwinds
Beach is home of Board Sailing in Ontario.
Top of Page