‘Tis the season of confusing weather, that in-between that Canadians know as spring. To say the current climate has had its ups and downs would be an understatement, but instead of fleeing, it’s best to embrace it. And that’s exactly what I did a few weeks ago when the weather was on the fritz in Collingwood with Ford Canada.
I had planned a trip to Ontario’s favourite ski destination when it was still frigid early March. On the docket: A weekend getaway to Collingwood in the Ford Fusion, complete with the ultimate winter activity for those who like to embrace the cold, but can’t ski – snowmobiling. Unfortunately, by the time the date came around, snow was quickly disappearing. Optimistic, I set the Ford Fusion‘s voice guided GPS to one of Collingwood’s paths less traveled (away from Blue Mountain Village), a trip to the Scenic Caves.
Less than a 10 minute drive from Blue Mountain Village, in the winter, the caves are closed, but the area is open (for $10 entry) to the public to explore, hike and snowshoe. In the summer, the area is open for ziplining and other eco-adventures. But the biggest draw during the winter, and one of the main reasons I wanted to visit, is the beautiful suspension bridge, which is open for the majority of the year and surrounded by a 200 year old forest.
The bridge itself is the longest footbridge in Southern Ontario, spanning 420 feet in length and 25 meters above the valley floor with #views all the way across the Bay to Wasaga Beach, Christian Island and Penetanguishene Peninsula. A lot of people don’t even know it exists, but it’s totally worth the 2 hour drive from the city, especially if you have a car that runs on an electric motor like the Ford Fusion – the entire drive took less than a quarter tank of gas and regenerative brakes fuelled the car’s battery whenever we stopped.
After our hike, we stopped by one of my favourite restaurants in Collingwood, TheSmoke, which was actually featured on Food Network favourite, You Gotta Eat Here! In my opinion, it’s one of the best value restaurants in the area, especially when you compare it to the tourist-trap prices in The Village.
The 82-seat restaurant’s design is nothing fancy, but their award-winning barbecue will make your mouth water. My suggestion? Order TheSmoke Sampler which comes with your choice of three meats (I chose 1/2 rack of ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket) and two sides (the mac n’ cheese is top notch), and the smoked BBQ wings. Each table comes stocked with TheSmoke’s 5 house made sauces, a choose-your-own-adventure type of BBQ experience.
Stuffed to the brim, our overnight destination was Port Elgin, a small beach town just an hour away from the Blue Mountains. In the winter, the town is sleepy, but with a location on the edge of Lake Huron, it’s charming nonetheless. While the days between March and April are confusing, it’s hard not to appreciate the silent beauty small town Ontario exudes when the snow and ice are slowly melting away, transitioning into spring.
Before I zoomed off back to the hustle and bustle of the city, a charge was in order. I plugged the car up to our home for the night’s outdoor outlet, and the next morning, I was ready to head home. Without having to worry about gas, I switched to one of SiriusXM’s comedy channels, swiveled the rotary gear shift to drive, and got ready for a ride home in the cushy leather seats of the Ford Fusion. If you’re looking for a hybrid car with a luxurious feel, the Ford Fusion is definitely for you!
What’s your favourite activity in Collingwood and the Blue Mountains? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.