By: Travis Nixon. Follow our runners on social media @travnixon
For me being a local living in Collingwood and who had been working at Blue Mountain Resort for over 10 years, I realized quickly how easy it was to get some rewarding exercise outdoors on the trails at Blue Mountain. From early rise hikes with colleague and friends, lunch runs or training for that next trail run race in the evening, my love for hiking and trail running went off!
For today’s hike and run, I decided to hit up the Grind Trail located at the south end of Blue Mountain followed by traversing across the top of the escarpment over to the Groove Trail down. The Grind Trail has been a favourite for years since you can push yourself with a trail run or just take in the scenery with a leisurely hike. I have always called this trail the “silent killer” because your cardiovascular does creep up on you quickly especially if you are running! But once you hit the top there is no better feeling, trust me!
The following loop is perfect for someone who is looking to spend 2-3 hours on a hike or 1-2 hours on a trail run. Both trails are easy to navigate and welcomes all levels of ability. Please keep in mind you are hiking or running moderately up the escarpment so I highly recommend to please bring water for hydration, snacks for fuel and wear appropriate footwear including hiking boots or trail running shoes and for those who like more support hiking poles is recommended.
QUICK TRAIL TIPS:
- While on trail, always look a few steps ahead where you are hiking or running. There are many tree roots, loose rock, wet areas, slight dip and up in the ground to be mindful of.
- Bring a map, although signage and stationary maps are available it is always nice to have the Blue Mountain Trial map on your phone or in hand. Find the map here
- Hydrate, hydrate, oh and HYDRATE! Coming from experience, on those hot hike/run days make sure you bring water with you during the hike and have water available post hike. You may not feel dehydrated immediately after but these effects including nausea could last until the next day.
The Grind Trail is located at the south end of Blue Mountain. If you are visiting for the day I recommend parking in the Village parking purchasing your adventure pass and head along the paved path towards the south end. The hike itself is very gradual with twists, turns, switchbacks, bridges and you almost feel you are in an ONTARIO JUNGLE with the lush forest and greenery surrounding you. ANDDD..not to worry the trails are very well marked and you will have breathtaking views during the hike and of course once you have reached the top!
Once you have reached the top there will signage guiding you through the trails. You have the option of a wide-open path which is called the Mission Side Road Trail or head into part of The Bruce Trail along the escarpment again with more incredible views of Georgian Bay!
Once you have passed the South Comfort Ski and Snowboard chairlift and right before the BIG red Muskoka chair you will find the Groove Trail. Just as the name describes it is a nice long groovy way down with gradual down winding turns and again endless views of Georgian Bay, The Town of The Blue Mountains, Collingwood and even Wasaga Beach in a distant. The trail finishes right at the base of the Blue Mountain Village where you can unwind, relax and treat yourself to a patio beverage, lunch, dinner or just straight to all the ICE CREAM especially that hot day.
And you might be asking, why do I love hiking and trail running so much? The 3 main reason include: keeping active with your heart rate UP (very important), being outside especially in the trees and along the escarpment taking it all in (I like to think of it as my form of meditation) and finally getting that much needed escape from the daily hustle.
ENJOY THE TRAILS!