Sundown in Grey County
Where Winter Adventure Continues After Dark
PHOTOGRAPHY: © Blue Mountain Resort.
When you explore the forest after dark, your senses come alive. You can hear everything more clearly – your crisp footsteps, animals making their way through the bush, the wind in the trees. You can stop, turn your headlamp off, and look for constellations – the Milky Way, shooting stars, and if you’re very lucky, the northern lights. It’s a completely different experience than daytime explorations.
Grey County is home to an endless array of winter activities. From skiing and snowshoeing to skating and winter camping, increasingly our operators are extending their hours and giving visitors opportunities to get out under the stars and experience winter fun in a unique new way.
These nighttime activities also offer you more chances to get out this winter. You can now fit in a post-workday workout or add a Friday night ski after your drive from the city. Enjoy a hearty family meal and then hit the slopes or book a babysitter and relax under the stars at the Scandinave Spa.
Want to kick start your after-sundown adventures? We put together this handy list of nighttime winter fun in Grey County.
Night Skiing at Blue Mountain
If you’ve ever driven through Collingwood after dark, you’ve seen the lights blazing from Blue Mountain’s 30 lit night runs. Skiing or snowboarding after dark offers great conditions with often shorter lineups and a brilliant view of the lights in downtown Collingwood. Night skiing runs from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Head to the village for après ski food and drinks too.
Ski or Snowshoe at Scenic Caves
The crew at Scenic Caves has started offering guided night snowshoe hikes. Available by reservation on most Saturday nights, as well as an additional Sunday Valentine’s Day hike and a Wednesday March Break hike, a professional guide will lead you on a one and a half to two-hour hike through a mature forest to lookouts along the Niagara Escarpment. Lit only by headlamp, snowshoeing the Scenic Caves trails after dark is a unique experience.
Also new this year, non-guided night cross-country skiing by headlamp. With 10 kilometres of trails open, Scenic Caves is offering extended hours until 8 p.m. on February 14th, March 12th, March 16th, and March 19th. Bring your own headlamp or rent one on-site and always ski with a buddy.
Skate Under the Lights
Skating in an arena is one thing, but skating on an outdoor rink is a truly Canadian experience. There are two outdoor rinks in Grey County that are lit for night time skating: The Mill Pond at Blue Mountain and the Good Cheer Rink at Harrison Park in Owen Sound. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate, bundle up, and hit the ice for a memorable winter evening.
Ski the Sawmill Trails
At the Sawmill Ski Trails in Hepworth, the Jackrabbit Loop is lit for night skiing. This short loop meanders through rolling land, sheltered by hardwood and evergreen stands. Get some exercise under the stars. On February 20th, Grey Bruce Nordic is presenting a Moonlight Ski from 7 to 11 p.m. Bring a headlamp and ski by the light of the moon, then enjoy catered treats for $20 per person.
Take a Free Spirit Tour
The folks at Free Spirit Tours will also take you on a guided snowshoe tour and add their own special touches. If you have a group of four or more, call Jennie and the team and they’ll choose a nighttime snowshoe route, complete with a midway bonfire and apple cider.
Spend the Night Under the Stars
For the ultimate nighttime winter experience, consider spending the night at Atelier Arboreal – a winter camping retreat near Wiarton. Sit by the fire; enjoy a gourmet meal and then bundle up in a heated tipi for the night. Enjoy the onsite ski and snowshoe trails in the evening or after sunrise the next day.
Warm up at the Spa Scandinave
Rejuvenate, revitalise, and relax in the Scandinavian Baths at Blue Mountain’s Spa Scandinave. Open until 9 p.m, these hot and cold baths along with the eucalyptus steam bath, Finnish sauna, and relaxation areas are an even more unique experience at night. Relax under the stars with the distant lights of Blue Mountain’s night skiing runs in the distance. Visit on an Unwind Wednesday for a discounted rate.