Thornbury Ontario

Thornbury is a picturesque small town to visit in Ontario during the winter

While it may be next door to the booming town of Collingwood, the sleepy town of Thornbury on Georgian Bay's coastline is a lesser-known hidden gem.

Just 10 minutes northwest of Blue Mountain, Thornbury is home to wineries, hiking trails, endless winter activities, and the Apple Pie Trail, with a small town full of character. Whether you love food, shopping, or the outdoors, this village has something for you.

Thornbury's downtown is small, but charming. The main street is lined with boutiques, vintage shops, restaurants, and cafes. Pop into Adorn II for retro clothing finds, or pick up some specialty cheeses from The Cheese Gallery.

If you're in need of a little pick-me-up, head to Ashanti Thornbury for delicious beverages brewed with Arabica coffee beans grown in Zimbabwe. 

Good Grief Coffee Roasters is another local favourite, serving an assortment of home-made pastries and beverages made with locally-roasted beans.

Thornbury Bakery Cafe is also a popular spot to grab a bite, and is a town institution. Established in 1901, everything is made from scratch daily. They cater to gluten-free, keto, and vegan diets as well.

The town has some great restaurants for lunch and dinner to indulge in after your day of adventures. Check out Bruce Wine Bar for their wine and wood-fired pizzas, or head to The Mill Cafe for their waterside views and casual but delicious eats.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the area has some great trails with picturesque views to hike. The Georgian Trail is a 34km walking, hiking, and biking trail that runs along the waterfront, extending from the town of Meaford to Collingwood.

If you follow The Georgian Trail, you'll come to The Historic Thornbury Wooden Trestle Bridge, which was once part of the Northern Railway between 1872 and 1984. The wooden bridge has beautiful views of where the Beaver River meets Georgian Bay.

You can also head just outside Thornbury to the Beaver Valley section of the Bruce Trail for a winter hike or snowshoeing.

There are also a number of waterfalls to discover in the area, stunning in every season. Nearby, you can snowshoe to the 7 metre waterfall of Hoggs Falls, which sits on a 3.7 km trail with scenic panoramas.

Last but not least, Southern Georgian Bay is known for its Apple Pie Trail, with many apple fields that make this area the Apple Capital of Ontario.

You'll find 26 stops along this route which celebrate everything apple -related, from cider tours at Grey and Gold Cidery and Thornbury Craft Cider and Brew House, to Goldsmith's Market, a specialty grocery store stocked with locally grown produce, homemade baked goods, and freshly baked pies.

Next time you head up to Blue Mountain, consider making an additional stop to explore Thornbury and seeing all this town has to offer.

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