The Apple Pie Trail
If apple pie brings you bliss, the Apple Pie Trail in southern Georgian Bay might be more like a sacred pilgrimage than just a local foodie trail. The Apple Pie Trail is a regional, self-guided tour to markets, farms, orchards, bakeries, restaurants, shops, cafes, breweries, cideries and wineries that create food, drink and artisanal crafts inspired by the apple.
The award-winning Trail connects the communities of Meaford, Thornbury, Craigleith and Collingwood via 28 stops along the Georgian Bay shoreline, and dips down into Beaver Valley to include Clarksburg, Heathcote, Ravenna and The Blue Mountains.
The warming lake effect from Georgian Bay and the protective shield of the Niagara Escarpment creates the perfect climate and conditions for apple growing in this region, known as Grey County.
Since the mid 1800s, apple farming in this fertile region has become a local mainstay. In fact, Southern Georgian Bay produces 25% of Ontario’s annual apple crop.
Today the rural landscape between towns and villages is characterized by acres upon acres of apple orchards growing Mcintosh, Ida Red, Spy, Gala, Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp varieties, to name a few. Due to their rich abundance, apples feature in local recipes, menus, brews, artistic expression and recreational activities across the region—hence the birth of the Apple Pie Trail.
Download the Trail Map and follow it to discover a pick-your-own apple orchard, an apple-inspired painting at a local gallery, a cidery tour and tasting, apple infused cheeses, salads, soups, tarts and of course the traditional apple pie.
Meet passionate chefs, farmers, bakers, brewers, artists and artisans along the way, and soak in the scenic beauty of Grey County. There’s an activity for everyone, from relaxation to adventure. Enjoy some good, old-fashioned apple picking at Farmer’s Pantry, or take a heart-pumping self-guided tour of the 14-kilometre Thornbury Sticky Bun Cycling Loop. Then relax with a cider tasting at one of seven unique cidery experiences along the Trail.
There are also lots of new things to do in 2022. Cheezed Blue Mountain features sensational and unique grilled cheese sandwiches, crafted by local chefs and made to order. The Alphorn Restaurant brings the authentic Swiss Alps dining experience to Ontario, with beers from around the world, raclette, fondue and a schnitzel named Canada’s best by Ski Canada Magazine. Take a ride along the Trail on a Georgian Trail e-Bike—the perfect way to take in lots of sites in a day—and then treat yourself to oysters, fresh local fare and a cocktail at Après at Penny’s.
For up-to-date information and details on the Apple Pie Trail, visit their website.
More about The Apple Pie Trail
Grey County is approximately two hours drive north of Toronto and just an hour west of Barrie.
If you’re travelling up from Toronto, Highway 10 is a great alternative rural route to Highway 400. Once out of the Greater Toronto Area, it leads through rolling meadows, farm fields and country communities.
The Apple Pie Trail is central enough for a day trip from Toronto but with all to see, do and savour, you would miss out if you didn’t plan on a longer overnight getaway. From luxury resorts and country inns to inviting bed and breakfasts and cozy cabins in the forest, there’s sure to be an accommodation option that suits your style.
Many of the interconnected routes that make up the Apple Pie Trail are picturesque backcountry roads that are relatively flat—perfect for touring by bicycle. You’ll be welcomed in country markets, village shops, wineries and cideries to rest and rehydrate.
The Beaver River is a gentle, winding tributary that meanders through Grey County and empties into Nottawasaga Bay in Thornbury. Its slow current and scenic shoreline make for amazing canoeing and kayaking, another great way to experience sections of the Apple Pie Trail.
In the winter months, strap on snowshoes and explore the trails and pathways through forests, fields and orchards covered in a blanket of snow.
Visit boutique shops, galleries and museums along the main streets of the various communities that may feature apple-inspired jewellery and art or tell the story of the area’s historic affinity towards the fruit.
However you choose to follow the Apple Pie Trail, just be sure to give yourself ample time to savour all there is to do, and bring a healthy appetite to sample all there is to enjoy, including that glorious slice of apple pie.
Last updated: September 27, 2023