by Cara Williams

Beyond the chairlifts is a world of winter activities and attractions waiting to be explored along the Escarpment.

While skiing and snowboarding usually steal the winter spotlight in these parts, there’s an abundance of skiing-adjacent winter adventures to be enjoyed. Whether you’re a non-skier or simply seeking a different type of adrenaline rush, Blue Mountain’s Play All Day package grants unlimited access to snowshoe trails, the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, Hike n’ Tube, Woodview Mountaintop Skating, and the Plunge! Aquatic Centre—all accessible with just one ticket. 

“Our goal is to maximize your winter experience, whether you’re hitting the slopes or not,” says Sarah Alexander, Recreation Marketing Manager at Blue Mountain Resort. “We are seeing a growing number of guests who are eager to get out and play off-hill. Blue is a family destination which means it’s important to have something for everyone to enjoy.” 

Trade your ski boots for the elegance of ice skates and glide over to Woodview Mountaintop Skating for a quintessential winter experience. Each year, the mountaintop trail through the Escarpment forest transforms into a natural skating paradise, with a 1.1-kilometre ice skating loop that offers breathtaking views of Georgian Bay and the twinkling lights of Collingwood. 
Snow tubing is a hilarious combination of tobogganing and tubing behind a boat, and Blue’s Hike N Tube provides the perfect slope for everyone to enjoy—from adults to kids. While you’ll have to haul the tube back up the hill, your exertion grunts will swiftly turn into excited cheers and belly laughs on the way back down. 

Ski touring, also known as skinning, stands out as one of winter’s rapidly growing sports. It combines uphill anaerobic climbing with the adrenaline rush of downhill skiing. The best part is that it is accessible to almost everyone—if you can manage a slow jog, you’re likely fit for touring, at least for the uphill stretch. And while Ontario might not be renowned for our backcountry, we do have ample rolling hills that offer more than enough terrain for ski touring and split-boarding. 

Blue Mountain has ski touring trails on the southernmost side of the mountain on The Grind multi-use trail. Experience the exercise and reward of skinning up the mountain before descending on one of The Orchard ski trails. Please note, guests must possess a valid lift ticket and are encouraged to be mindful of snowshoeing and hiking traffic while on The Grind trail. 

For those seeking tranquility while keeping up with their daily steps, an idyllic journey awaits along scenic snowshoe trails that showcase extraordinary views of the Niagara Escarpment. Rent a pair of snowshoes and hit up The Grind, ‘K Bye, and 1940 snowshoe hiking trails. 

Looking for a winter thrill that doesn’t demand the physical effort of tubing, skinning, or snowshoeing? The Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster might be just the ticket—this gravity-driven 1-kilometer ride weaves silently through a snowy forest. It’s like a roller-coaster on tracks, providing an exhilarating adventure that’s sure to leave a lasting impression. 

Once you’ve tackled a day of adventure (or before diving into one), Blue Mountain offers a variety of indoor dining options—bonus points if the restaurant pays homage to Blue’s rich history. A local favorite since 1969, The Pottery is renowned for hearty meals and family-friendly atmosphere. Recently revitalized and renovated, the restaurant now showcases a fresh ski lodge aesthetic under its new name: The Pottery Alpine Restaurant. Amidst the new décor, the menu shines with fresh seasonal dishes inspired by Blue’s founder, Josef “Jozo” Weider. The revamped brunch menu features treats like Belgian Waffles, Tyrolean Skillet, and Kaiserschmarrn—a dish akin to scrambled sweet pancakes. 

Don’t worry – classics like The Pottery’s famous eggs benedict three-ways and apple crumble French toast are still on offer. Whether you drop by for lunch or dinner, explore both new and beloved favorites such as Alpine cheese fondue, Bavarian pork belly salad, schnitzel, goulash, and Brettljause—an Austrian meat and cheese board. E