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Follow the Apple Pie Trail (Posted On: Sunday, September 18, 2011)

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Nothing says Canadian autumn like apple pie and the world’s very best apple creations comes from Ontario’s Blue Mountain region. September and October will deliver the passionate aroma of handmade apple pie, overflowing baskets of fresh harvested apples and a whole calendar of special activities to celebrate the Apple Pie season.

The Blue Mountain Apple Pie Trail runs year round with 32 permanent and seasonal members. It takes in a beautiful area rich in autumn colours from Collingwood to Blue Mountain Village through the Beaver Valley, west to Meaford and Owen Sound.

The Blue Mountain area is Canada’s largest concentrated apple region with over a dozen varieties along the trail plus apple art, history, food, drink and adventures. And this year, there’s a very special feature apple starring on the Trail  - The crowd pleasing McIntosh celebrates its 200th anniversary. Every McIntosh apple can trace its roots to the Ontario farm of John McIntosh who discovered the apple in 1811.

While you’re enjoying the apples, the pie and the spectacular countryside, enjoy a sensational schedule of adventure packages right around Blue Mountain Village – there’s something special every day.

Monday – Yoga, Caving & Fresh Apple Treats: The week starts off with Yoga on the Docks, then head off to Scenic Caves to explore a labyrinth of caves, crevices and hidden natural fortresses.

Tuesday – Hiking, Spa, Apples and Rejuvenation: Hike up the scenic mountain trail to experience a spectacular view of Georgian Bay. Make your way back down on another mountain trail or gondola ride. Refresh with an exhilarating spa experience at Scandinave Spa, featuring Nordic baths, cold plunges, sauna, and steam room.

Wednesday – Apple Pie Trail and the Beaver River: Start your adventure 15 minutes from the Village in Heathcote. Enjoy an easy canoe or kayak paddle down the beautiful winding Beaver River surrounded by wildlife. Add in a perfect lunch featuring local apple pie!

Thursday - Beaver Valley Views & Tastes: Take in a historic interpretive tour of The Depot, Craigleith Shore and Thornbury Harbour. Made right here, you can sample fresh local apple cider. Then on to striking Eugenia Falls, Lake Eugenia, Hoggs Falls and the Lower Valley. A picnic lunch at the top of the Beaver Valley with apple treats for dessert along the Trail.

Weekends - Friday to Sunday: Starting right in the Village, we take the scenic gondola (equipped to carry bikes) almost to the top of the mountain. From there, it’s 3-4 hours of scenic cycling through beautiful countryside and another 1-2 hours of paddling on the Beaver River, pleasantly interrupted by lunch in Heathcote and more Trail stops along the way.

New on the Trail this year:
• Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery featuring “Forbidden Fruit” Cider,
• Apple wood cheese boards at The Cheese Gallery,
• Oakley’s Field Fresh market with fresh produce every day
• Apple Sock Kits from Grey Heron,
• Four Farmer’s Markets
• Apple caramel ice cream at Tesoro Mercato,

* Get your free Trail Voucher when you book online at the Westin Trillium House or purchase an Apple Pie Trail adventure package in the Village. This $10 Trail voucher is accepted at any of the locations along the way as you explore charming harbour and valley towns.

No matter how you slice it, Blue Mountain Apple Pie is Canada’s best
Why the apples are so good!

European settlers introduced apple trees to Canadian soil, with the apple packing industry beginning here in the 1840s. A temperate climate is needed for apple trees, and only a few regions in Ontario fit the bill. Production is concentrated along the southern shore of Georgian Bay where protection by the large, deep body of water reduces the chances of late Spring and early autumn frosts. This perfect climate allows the blossoms to bloom in ideal conditions and extends the season to let the fruit reach full maturity.

Beside the shore the towering Niagara Escarpment that forms the Blue Mountains and is the slope that makes this Canada’s busiest ski area confines warm lake air to small areas creating micro-climates ideally suited to apple growing. The soil conditions, ideal for viniculture in Niagara at the southern end of the Escarpment are equally supportive of apple growing in the Georgian Bay region.

Why the Pie is so good!
Long winters and plenty of apples add up to one simple thing: apple pie. Ever since this area of Canada was settled in the 1800s, the families who came relied on local produce for their kitchens. The abundant apple crop in the fall became family desserts through the winter. By the warmth of the wood fired kitchen oven, generations of bakers refined and traded their recipes creating a heritage of apple pie second to none. This tradition continues today in a place where apple pie is a way of life.


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