MOUNTAIN LIFE - Blue Mountains | Spring 2021

53 BLUE MOUNTAIN RESORT As a kid who grew up in the suburbs and moved to the city for university, I assumed a hike was a stroll along a rail trail, maybe enjoying a coffee along the way. And then I moved to Collingwood. I showed up in sandals for my first hike, only to be confronted with the Cascade Trail at Blue Mountain, straight up the hill with seemingly no end to the stair sets, slab rocks and waterfalls—and tree roots that kept stubbing my poor, unprepared toes. But the view from the top, with the Georgian Bay stretched out in front of us, was worth the pain. After nursing my bruises, I fell in love with the idea that hiking could be a much more fitness-oriented activity than I was previously led to believe. I’m more of a runner than a serious hiker, but try doing hill repeats up the 720-foot slope at a running pace and see how long you last. It turns from a run to a hike pretty quickly, and living on the escarpment means that almost any trail exploration inevitably blends a run and a hike together. This may be frustrating when you’re trying to hit a time goal, but the quad gains are worth the slower pace. Living in Collingwood means there’s no end of spots to explore, and that includes Blue Mountain. As we head into the 2021 green season, the resort has stepped up its hiking game: Hill repeats are a staple workout for runners, and with gondola access for the trip down, my workouts can avoid the downhill pounding and focus solely on the climb. HIKING HIGHS Blue’s recalibrated trail network offers unmatched workouts and accessibility words :: Molly Hurford TRAILS AT BLUE