Every summer we go up to our cottage in Collingwood, Ontario. If you are not familiar with this area, it is well known for the long sandy beach known as Wasaga and numerous winter activities at Blue Mountain. Collingwood is located in Simcoe County, an area that has much to offer adventure seekers as it is located on Georgian Bay and if you like to hike, canoe, snowshoe, swim or relax, then you are coming to the right place. I have been visiting this region since I was a little kid but only recently do I appreciate how vastly beautiful this area actually is… isn’t that always how it goes? This time up we took our friends on another hiking adventure and explored the Singhampton Caves; yet another side trail on my best friend the Bruce Trail.
If you are ever heading towards Collingwood and want a great hiking experience I cannot recommend the Singhampton Caves enough. This is not a hugely popular trail as we went in the early afternoon on a Saturday of the labour day long weekend and rarely came across other hikers. You will have to park on the side of the road as there is no parking lot but the road is wide enough that you will not feel uncomfortable leaving your vehicle on the road. You will enter a vast green area with two options for starting your hike, I recommend heading right and looping towards the Singhampton Blue trail markers; this will take you through the cave area and back up to the main trail and you will complete the loop ending back at the parking lot. Take a moment once you enter the forest to take it all in because this is a beautiful sight. If you take one piece of advise from my writing please let it be this: stop and look around as much as possible, so worth it.
The terrain is pretty moderate and easy to hike, it is well worn down with sporadic tree roots along the way but once you reach the beginning of the Singhampton side trail this will all change. As you climb down between the rocks you will notice a slight temperature drop. I prepared for this by keeping a sweater in my backpack. Be sure to wear hiking boots or non-slip runners because you are going to want to climb for some views of the Pretty River Valley and the Georgian Bay. This hike is a little intense but take your time to climb rocks, explore crevices and take many pictures of the mossy rock walls.
One thing I will point out is that the caves are more like crevasses, which in a way is a good thing as everyone can explore them. The Singhampton side trail is possibly my favourite hiking trail, there is just so much to take in. I have hiked this twice now, once when the snow had recently thawed in the spring and now in the heat of the summer and I have to say that both times were awesome and very different. Don’t be shocked if you happen across some left over ice in May, a dog who hikes better than you do or a fallen birch tree leading to an amazing view . That’s the thing about hiking in Canada: the beauty is simplistic yet always surprising.