Come Wander

*When wandering in Ontario’s Highlands, please be aware of any local travel restrictions and guidelines. Vaccine passports accompanied by photo identification are currently required to enter some businesses. 

Food is the great uniter – it brings people together and provides a social context to feed our spirit as well as our bodies. And isn’t it true that a gathering of family and friends can only be enhanced by the accompaniment of really good food (and vice versa)?

This fall, we invite you to set off on an edible journey through Ontario’s Highlands and meet the makers, the chefs, and the hardworking folks who make the food that brings us so much joy.

Bring your appetite, your curiosity and your sense of adventure and walk away richer (and fuller) for the experience.

Day One

This will be your first day on your edible journey, so we suggest you pack some stretchy pants and make room for the adventure. Make the decision to try whatever comes your way and be prepared for new flavours and experiences.

Start Here: Perth

Did you know that Lanark County is home to more edible experiences per capita than the much larger nearby city of Ottawa, many of which are found right in the heart of Perth. The Sip & Savour Trail is a good place to start for some background on the region and the communities found here.

What to Do:

Time Spent Here: Plan for an entire day spent in the area – make sure you include a wander through beautiful Stewart Park to work off some of those calories.

End Your Day: Lanark Highlands

Just a short drive from Perth is Clyde Hall Bed and Breakfast, a luxurious place to spend the night set amongst a working maple forest. Owners Liisa and Robert Salzmann love to entertain their guests with stories of the bed and breakfast’s history (ask them about the Lanark fire!).

What to Do:

Time Spent Here: Plan for a late start the next day so you have time to fully explore the bed and breakfast’s grounds and area.

Day Two:

Tour some of the other food and drink experiences in Lanark County before moving on to the Ottawa Valley. Roll the windows down and watch for farmer’s stands along the way.

Start Here: Lanark Highlands

Waken the next morning to a chef-prepared breakfast by master pastry chef at Clyde Hall, Robert Salzmannn, which will no doubt include maple syrup made from sap collected right on the property. Then hit the road to continue your edible adventure..

Next Stop: Calabogie

Oh Calabogie, the heart of the Ottawa Valley….there is so much to do here you won’t want to leave! Make the trip to Calabogie via Carleton Place and stop for a bite to eat prepared by the award-winning Chef Ian Carswell at the Black Tartan Kitchen, and a Bavarian brew at Braumeister Brewing Co.

What to Do:

  • Calabogie Brewing Co. has a beer that’s calling your name.
  • Hike the many trails at Calabogie Peaks to see the fall colours.
  • Leave room in your day and your belly for dinner at Canthooks restaurant in Calabogie Peaks Resort (open Wed. to Sun. in fall), where chef Iris Borghi will prepare something fantastic, valley style.
  • Check in to Calabogie Peaks Resort for a good night’s sleep after all your fresh air.

Time Spent Here: Take your time here and know you will be spending the night right in town so you won’t need to rush.

Day Three

Hopefully you paced yourself on day one and two – remember this is a marathon, not a sprint!

Start Here: Calabogie

Waken early and go for an early morning walk to build an appetite for the day to come. Before you leave Calabogie, stop at Oh-el-La Café for a hearty breakfast to fuel your trip. Your next stop is only an hour away so no need to rush!

Next Stop: Sharbot Lake

When it comes to cute small towns, Sharbot Lake is one you won’t want to miss. Situated at the narrow part of the lake, you can have lake views no matter which way you look here. There’s also a strong farm to plate vibe here, found in the local businesses.

What to Do:

  • Pick up some cured meats and cheeses at Seed to Sausage in Sharbot Lake.
  • A local chocolatier, Fine Chocolates by Ludwig is located in Frontenac County and Ludwig’s rich, dark chocolates can be found at Seed to Sausage and other local spots in the region.
  • Grab a cup of coffee and some homebaked treats (or a light lunch to go) from Cardinal Cafe + Shop.
  • Place an online order for locally made artisanal cheese at Back Forty Artisan Cheese and have a picnic lunch on-site before heading off to your next stop.

Time Spent Here: Take your time to wander by the lake here for a fantastic view.

Next Stop: Bancroft

There is plenty of edible fun to be had in Hastings County. Roughly an hour-and-a-half from Calabogie, Bancroft is a great place to stop mid-day for a break and to stretch your legs.

What to Do:

  • Have a fine dining lunch prepared and served at The Granite by restaurant owner and executive chef, Brendon Clarke.
  • Stop at Bancroft Brewing Co. for a British or German ale.
  • Visit Bancroft General Mercantile for some retro candy and fun edibles for the kid inside all of us.
  • Make a short detour south to Coe Hill to visit The Barn Chefs, open Wednesday to Sunday, to pick up authentic Italian cured and cooked meats, fresh pastas, and buffalo milk cheese.

Time Spent Here: Plan for a solid couple of hours to eat and shop in Bancroft and area. Tack on a hike at Bancroft Eagle’s Nest Park to loosen your waist band a little bit.

Next Stop: Haliburton

Made the 45-minute drive from Bancroft to Haliburton to end your exploration of the connection to food and drink in Ontario’s Highlands. You should be pleasantly full and loaded down with take-home treats to savour in the days to come.

What to Do:

Time Spent Here: End your day in Haliburton with enough time to make the short drive to Minden to spend the night there.

End Your Day: Minden

End your day with an overnight at Heather Lodge in Minden, where you can sleep in a couples only luxury resort, while exploring the vast property on scenic Twelve Mile Lake.

What to Do:

  • Choose from one of Heather Lodge’s 12 spacious rooms that blend traditional Canadian décor with modern luxuries.
  • Dine on-site with an inspired menu prepared by Chef James and Chef Mike.
  • Take a canoe or kayak ride on Twelve Mile Lake to enjoy the fall scenery.

Day Four

End your edible journey in Ontario’s Highlands and head for home feeling refreshed (and maybe a few pounds heavier).

Looking for more inspiration for connecting to food in Ontario’s Highlands? Click here to find more information about making an edible connection in the region. 

Top 7 Comfort Foods and Where to Find Them

Connecting People Through Food in Lanark County: Ian Carswell 

Food for Thought: Responsible Tourism Through Food

Secrets to Unforgettable Edible Experiences

 

 

 

 

 

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Oktoberfest brings to mind a crowded beer hall filled with large Germans shouting ‘Prost!’ and knocking thick beer steins together with gusto. But is this an event or a cultural celebration? We would argue the latter, and not just because we are looking for an excuse to drink beer and eat schnitzel. This year will […]

Tiny Cabins, Yurts, and other Glamping Getaways

So you’ve seen the Instagram posts of friends or family seated around a rustic campfire, enthusing on the beauty of nature and a rugged camping experience, but you’re thinking “That’s totally not for me?” Hey, don’t sweat it, you are not alone. Camping isn’t for everyone, and who says it should be? If everyone were […]

The Artist’s Way

Who says art can only be found in big galleries or urban showrooms? To find fantastic local and Canadian art you need to head to the places that inspire artists to create, and Ontario’s Highlands is among the most beautiful places in Ontario (in our humble opinion). Beyond the inspiration found in the rugged hills […]

Beer, Butter Tarts & Burritos (By Bike)

Could this be Ontario’s tastiest bike route? A natural backdrop of Canadian Shield, shimmering lakes and lush Crown land forests surround you as you pedal down a 50/50 mix of quiet paved roads and gravel rail trails that traverse a series of communities. These small towns and rural hamlets are now known for art and […]

Big Attractions in Ontario

Are you the type to pull over when you see a comically large roadside attraction, or a picture-perfect spot to snap a few shots? Amateur photographers and Instagrammers alike can agree that a giant ice cream cone, a massive mural adorning the side of a building, or a full-size replica of a jet plane are […]

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

Cider Season

Find these cideries on your next road trip through Ontario’s Highlands to discover a refreshing way to toast the apple harvest with a cold cider.

With Love, to Frontenac County

Now more than ever we are drawn to our community, and the places that help us to unwind and get outdoors. To get away from the crowds and reconnect with our roots. Frontenac County tempts us to sit back, unwind and check into vacation mode, to rediscover a world of countless lakes and a region […]

With Love, to Haliburton Highlands

We are so lucky to come from a place that has it all: phenomenal views, rugged landscapes, abundance of trails, and infinite opportunities for recreation, all enticing you to leave your comfort zone and step into the wild. Here, endless forests meet cool, clear lakes and rivers to create incredible vistas that reach out to […]

With Love, to Lanark County

Lanark County is a land of sweet contrasts, where dense forests of sugar maple border lush, green fields and you’re as likely to come across a cyclist as a farmer on one of the region’s winding roads. Urban and rural unite here to create a region that’s as colourful and varied as the patchwork quilt […]

With Love, to the Ottawa Valley

From the rushing waters of the Petawawa, Madawaska and Ottawa rivers to the unspoiled woodlands of Algonquin Park, the Ottawa Valley is a sultry enchantress, enticing us with adventure. Renowned as a world-class whitewater destination and for the challenges found in its rugged hills and lush dales, the Valley pushes us to do more, live […]

With Love, to Hastings County

The deep lakes and meandering rivers here are ripe with life, both on land and in the water. This land is known as a region rich with minerals, and we haven’t forgotten how our communities were settled by the gold rush, where miners flocked, eager to delve into the earth to unearth its riches. Thick […]

Cycle Haliburton

What’s your favourite flavour of cycling? Do you prefer digging in off-road, pedaling hard for speed and distance, or just a light taste with a short meander? A bike ride can be what you want to make of it, which is part of the fun, isn’t it? Haliburton Highlands’ varied terrain calls cyclists to explore […]

Roots of Revival in Smiths Falls

Ribbons of water and steel sear the land through Smiths Falls. The railroads and rushing Rideau River provide a physical reminder of the industrial heritage that helped shape this small, bold town in the heart of the Rideau Canal, a celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Smiths Falls is a place of contrasts and character, where […]

Bikepacking in North Frontenac

Imagine a weekend of backcountry camping in a quiet forest just a few hours from Ottawa or Toronto. As you settle down at camp, you think back to the fresh moose tracks you saw earlier that day and the amazing swim you had when you stopped for lunch. The scenery feels familiar but something’s different. […]

Bancroft Rocks!

For one of the best views of Bancroft, turn off Highway 62 onto Eagles Nest Crescent; turn right onto Eagles Nest Park Road and go up, up and then up some more. From the parking lot, take the Hawkwatch Trail; it won’t take long. You’ll find the lookout deck where you can see for yourself […]

Your Guide to COVID-19 Safe Travel in Ontario’s Highlands

This year the key to exploring is to keep it local; this is the time to explore our own backyards, and the regions close to home that have so much to offer us in the way of exhilarating outdoor experiences, fantastic food and drink, and blissful relaxation. If you’re exploring a new corner of Ontario’s […]

Hidden Gems Along Letterkenny Road

If you never thought that a simple road could spark your curiosity, initiate historical debates AND bring out your inner geologist, then you have obviously never been introduced to Letterkenny Road. Connecting the hamlets of Brudenell and Quadeville, this fully paved settlement road winds around pristine lakes, and leads you to a prized rose-quartz quarry. […]

Meet Me at the Drive-in

“Stranded at the drive-in, branded a fool What will they say Monday at school?” – Danny Zuko, Grease We could think of worse things than being stranded at the drive-in with Danny Zuko this summer! Maybe it’s because of the 1950s movie Grease, or maybe it’s just because it’s an awesome experience, but there’s something […]

Go Backcountry

You waken slowly in the early morning, the high-pitched warble of birdsong drifting lightly through the trees overhead. The sky is faintly brightening with the coming of dawn, and the natural world is gradually blossoming to life. Around you there is no trace of human activity, no murmurs of voices, clanging of dishes, or whir […]

Live the Yacht Life

Live the lifestyle of the rich and famous – for a week, anyway – with a Le Boat cruising staycation.

Date Night In

You don’t need to leave the house for a romantic and locally inspired experience. Bring date night home with these four romantic experiences.

An Ode to Poutine

Discover these chip trucks and their classic dishes, located throughout Ontario’s Highlands.

Cocktail Hour is Back

If you’re missing your spring cocktails, the drink makers at Rhubarb Haliburton are happy to share their recipe for a delicious and fizzy cocktail.

Summer Brews

Take a trip around Ontario’s Highlands to these micro-breweries to discover your perfect summer beer.

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

High Tea Fit for a Queen

Make a high tea that’s fit for a queen using Tea & Cake’s secret scone recipe and how-to.

Chocoholic Fudgy Cake (Yes, Please!)

Rich, velvety chocolate, whipped ganache, creamy frosting…chocolate cake is the ultimate in old-time comfort foods. Ignite a passion for chocolate with this recipe from Hummingbird Chocolate Maker.

Living the Dream

Meet the Locals: Rob and Nancy Moore, owners of Cardinal Cafe and Shop in Sharbot Lake Ontario.

Maple Linguist

Laurel Cook reflects on life in Lanark County, Ontario’s Maple Syrup Capital.

Cooking with Cider

A frosty glass of crisp cider may be the perfect accompaniment for patio sipping, television watching, dock sitting, or just hanging out in the warm, lemony spring sunshine, but did you know it also happens to be a fantastic and versatile ingredient for cooking? For Margaret Van Helvoort and Kees Morsink there is no bad […]

Before the Lake Wakes

Wake up lakeside with a steaming cup of coffee from a roastery in Ontario’s Highlands.

Baking with Beer

Great beer makes great food. Check out some great recipes to bake with beer with Chris Thompson from Whitewater Brewery Co.

Chocolate Marshkebabs DIY

Easter is just a bunny hop around the corner and dreams of chocolate are filling the minds of children – and adults, too. A chocolate treat is the perfect way to sweeten your spring, and when it comes to this dark delicacy, the folks at Perth Chocolate Works are the experts. Since opening their doors […]

Just Breathe

Discover the beauty of mindfulness and allowing yourself to Just Breathe.

The Great Pizza-Off

Chow down on artisan wood-fired pizza at any of these gems across Ontario’s Highlands.

Spring is Calling

Hanging around the city when the scents of spring are tantalizingly tickling your nose is tough. This is when you yearn to get away from the slush, pack the car and head out for an almost-spring getaway to the countryside, where baby animals, maple syrup, G-rated fun, and fresh air are calling. Get out of […]

Spring Break

The sun is warm, the air smells like spring, and the birds are singing their special warm weather songs. It’s official; spring has sprung. After a long Canadian winter, spring getaways are a time-honoured tradition for families here in the great white north, and haven’t we earned a little fun in the sun? This is […]

Pause for Pi Day

Celebrate Pi Day with the best pie at these bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands.

Breaking Bread

Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian – dine with confidence at these 10 Ontario’s Highlands restaurants. Your belly will thank you.

Best Pancake Breakfasts

Escape the city for a hearty meal with pure maple syrup at these top places for pancake breakfasts in Ontario’s Highlands.

Sweet Maple Escapes

Discover sweet places to stay for maple adventures in Ontario this spring.

Winter Just Got Awesome

Learn to climb or brush up on your skills with an epic ice climbing adventure at SOIceFest 2020 in Maynooth, ON.

Make a Toast (in Hastings County)

Tour craft drink producers for a chance to meet the makers, and get the inside story on what inspires them to make and sell their product. Oh, and sample delicious brews, too!

Ultimate Après-Ski Experiences

Meet up with friends after a day well spent on the slopes or on the trails. Discover these top places in Ontario’s Highlands to celebrate the Apres Ski!

The Best Baked Goods

Discover some of the best bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands and their tasty treats.

Embrace the Dog Days of Winter

If you can’t beat winter, join it with an epic dog sledding excursion through some of the most beautiful forests in Ontario.

Winter Jams

Warm up your winter with good music and good food, together, at the Sharbot Inn & Crossing Pub, in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.

A Slice of Italy

Meet Sarah Woods and Luca Molteni, owners of The Barn Chefs who are bringing a little slick of Italy to Coe Hill, Ontario.

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

A Delicious Day Trip

Sip & Savour your way through the best food and drink spots in Lanark County.

The Perfect Scoop

Discover these top ice cream stops across Ontario’s Highlands to keep cool this summer on your road trip.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Discover these top ways to enjoy the strawberry season, when you let these farm-fresh berries shine on their own or in a variety of treats.

Farm Fresh Finds

Indulge your taste buds this summer with these 5 local finds at Farmers Markets through Ontario’s Highlands.

Valentine’s Day Treats

Treat that special someone this Valentine’s Day to a gift of sweets at one of these top places.

Moo-ve Over, Vodka

Discover Vodkow, the new beverage from the Dairy Distillery causing a stir in Almonte, Ontario.

A Day in Ormsby

Discover why Ormsby Ontario is worth exploring on your next road trip.

A is for Apples

Meeting cider kings and discovering great things in Hastings County.

Roam If You Want To

Follow along with Chris from Travelling Mitch as he wanders through Haliburton Highlands and Hastings County on the Rustic Roamer Road Trip.

Where Am I?

Devour an Ottawa Valley tradition and feel your taste buds rejoice with Wes’ Chips in Arnprior.

Where Am I?

Discover the big things happening in the small towns along the Rideau Canal.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

The Rustic Roamer

I’m a Rustic Roamer. I wander to discover authentic moments, to embrace the spirit of locals, and to understand the stories of the communities and countryside that I visit.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Maple Mania

Discover one writer’s quest to discover what makes Lanark County so sweet with Maple Mania.

Life is a Highway

Two wanderers explore 135 kilometres of hidden gems in Hastings County.