A fun-filled (and delicious) culinary trail inspired by our beloved cranberry!
There is some pretty exciting news coming out of Muskoka this fall with the annual Muskoka Cranberry Route, a culinary trail (or route if you will) with 19 crantastic stops across Muskoka.
You might already know this, but Bala is the Cranberry Capital of Ontario, and has been hosting one of the biggest cranberry celebrations, the Bala Cranberry Festival, for the last 30+ years. The cranberry capital of Ontario is also home to the oldest cranberry farm in Ontario, and the only cranberry farm in the world with its own on-site winery. While the festival has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19, there are still so many great ways you can celebrate the cranberry this fall.
The love for cranberries doesn’t stop in Bala. Muskoka has long been crazy for cranberries. Across Muskoka, our talented chefs, bakers and brewers have been incorporating local cranberries into their craft for years, and the Muskoka Cranberry Route pulls this collection together to showcase our local food and talent.
Tour the cranberry marsh (and get that iconic photo in the berries), sip cranberry craft beer and cider, indulge in cranberry baked goodies and treats, be amazed by cranberry inspired cuisine, and bring home the tastes (and smells) of the harvest! Your cranberry adventure will take you down some of Muskoka’s historic main streets, most scenic back roads, and along the shores of our stunning lakes.
Plan your #CRANROUTE culinary adventure today. This is one crantastic experience you don’t want to miss!
Visit the Cranberry Marsh
Every Muskoka Cranberry Route culinary adventure should start with a visit to Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery to gain a true appreciation and understanding for cranberries.
Take the Bog to Bottle Discovery Tour, an experience so special it has been designated a Canadian Signature Experience. This one-of-a-kind experience includes a tour of the farm followed by a tutoured wine tasting of their delicious fruit wines. Tour is available 3 times daily – 11am, 1pm and 3pm – and all day during cranberry harvest weekends.
Take the Cranberry Plunge, one of Muskoka’s most exciting fall experiences. Put on hip waders and venture into the cranberries for that amazing candid photo that should be hung on your wall, on your fireplace, or posted as your Facebook profile photo. There have even been marriage proposals in the berries (she said yes!).
- Shop the Cranberry Store for some amazing goodies to take home like fresh cranberries, delicious fruit wines, Mrs. J’s (famous) preserves, cranberry honey, cranberry teas and so much more. Definitely take home one of their Cranberry Cider or Cranberry Splash Wine Spritzers!
Dining & Culinary
Muskoka has a growing reputation as a foodie destination and for a good reason. Our restaurants boast exceptionally talented chefs that share a commitment to fresh, local ingredients (like fresh, local cranberries).
Discover the amazing tastes of cranberry-inspired cuisine at these great eateries and restaurants:
Muskoka Bay Resort: Enjoy an elegant Cranberry Sumac Cocktail with fresh lime and cranberry-sumac syrup. This pairs well with their Cranberry Chicken, a delicious, sous-vide breast served seared with fresh cranberries, Yukon gold purée, heirloom carrots, and fennel.
Sawdust City Brewing Company: Try the Cranberry Maple Chicken Sandwich from Sawdust City’s newest venture, an on-site, gourmet food truck. They offer a tender, 5 oz breaded chicken breast, tossed in locally-sourced bourbon maple cranberry sauce and topped with zesty cranberry slaw.
Muskoka Chophouse at JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka: Sip on a Bala Cranberry Cosmopolitan as you savour succulent lump crab cakes, Certified Angus Beef, tantalizing sides, and the crowd-pleasing crème brulee.
Huntsville Brewhouse: Savour the Cranberry Turkey Burger with fresh, seasoned Ontario turkey, Bala cranberry mayo, and house stuffing, served on a warm pretzel bun. Or, try the In-House Smoked Trout Salad, a tasty blend of Georgian Bay Rainbow Trout, dried Bala cranberries, maple granola, four seasons greens, and smoked peach and cranberry vinaigrette. Don’t forget to try their cranberry-inspired brews, including the Red Sky at Night cranberry-peach radler or the Cranberry Trail Cocktail.
Lighthouse 45 at Rawley Resort: The chefs artfully blend savoury tastes with innovative touches with the 5 oz. bacon wrapped pork tenderloin and cranberry.
Seasons Restaurant at Patterson Kaye Resort: There will be a new menu each week featuring locally grown Muskoka cranberries and centered around the fall season. This week they will be serving a Roasted squash soup with cranberry drizzle to start, followed by a Cranberry and apple stuffed pork chop with seasonal vegetables and roasted garlic mashed potatoes and finished with Bread pudding with fresh cranberries.
Bracebridge Barrelhouse: Check out the cranberry offerings at one of Bracebridge’s newest culinary additions. Feast on the In-House Smoked Trout Salad, a tasty blend of Georgian Bay Rainbow Trout, dried Bala cranberries, maple granola, four seasons greens, and smoked peach and cranberry vinaigrette. Or, try the Warm Brie Wheel, complete with spiced cranberry compote and caramelized walnuts. Pair with their cranberry-inspired brews, including the Red Sky at Night cranberry-peach radler or the Cranberry Trail Cocktail.
Bala Bay Takeaway: Experience several cranberry products on their menu, Cranberry Chicken Wrap, Cranberry BBQ Chicken Sandwich, and offer Cranberry Tartar Sauce with their famous Beer Battered Halibut and Chips.
Crack a pint (or stop in for a sample) and enjoy the good life at these great local craft breweries. Be sure to take some craft pints home to enjoy throughout the harvest!
Try these delicious cranberry inspired craft brews:
Muskoka Brewery: Enjoy Winter Beard, Muskoka Brewery’s Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout. A holiday favourite, this stout boasts notes of rich, dark chocolate and cranberry. Looking for something a little lighter? Try the Blood Orange & Cranberry Hard Sparkling Water, a delightful blend of vodka and sparkling water, infused with cranberry-orange flavours.
Huntsville Brewhouse: The Red Sky at Night cranberry radler is a delicious blend of peach and cranberry. This light, not too sweet, not too tart thirst-quencher goes down easy while watching the sun disappear into the horizon. A perfect blend of mulled apple cider and soft peach, this dry radler is distinctly crisp and aromatic, complemented by Magnum and Cascade hops. The delicate sweetness is created from a combination of 2 Row malts and a mix of fruits, creating a light and refreshing drink. The brewhouse features all the Lake of Bays brews and is conveniently located right downtown Huntsville. The Cranberry Trail Cocktail, a mix of their Sparkhouse Red Ale brew and tart cranberry juice, is also a cran-tastic choice.
Sawdust City Brewing Company: Stop by their state-of-the-art brewery and Tap Room downtown Gravenhurst to sample one of their many enticing brews. Sawdust City prides itself on its sustainable practices, including using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. Limberlost, a wild blueberry ale, and Viva La Stout, a scrumptious, chocolate raspberry cookie stout, are both berry-good choices.
Bracebridge Barrelhouse: This is the Lake of Bays brewery’s newest venture! Now you can conveniently enjoy your favourite Lake of Bays brews in Bracebridge. The Red Sky at Night cranberry radler is a light mix of peach and cranberry flavours. The Cranberry Trail Cocktail, a mix of their Sparkhouse Red Ale brew and tart cranberry juice, is also sure to be a favourite.
Clear Lake Brewing Company: Find this local brewery downtown Torrance, just off of Southwood road. The Clear Lake Cran Radler is a refreshing blend of tart cranberries and beer with just a hint of blood orange. Or, try the Torrance Tea, brewed specially for the cranberry harvest. This OG malt beverage is flavoured with iced tea and fresh cranberry juice from the Johnston’s cranberry marsh.
Baked Goodies & Treats
Who doesn’t love baked goodies? And who doesn’t love baked goodies with delicious cranberries, the perfect blend of sweet and tart? A true Muskoka cranberry route experience isn’t complete until you’ve tried some of these heavenly goodies from our local bakeries and cafes:
Kitchen’s Pastry & Catering: Pick up some quality baked goods from this cozy cafe to enjoy with a tea or coffee. Try the Vanilla Cranberry Tart with creamy vanilla filling and tangy cranberries, the Cranberry Apple Crumble with fresh cranberry apple filling, or the family-sized Cranberry Pecan Sticky Bun.
Humble Pie: This quaint bakery, famous for their award-winning Humble Pie butter tarts, are offering delicious, tangy Cranberry Lemon Buttermilk Scones and Cranberry Jelly Tarts in celebration of this year’s harvest. Also, try their Linzer Cookies with a cranberry twist!
BeaverTails Huntsville: You won’t want to miss the Gobbler dish, a true Canadian delicacy. Enjoy their signature poutine served atop one a classic BeaverTail pastry, topped with Muskoka-grown Mrs. J’s Preserves Cranberry Sauce.
The Shipyards: Sip on a Cranberry Passion Tea (iced or hot) while feasting on a delectable Cranberry White Chocolate Buttertart.
Visit these route stops and bring the cranberry harvest home with you to enjoy year-round!
Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery: Shop the Cranberry Store for some amazing goodies to take home. There are so many tantalizing options, like fresh cranberries, delicious fruit wines, Mrs. J’s (famous) preserves, cranberry honey, cranberry teas, Cranberry Cider, Cranberry Splash Wine Spritzers, and so much more!
Bala Freshmart: Don’t forget to pick up some of their famous pure pork Cranberry Sausages, the perfect hearty fall BBQ headliner. The sweet and savoury combination is a match made in heaven. Pair with fresh-baked buns for a delicious cranberry dinner you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
Cranberry Spa Treatments
Sometimes it is just nice to get pampered! Sip cranberry cinnamon cider, taste local cranberry treats and re-hydrate with luxurious treatments; lounge in the hydrospa, aromatherapy steam room, whirlpool or sauna at the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka.
Have a berry good time at these must-see local attractions that are celebrating the joys of cranberries in Muskoka!
Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery: Take the Bog to Bottle Discovery Tour, a one-of-a-kind experience includes a tour of the farm followed by a tutoured wine tasting of their delicious fruit wines. Take the Cranberry Plunge, one of Muskoka’s most exciting fall experiences. Put on hip waders and venture into the cranberries for that amazing candid photo that should be hung on your wall, on your fireplace, or your social media accounts.
Where to Stay
Muskoka is brilliant during the fall season, and a Muskoka Cranberry Route culinary adventure is the perfect excuse for a fall getaway. Stay at one of these great Muskoka Cranberry Route accommodation partners:
- JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka
- Rawley Resort
- Muskoka BeerSpa
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- Patterson Kaye Resort
- Inn at the Falls
- Muskoka Bay Resort