Celebrating the Harvest on Ontario’s West Coast

Celebrating the Harvest on Ontario’s West Coast

Celebrating the Harvest on Ontario’s West Coast

Huron County is the most agriculturally productive region in Ontario so fall around here means harvest season. We invite you to plan a trip to enjoy our breathtaking fall colours and the abundance of fresh produce grown on Ontario’s West Coast.  

Apple Orchards

How do you like them apples?

Visit an apple orchard for some fresh, crisp apples and delicious cider. Maitside Orchard near Brussels grows 20 varieties of apples, pears and peaches and are famous for their fresh cider. Their “Play and Learn” Center, open Saturday afternoons in September and October, offers plenty of family fun activities.

Location: 23 Orchard Line, Brussels, ON

Blake’s Apple Orchard, also near Brussels, has been growing apples since 1949. They offer 10 varieties of apples, whether pick-your-own or fresh picked in store, as well as cider, apple butter and honey.

Location: 42933 St Michaels Road, Brussels, ON

In early October, Meeting Place Organic Farm offers certified organic Spy apples, an heirloom apple with a sweet/tart flavour. Fans of apple butter will want to pick up a few homemade jars that pairs well with cheese and roasted meats.

Location: 86016 Creek Line, RR 1 Lucknow, ON

Fresh from the Farm

Finding local, fresh and delicious food doesn’t get any easier than in Huron County, especially during the fall harvest season. Fergusson Apiaries offers different varieties of 100% unpasteurized Ontario honey, and related products in their on-site store. Their honey and beeswax products are still made in small consistent batches on the premises to provide the very best quality.
Location: 39006 Zurich-Hensall Road #84, Hensall, ON

The Garlic Box Products

Garlic lovers and home chefs should not miss The Garlic Box, Canada’s premier food manufacturer using Ontario grown garlic. A family-run business, The Garlic Box processes more than 40,000 lbs. of fresh garlic per year into innovative products.
Location: 54 London Road, Highway #4, Hensall, ON

Metzger Meat Products offers delicious specialty meats sourced from locally trusted farms, employing traditional European preparation methods. They pride themselves on producing healthy products and traditionally-smoked German delights. Their pepperettes and side bacon are world-class and must-try items on any visit.

Location: 180 Brock Avenue, Hensall, ON

Pick up a fresh or frozen turkey for your holiday meal at Hayter’s Farm, a family-owned turkey farm where three generations have taken a hands-on approach to raising wholesome, great-tasting turkey.

Location: 37467 Dashwood Road #83, Dashwood, ON

Masse Fruits and Vegetables

If ham or pork is more of a family tradition during the holidays, check out The Whole Pig, a third-generation family farm that takes pride in assuring the highest quality pork. The Whole Pig carries over 100 high-quality pork products that are delicious, nutritious, and crowd-pleasing favourites.

Location: 37871 Dashwood Road #83, Dashwood, ON

Blyth Farm Cheese is a small, family business near the historical village of Blyth. They make several great varieties of Gouda-style goat cheese on site, including Golden Blyth, Blyth Nettle and Blyth’s Drunken Goat – made with wine.

Location: 82521 Allboro Line, Blyth, ON

Harvest Canned Goods

If you want to find all of your late fall produce in one stop, consider a visit to Masse Fruits and Vegetables. Open until November 1, they are proud growers of Everbearing strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, beans, peas, squash, pumpkins, and more.

Location: 35291 Zurich-Hensall Road #84, St Joseph, ON

 Find fresh produce as well as prepared foods at Jerry Rader Homestyle Market & Catering. Their retail market offers a variety of fresh salads and meats in the deli, frozen entrees and baked goods.

Location: 38110 Zurich-Hensall Road #84, Zurich, ON

Finally, stop in at Zehrs Country Market to find something for everyone. From home-style baked goods to locally-raised meats, apples from their own orchard and fresh seasonal vegetables.

Location: 75073 Bluewater Highway #21, Bayfield, ON

Huron County: Ontario’s Newest Craft Beer and Wine Destination

Huron County: Ontario’s Newest Craft Beer and Wine Destination

Huron County: Ontario’s Newest Craft Beer and Wine Destination

Ontario’s West Coast has quickly emerged as one of Ontario’s newest craft beer and wine regions. You’ll find farm-to-table beer and wine as well as crisp ciders, IPAs, sour ales, dark stouts, and every flavour and colour combination in between.  

Huron County offers two distinct wine and beer road trips. The Coastline Tour visits wineries and breweries located along the scenic shoreline of Lake Huron and the Countryside Tour visits those located within the picturesque rural landscapes. We understand that choices can be hard, so we highly recommend you make it easy for yourself and plan to spend at least a couple of days exploring the beer and wine treasures located throughout the countryside and coastline of Ontario’s West Coast.

Coastline Tour

Travelling from Grand Bend to Goderich, this route covers 50 km of magnificent Lake Huron shoreline staying primarily on Bluewater Highway #21.

Start your road trip at Dark Horse Estate Winery, an impressive vineyard and 31,000 sq. ft. manor including a tasting room, production facility, barrel cellar, ballroom, VIP lounge, and patio spaces. A family-owned and operated winery that brings a unique essence to every bottle of wine and a memorable experience to every visitor.

Location: 70665 B Line, Grand Bend, ON   

Continue travelling north on Bluewater Highway through the former French-Canadian settlement of St. Joseph. The Historical Park tells the unique and surprising history of today’s tiny, modest village.

Just past St. Joseph is Hessenland Inn and Schatz Winery, offering wine tastings of their new vintages in unique outdoor and indoor spaces. Hessenland’s location also boasts lovely accommodations, memorable dining experiences and expansive gardens and vineyards all in one location.

Location: 72981 Bluewater Highway #21, Zurich

Two minutes down the road is Bad Apple Brewing Company, a family-owned, family-run and family friendly craft brewery. Located in a renovated century barn, the brewery sits on a small orchard where they grow fresh produce that is used in many of their beer recipes.

Location: 73463 Bluewater Highway #21, Zurich, ON

Wine glasses

Continue north towards the next stop, Cornerfield Wine Co., a family-owned and operated boutique winery whose wines feature a blend of Huron County grown grapes.  Enjoy a tasting and share in the beauty of the vineyard.

Location: 74444 Bluewater Highway #21, Bayfield, ON

Your next stop is in the charming lakeside village of Bayfield, known for its heritage Main Street lined with galleries, boutique shops and casual fine-dining restaurants.

Located on picturesque Main Street, Bayfield Brewing Company & Public House is a brewery and brewpub with a passion for producing craft beer and craft food. Offering a selection of in-house beer on tap and food featuring many of Huron County’s own fresh ingredients.

Location: 14 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield, ON

Just north of Bayfield is River Road Brewing & Hops, a farm-based, sustainable brewery dedicated to providing delicious and quality crafted beers. The ingredients that go into making their beer are grown right on the farm giving a fresh taste like no other brewery in the area.

Location: 35449 Bayfield River Road, Bayfield, ON 

Continuing north on Orchard Line, you’ll reach Bayfield Berry Farm, Huron County’s newest winery and first distillery. Indulge in their field to finish creations of hard cider, fruit wines – apple, blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry and more – fruit Schnapps and wine coolers.

Location: 77697 Orchard Line, Bayfield, ON

Back on Bluewater Highway #21, continue north until you reach Goderich, the ‘Prettiest Town in Canada’. The town has a rich and colourful history, celebrated in its museums and destinations of historical interest.

Square Brew is your final stop. With a name inspired by the town’s octagonal core known as The Square, the brewery produces roughly 2000 litres of beer per week, meeting demand for their popular 1L Growlers.

Location: 430 Parsons Court, Goderich, ON

* Bonus Stop

East Street Cider in Goderich is a small urban craft cidery. Using 100% Ontario apples, they are focused on crafting authentic, easy-drinking cider with refreshing, pure taste that everyone can enjoy. .

Location: 130 East Street, Goderich, ON

Countryside

Countryside Tour

On this tour, enjoy a road trip that takes you through the agricultural heartland of Huron County through cultivated fields, crossing the Bayfield and Maitland Rivers and visiting the bygone era charm of Ontario’s West Coast’s towns and villages.

Starting in the Town of Exeter, the “Home of the White Squirrel”, Exeter boasts a historic downtown featuring heritage architecture and inviting retail shops.

Eddington’s of Exeter is a farm to table restaurant located in the original Carling (of beer fame) homestead. Local food is the driving force in Eddington’s kitchen along with a locally-sourced menu that changes seasonally.

Location: 527 Main Street S, Exeter, ON

Continue north on Provincial Highway #4 to Brucefield and turn left onto Mill Road/County Road #3. Follow Mill Road to the hamlet of Varna and then turn right onto Parr Line/County Road #31 to reach your next stop.

Stone House Brewing is a traditional craft brewery with a tap room and outdoor patio. Trained under a German Brewmaster, owner Mike Corrie’s first beer was a Czech Pilsner beer (the brewery’s flagship beer).

Location: 76050 Parr Line, Varna, ON

Continue north on Parr Line/County Road #33 until you reach the village of Holmesville. At Holmesville, turn left onto Provincial Highway #8 to find your next stop 5 km away.

The beautifully designed 2nd Streetlight Estate Winery was established when, after a three year search for the right location, the owners planted the five different vines of Cabernet Franc, Baco Noir, Vidal, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Location: 36594 Huron Road/Highway #8, Clinton, ON

Wine glasses

Continue west on Highway #8 and turn right onto Benmiller Line/County Road 1. Crossing the Maitland River, enter the community of Benmiller and turn right onto Londesboro Road/County Road #15 continuing along to County Road #4. Travel north on County Road #4 to the Village of Blyth.

Upon reaching Blyth, you’ll find the distinctive architecture of Cowbell Brewing Co.  A Canadian destination craft brewery, Cowbell features a state-of-the-art brewing facility, restaurant and retail store making it one of Huron County’s top attractions since its opening in 2017.

Location: 40035 Blyth Road, Blyth, ON

Take a little time to explore the historic Village of Blyth exuding Victorian charm. Stroll down Queen Street, peek into the unique galleries and shops and make your way to Blyth Memorial Hall, home of the world-famous Blyth Festival Theatre.

From Blyth, head south on County Road #4 to Provincial Highway #8 in Clinton. Turning left onto Highway #8, proceed east for 5km before turning right onto Sanctuary Line for your final stop.

Maelström Winery is Huron County’s first winery and is focused on small batch, high quality wines. Their artisanal and “hands-off” approach allows the richness of the terroir to come through in their wine. Take a winery tour, book a tasting on the outdoor patio or sit by the fireplace in the tasting room; open year-round.

Location: 78925 Sanctuary Line, Seaforth, ON

*Bonus Stop

Currently only offering online sales, Half Hours on Earth Brewery is well worth a try if you get the chance. Though one of the smallest producers in Ontario, Half Hours on Earth Brewery is mighty. Their focus is on producing beers that impart a refreshing dryness with yeast forward flavour and aromatic characteristics.

Location: 151 Main St S, Seaforth, ON

Please be a responsible guest. Practice social distancing, wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently and wear masks when indoors or when social distancing is not possible.  Let’s be kind to one another.

Barn Quilts: A Journey of Family, History & Memories

Barn Quilts: A Journey of Family, History & Memories

Barn Quilts: A Journey of Family, History & Memories

The Huron County Barn Quilt Trail was created in celebration of the 2017 International Plowing Match, Rural Expo (IPM), and to mark Canada’s 150th Birthday.  At that time, 150 quilts were made in both rural and urban areas throughout Huron County for this beautification process. Since 2017, the number of barn quilts in Huron County has continued to grow and there are now well over 200 of these community artworks scattered across the county.  

The Quilt Trail takes you on a journey throughout the highways and back roads of Huron County where you experience not only the beauty of the county’s agricultural landscape, but also the coming together of communities and families as they tell their stories through these traditional and contemporary painted barn quilt blocks. You will find barn quilts on barns, sheds, homes, buildings, parks, schools, gateway entrances, or even as part of the landscaping. Some have traditional quilt block patterns, while others include farm, family or business names, crests or logos.

Beyond the beautiful scenes and wonderful stories that unfold with these quilts, they also remind us of Canada’s disappearing rural landscapes and tugs at our hearts as we remember the old barns, family farms, and growing up in the county.

Want to experience the beautiful stories and quilts? You can load up the whole family and follow the map as you search for these eye-catching artworks while learning about their stories on the go.

Enjoy Dinner or a Wine Tasting in the Vineyard

Enjoy Dinner or a Wine Tasting in the Vineyard

Enjoy Dinner or a Wine Tasting in the Vineyard

Hessenland Inn and Schatz Winery is offering a unique al fresco dining experience this summer.  You can enjoy dinner or a wine tasting at a table set-up right in the vineyards.  Experience their newly launched menu as you sit among the grape vine enjoying a glass (or two) of their Schatz wines made from the grapes grown on the vines that you are sitting amongst. It doesn’t get more locavore than that. If eating local is important to you, Hessenland Inn is certified Feast On by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance. Feast On is a certification program that recognizes businesses committed to sourcing Ontario grown and made food and drink.

Before summer is over, make a reservation to enjoy a memorable dining experience with wine grown on the vines that surround your table.

 

Hessenland Inn Grapes
Hessenland Meal

Hessenland Inn & Schatz Winery

72981 Bluewater Highway

Zurich, ON N0M 2T0

Reservations:

Phone: 519-236-7707

Toll free: 1-866-543-7736

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Outstanding Outdoorsy Weekend

Outstanding Outdoorsy Weekend

Outstanding Outdoorsy Weekend

Friday

Arrive at your reserved campsite at Point Farms Provincial Park on Friday evening. If you’re coming up Bluewater Highway from the south stop for some provisions at Bayfield Farmers’ Market.

Breakfast

Courtesy of West Street Willy’s

Saturday

Head into Goderich for a full breakfast at West Street Willy’s that was featured on the TV program You Gotta Eat here.  Stop by Shanahan’s Quality Meats for some picnic lunch supplies before heading to the Maitland Trail. Spend the rest of the morning hiking the trail starting with the Tiger Dunlop Heritage Trail which includes great views of the Maitland River and Harbour from Menesetung Bridge

 After the long hike refresh yourself with a swim at one of Goderich’s three beaches. Change back into your street clothes and head to Square Brew to sample the local suds before dinner. Plenty of patios to choose from for dinner three recommendations include: Part II Bistro, Beach Street Station or Thyme on 21.

End your evening sitting around the campfire or having a leisurely walk along the darkened beach gazing up at the amazing stars.

Square Brew

Courtesy of Square Brew

Thyme on 21

Courtesy of Thyme on 21

Sunday

After breakfast take a quick dip in the lake and then strike camp as you get ready for an amazing off road cycling experience.

This morning bike the Goderich to Guelph Rail Trail from Saltford to Blyth, a 30 km one way trip.  Arrange for 519 Tours to pick you up in Blyth and bring you back to your starting point (unless you have it in you to do the return trip).

G2G Rail Trail
519 Tours

Spend your afternoon at Falls Reserve Conservation Area, a 230 acre natural outdoor playground. Enjoy the trails and swimming in the falls. Alternatively you can head back to Goderich, making a quick stop on The Square to rent a kayak from 360 Bikes N’ Boards or book a stand up paddle board (SUP) lesson from the Yoga Den and spend your few remaining hours having a blissful time out on the lake. Either way you’ll head home feeling physically and mentally refreshed.

Falls Reserve
Stand up paddle boarding

Courtesy of Yoga Den

Spend a Perfect Day in Bayfield

Spend a Perfect Day in Bayfield

Spend a Perfect Day in Bayfield

Grab yourself a classic diner-style breakfast at Renegades Diner before heading out on a walk on one of six Bayfield Trails.

After your morning hike stroll Bayfield’s Historic Main Street and visit some of the galleries and boutique shops. Three galleries to check out are: Main Street Gallery exhibiting works of many award-winning artists. Marten Arts, a Canadian art gallery and Bayfield mainstay for over 20 years and Patina Studios & Gallery artist/owners Joan Bailey (painter) & Tony Eyamie (potter) are often found working in front of the gallery.

 

Courtesy of Patina Studios & Gallery

Courtesy of Main Street Gallery

Patina Studios & Gallery
12B Main Street, Bayfield

Main Street Gallery
4 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield

 

Grab a quick lunch of fish tacos, footlong hot dog or poutine at Copenhagen’s. Don’t forget to save room for a decadent cupcake from Pink Flamingo Bakery.

Spend the hottest part of the afternoon staying cool at Bayfield’s Main Beach. Designated with a Blue Flag, it indicates that it is a clean, safe and sustainably managed beach. After a few hours at the beach you’ll have worked up a thirst for a late afternoon beverage at Bayfield Brewing Co.. Visit the tap room to try a flight of the brewery’s current offerings.

 

Cupcakes

Courtesy of Pink Flamingo Bakery

Bayfield Brewing Co.

Courtesy of  Bayfield Brewing Co.

Pink Flamingo Bakery
28 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield

Bayfield Brewing Co.
14 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield

There’s no lack of great choices for an exceptional dinner in Bayfield. Dine al fresco at Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro, The Lakehouse of Bayfield or stay put and go next door to the Bayfield Brewing Co.’s Public House.

After dinner enjoy one of the world famous double sunsets at Pioneer Park. Afterwards if you’re still going strong, enjoy a night cap on the veranda (weather permitting) of the Bayfield Little Inn.

Black Dog

Courtesy of Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro

Lake House

Courtesy of The Lakehouse of Bayfield

Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro
5 Bayfield Main St N, Bluewater

The Lakehouse of Bayfield
21 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield