A Tasty Path Following The Cranberry Route In Muskoka In Fall
We followed a tasty path on the Cranberry Route in Muskoka in fall. We found cocktails, beer, wine and chocolate covered cranberries along the way!
The official Cranberry Route had a number of stops to enjoy cranberries and cranberry related experiences. There were a couple of different routes identified for day trips. We were happy when we found that the JW Marriott Rosseau was on the Cranberry Route. A great reason to plan another luxury stay at this resort.
Two brewery visits on the Cranberry Route offered some great beer options and continued the cranberry theme. We even had the “best” fish and chips at the Bala Bay Takeaway. And of course it was served with cranberry tartar sauce!
We finished our cranberry adventure with the Johnston’s Cranberry bog plunge at the Muskoka Lakes Farm And Winery. We had a lot of fun and learned so much about cranberries.
On this trip, we visited a number of sites on the official Cranberry Route in Muskoka in fall. But left many sites for another year!
The Fall Colours Were Still Vibrant As We Headed North
In most normal years, we were not home in the fall. But this year we enjoyed seeing our home province of Ontario in Canada as Mother Nature put on a show. We visited Muskoka as the colours started to change. And then headed north to Sault Ste Marie at peak season. Our trip along the Thousand Islands was a multi-coloured treat. And on this return trip to Muskoka, we were delighted to find the colours still vibrant.
As we drove north on Hwy 400 and Hwy 11, we had a colourful view. The colourful water tower above Heidi’s Water Tower caused us to pull off the highway for a closer look.
After we left the highway, we wandered on the smaller country roads. We saw that many trees had dropped their leaves. But the colours that remained were still wonderful.
We enjoyed every sunny day as the fall colours surrounded us.
The JW Marriott Rosseau Was The Base For Our Cranberry Tours
Our first stay at theJW Marriott Rosseau was such a success that it was easy to go back when we planned a return visit to follow the Cranberry Route in Muskoka. Our room had a view out over the still colourful vista that surrounded the resort. We wandered the resort and enjoyed the views out over Lake Rosseau.
It was the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and the resort offered a complete turkey dinner. I usually took every opportunity to have turkey. But we tried the Teca Italian Restaurant instead. Our table gave us a great view of the kitchen and the chef as he tossed the pizza dough. Every course of our dinner was tasty. Especially when complemented by a great Amarone wine!
We had a busy agenda planned for our cranberry explorations. But it was great to return for a luxury stay in Muskoka. We had a chance to talk with the General Manager on our stay about the plans for some winter experiences. But we will have to venture back and explore those on another visit.
We Sampled The Fall Cocktail Menu
The JW Marriott Rousseau was on the official Cranberry Route as a place to stay when visiting the cranberry stops. But it was also on the route for the tasty Cranberry Infused Cosmopolitan on the fall drink menu. Of course we sampled that one!
But on this return visit we had the chance to meet with the head mixologist Madison. She walked us through her delicious new fall cocktail menu. It was clear that she “poured” her heart and soul into the execution of each beverage concept. Many of the ingredients were special concoctions that Madison created. She divulged the ingredients for some. But the exact proportions remained her secret.
We chose two cocktails at different ends of the spectrum – a gin-based Muskoka Thyme and a sweet Espresso Martini. David and I shared them back and forth so we both enjoyed the mix of flavours.
We always enjoyed the creative mixology creations we found when we travelled. So it was great to see the breadth of Madison’s cocktail menu. But we wished we planned a longer visit to sample more!
From Cocktails To Beer Tasting
We tried two of the breweries on the official Cranberry Route. Our first stop was at the Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge. As with so many other wineries and breweries, the taproom was closed for Covid-19. The weather was still warm enough for the beer garden to be open. But there was a line up and all tables were full when we got there.
But the Taproom Express was open and had a large selection of beers for takeout. We always smiled at the creative names that were used for beers and wines! In search of cranberry treats, this brewery offered a beer that was perfect for David. Any chocoholic would go out of their way to try the Winter Beard – a double chocolate cranberry stout!
We were happy we found the perfect beer on the Cranberry Route in Muskoka in fall.
Cranberry Beer and Food Pairings
Our second brewery stop was the Sawdust City Brewery in Gravenhurst. The shop and tasting room were both open with reduced capacity but we got an inside table. The food truck on the property served a chicken and cranberry sandwich. Since we chose to do a beer flight inside the brewery, we had our food delivered to the table. Saving the Ice Scream served from the AirStream for afterwards!
With 18 different beers on tap, we had lots to choose from. A large selection of stouts gave David a few options for his 3 samples. The one he was drawn to first was the Viva La Stout. This chocolate raspberry cookie stout was his favourite and several cans went home with us. Skinny Dipping was an oatmeal stout. And the Blood of Cthulhu was a fascinating imperial stout flavoured with cherry, raspberry and cranberry.
I stayed with lighter beers. The Rosé Rhus was a Merlot Ale with Sumac. This was my favourite with a rich but fruity taste. The Limberlost wild blueberry ale was light and fruity too. Unfortunately, both of these had sold out completely in cans. And growlers were not being filled during Covid-19. So I did not take any of the tasty light beers home.
When we finished our lunch, we had to check out the ice cream shop in the Airstream outside. After we followed the butter tart path in Ontario, how could I pass on trying the butter tart ice cream?
We were delighted to add some great beer tasting when we followed the Cranberry Route in Muskoka in fall. Just one more stop on our sampling of Canadian craft beers!
A Plunge In The Johnston’s Cranberry Bog At The Muskoka Lakes Farm And Winery
On our first fall visit to Muskoka this year, we stopped at the Muskoka Lakes Farm And Winery. It was just before cranberry harvest season. On this trip we got the full experience at Johnston’s Cranberry Bog.
We started with a wagon ride and learned more about cranberry farming from the owner Wendy. As we walked around the farm, we saw the cranberry fields dry and also flooded for picking.
After we shopped for chocolate covered cranberries, the second part of our adventure was wine tasting. We loved the variety in the 6 tastings. It reminded us of our visit to the Fraser Valley in British Columbia when we toured for fruit wine and cider.
We walked around the cranberry farm to the far bog for our plunge in the Johnston’s Cranberry bog. After we donned our waders we walked into the water and were surrounded by floating cranberries.
Check out the detailed blog post on our Johnston’s Cranberry bog plunge on our visit to Muskoka Lakes Farm And Winery. It was such a fun experience!
So Much To See And Do On The Cranberry Route In Muskoka In Fall
There was so much to see and do when we followed the Cranberry Route in Muskoka in fall. The JW Marriott Rosseau was a great luxury spot to re-visit. A new fall cocktail menu with a cranberry twist started us off well.
We visited two of the breweries on the Cranberry Route – the Muskoka Brewery and the Sawdust Brewery. Both offered some great beer options and continued the cranberry theme.
The Johnston’s Cranberry bog plunge at the Muskoka Lakes Farm And Winery was a highlight of our trip. It brought our cranberry tales to a new level.
We checked off quite a few stops on the Cranberry Route in Muskoka this year. But we know there are so many more spots to explore on a return visit. We may make this a fall tradition.
Have you followed the Cranberry Route in Muskoka in fall? What was your favourite activity?
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