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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I’ve never heard of this cranberry route before but it sounds like a tasty journey! I’d be especially into those delicious looking cranberry martinis!
Chrissi, We were so happy we followed the Cranberry Route this fall. Some tasty stops indeed! Linda
I didn’t even know about the Cranberry Route – looks like a fun experience and road trip! I am not a fan of beer but that chocolate and raspberry pairing seems so interesting and so done Rosé Rhus. Would definitely give the martini a try though! And goes without saying Cranberry bog plunge looks like the highlight of your trip! So much fun!!! Loved learning about a new place in a new way. 🙂
Vaisakhi, We loved the chance to see how many different ways that cranberries could be served on our travels around the Cranberry Route. A tasty way to explore Muskoka. Linda
I think the fall color is still looked fantastic and as always, you clicked beautiful pictures! It will be fun to do this trip and get to taste everything cranberries. The chicken and cranberry sandwich sounds yummy, but I really want to try the cranberry tartar sauce. My friend who lives near Ontario also did the cranberry plunge. It looks fun!
Umiko, We were so glad we got to do a number of stops on the Cranberry Route this year. All yummy! Linda
Man oh man, this cranberry trail may be the death of me if I follow the entire cranberry route in Muskoka, especially in the fall! I will say, it will give me tons of brownie points with Darcee cause she LOVES the fall, wine, and beer. So seeing the leaves change, spending an afternoon dreaming of leaves while drinking all the beers at the Sawdust brewery, and catching the leaves as she wades amid the cranberry bog at Johnston’s is heaven for her. Is it weird that I really want to drink the Blood of Cthulhu beer at the Sawdust purely on the name?
Eric, I hope you do plan this as a treat for Darcee one year. It was fun to see the different season beers and their names. David did like the Blood of Cthulhu beer! Linda
This article gives me all the holiday feels! I always associate cranberries with thanksgiving or fancy christmas cocktails so reading this article has me all excited for the holiday season. That cranberry bog looks like such a fun and memorable experience. I wonder if we have anything like that near us here in DC. If not, we might have to make a trip to Canada!
Cecilia, Now you can check out what options their may be in the U.S. I am sure there are other places that offer so many great cranberry experiences. Linda
You never stop surprising with ideas for your mini-tours. This is something amazing. I have never seen so many cranberries! Stay where it is safe!
Milos, I am glad you are enjoying our mini tours. The Cranberry Route was certainly a tasty one to follow. We are definitely putting safety first! Linda
The Cranberry Route In Muskoka In Fall seems an excellent idea for a trip. I haven’t heard about it before. I love cranberries, so it must be a fantastic experience to taste cocktails, beer, wine, and chocolate covered cranberries along the way! I add it to my bucket list, especially The JW Marriott Rousseau, Taproom Express, and Sawdust City Brewery in Gravenhurst.
Agnes, I hope you do get to visit this area for a fall visit to follow the Cranberry Route. I know you will find so many tasty treats. Linda
What a nice way to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s awesome that you were able to meet with their head mixologist. I have always been curious on how they come up with the different cocktails and it’s cool that she shared some ingredients. It’s perfect on how to get started experimenting with a DIY drink.
Anyway, thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. I really enjoyed reading your post and hope to get to take the Cranberry Route in Muskoka next time.
Clarice, It was indeed interesting to talk with Madison about her cocktail creations. She had some tasty treats for us to try. Just one of the great stops along the Cranberry Route in Muskoka. Hope you get to try this one year. Linda
This seems like a really fun and unusual tour. I’ve never heard of it before and I love cranberries, so this would be something I’d enjoy. The picture of you two wading through the cranberries and throwing them is really fun – it looks like you had a great day!
Elaine, We did indeed have a lot of fun in the Cranberry Bog. A great way to enjoy a colourful fall day. Linda
Oh my God! The fall colours and cranberries what else can one ask for! That is so cool the cranberry route, I had never even thought that one such route can exist. Thats absolutely stunning and I would definitely love to visit Muskoka, especially in fall now.
Raksha, We were glad we discovered the Cranberry Route. It was fun to discover new stops. So many tasty treats. Linda
I’m just realizing that its been ages since I had cranberry. This looks like an amazing journey. I didn’t know there’s something called a Cranberry route. I too prefer autumn for traveling, but yeah, this year, its all about local travel. Cranberry cocktails would be something I’d totally love.
Bhushavali, It has been a treat to be at home in the fall and enjoy all the local fun. It will certainly be something we remember when we start to travel again. Linda
That looks like a great trip. Getting in with all those cranberries would be awesome! It’s like you could be in one of those juice commercials! And any trip that includes fall colors is a winner in my book.
Lia, It did feel a bit like I was in a juice commercial! So much fun. And great cranberry treats as well. So glad we travelled back to see this. Linda
So many ways to consume cranberries! I’m inspired to visit, but until I can, I’m going to try a few of those cranberry variations. Cranberry tartar sounds interesting!
Kerry, We loved the variety of cranberry treats we found on the Cranberry Route! Linda
Love the cranberries! I would love to taste the cocktails and the wine, in moderation of course! Joke aside, it’s always interesting to see how it’s possible to turn a crop into a tourist attraction, just like pumpkins!
Delphine, I too was amazed at the variety of things to do when we visited the Johnston’s Cranberries. But it was a tasty way to wander in the fall. Linda
I love cranberries, especially the cheerful color that they are made of. The pictures here, full of vibrant colors, were very pleasing to the eyes. Fall definitely seems like a lovely time here. I had no idea that there is something like cranberry route. Muskoka brewery looks super interesting. I love the food pairings with these tasting sessions. I would want to have some chocolate covered cranberries too.
Manujulika, We loved the chance to follow the Cranberry Route this year. So many tasty treats. And it has been a beautiful fall in Canada this year. Linda
this sounds like the most fun road trip!! And all those beautiful fall colours. Our days would be ending with those cranberry infused beverages!
It was a fun and tasty way to do some local travel. Linda
This sounds like a fabulous trip. The combination of fall colours, luxurious hotel, and great food can’t be beat.
Alison and Don, It was great to return to Muskoka and enjoy it all. Linda
This looks like a wonderful experience, I was unaware of the Cranberry route. Your pictures capturing the falls are amazing. It is good that you connected with the mixologist. I liked the way they have turned it into the tour opportunity. The tourists can get best of both the world, enjoy cranberry wine and learn the science behind it.
Ramya, It was indeed fun to get both the educational and tasty components when learning about cranberries on this trip! Linda
I really like cranberries, but as we don’t get them in Italy, this trip to Muskoka would be a fun experience. I’d be so intrigued to try a cranberry beer and cocktail, they both sound delicious. The fall colours here are so beautiful!
Lisa, Until I did this tour, I did not realize where cranberries were grown. As a Canadian, I guess I assumed they were readily available. It was fun to see how they added this tart fruit into cocktails. A great time to wander in Canada. Linda
Oh wow, this is such a cool and unusual trip to make – I love it! But to be honest I had to google where Muskoka is locaded, I had no idea! 😀
Ann, It was great for us that Muskoka was just a few hours north of our home in Toronto. A great way to learn more about cranberries and try some new treats. Linda
I just love cranberries and tried to grow them without success. Guess our climate in South Africa isn’t ideal.
Mimmie, Until I did this tour I did not realize where cranberries were grown since I have had them my entire life. It was a great treat to do this tour. And a tasty one too. Linda
I believe you. O and I love the autumn colours of all the trees and branches.
This sounds like such a fun way to spend the weekend exploring cranberry 🙂 I love the ambience of the huge yellow chair and AirStream at the Sawdust City Brewery in Gravenhurst. I’ve never had cranberry in my chicken sandwiches and it sounds like something I would want to try there for sure. And a beer flight to go with it sounds fantastic 🙂
Candy, It was indeed a tasty trip around Muskoka on the Cranberry Route. We were so glad we found so many fun spots. Linda
This looks like such a fun trip. I love that giant lounge chair next to the airstream cafe. I would certainly love to do a road trip and take in all these amazing fall colors. Looks like the food and wine were unforgettable too.
Alice, It was indeed a magical fall trip with lots of colour and tasty stops. Linda
This route looks like so much fun, even for someone who is not a big fan of cranberries! The cranberry plunge at Johnston Cranberry Bog looks like so much fun, I have always wanted to visit one. A tasting at the Sawdust City Brewery sounds like a great way to spend a couple hours. The fall colors are beautiful and I’m sure only added to the experience.
Melissa, We loved all our stops along the Cranberry Route. A fun way to spend a fall weekend. Linda
I didn’t realise cranberries were such a thing but I love this idea. From the autumn colours to the cocktail, wine & beer tasting…I’m in! And the bog plunge is something I’d never heard of before I read your posts but it looks like loads of fun & now has me keen to try it myself.
Sue, We did love all the Cranberry themed experiences when we followed the Cranberry Route in Muskoka. I really did know much about this until we visited this year. A great experience on a pretty fall weekend. Linda
This sounds like such a fun trip! I love all the different breweries and cocktail tastings. And it definitely looks like you got to enjoy it at the perfect time of year – the colors are beautiful!!
Maggie, We always love to see what treats are in place for new seasons. Fall certainly did not disappoint! Linda
Wow – who would have guessed there was a Cranberry Route?! The colors are definitely amazing – actually, autumn’s strongest suite. It looks like a fun experience. Actually, I hardly ever drink beer at home but love to try it when on the road, hence the chocolate and raspberry mix is inspiring. Nevertheless, my favorite would be the martini.
Renata, We loved the fun variety of beer and cocktails we found following the Cranberry Route. Hubby was delighted there were so many dark beer options. I am with you and prefer the cocktails. Linda
I have never heard of the Cranberry route till now. I love cranberries so this would suite me for sure. I love the picture of you in the cranberry bog – interesting I had to read that a couple of times – with the cranberries in the air. a bog…mind boggles. It sure sounds like you had so much fun. I hope once travel is back on that many others from reading the blog post go and visit.
Bree, Our visit to the cranberry bog sure was a lot of fun. We were glad we found out about it. A benefit of being home this fall. Linda
This looks so much fun. I love cranberries and the combination of autumn colours – what a great way to spend a day. And chocolate covered cranberries just finishes the day off perfectly lol
Sarah, We sure did love all the ways we got to enjoy cranberries at this colourful time of year. Linda
I love the idea of the cranberry bog. The colours are amazing against the autumn leaves. I am a sucker for cranberries and chocolate so it would be heaven for me.
Larch, We did love all aspects of our trip to Muskoka along the Cranberry Route. Linda
Oh my god – I love cranberries. So the cranberry route in Muskoka would be an absolute dream destination for me. It seems you had a great time tasting all these cranberry coctails, cranberry beer and cranberry wine! Do they do cakes as well?
We sure did love all the cranberry treats. We found muffins but not cakes. But I am sure someone made them!