Route 8 - Celebrating the Sugar Season
Route 8 - Celebrating the Sugar Season
The short story:
Spring is sugar shack season and delicious maple syrup is in the spotlight in all its facets. For this occasion, we invite you to attend Maple Weekend, an annual event that brings together the best maple syrup producers in Ontario. After visiting a sugar shack, the journey continues with the discovery of products that will make you want to treat yourself! From a honey house to a microbrewery, passing by a local market and a reputed restaurant, this escapade promises to be a gourmet one! In between bites, we also suggest places where you can stroll to enjoy the warming weather.
The discoveries suggested along this route will particularly please food lovers and those with a sweet tooth. Whether you visit with your family, friends or as a couple, this route promises to please everyone! Bon appétit!
*Please note that in the context of the pandemic, the activities may still be subject to some restrictions. It is best to contact each destination prior to your visit, as days and hours of operation may vary. In addition, since there is a strong labour shortage in the tourism industry, it is important to be patient and diligent with merchants.
Recommended travel dates: the months of March and April.
Travel area: This route starts in Fournier and will take you to Moose Creek, Maxville, Finch, Embrun, Crysler, and Chesterville.
Directions to Fournier:
- From Ottawa: Take the 417 East and exit to Saint-Isidore via Fournier.
- From Toronto: Take 401 East to Route 14 North (exit 770) towards Finch, then Route 43 East to join Route 20 North to Fournier.
- From Montreal: Take Highway 40 West which becomes Highway 417 in Ontario. Exit to Regional Road 23 towards Fournier.
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La Cabane des Gars (4251 County Rd 16, Fournier ON K0B 1G0) is a welcoming place to enjoy taffy on snow, walk through the forest among the maple trees, and buy maple products to enjoy even when you get home.
The season starts around March 10, depending on the flow of sap. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., you can enjoy a sweet visit (no reservations required). Although there are things to discover, they do not operate a restaurant to eat on site.
Just 20 minutes away, Bee Sweet/Api-Santé (1729 Fraser Rd, Moose Creek, ON K0C 1W0) welcomes you Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a selection of natural, handmade products: honeys, creams, ointments, candles, royal jelly, candies and more! The bees are raised in their backyard and the honey is harvested and processed into body care products, which are beneficial to the skin.
During your visit, take the opportunity to taste different kinds of honeys, such as wildflower honey, or even try a hand treatment. Their products are particularly appreciated for their superior quality, in addition to being affordable (payable in cash only).
The next destination is popular for their Scottish specialties. Muir's Bakery (6 Main St S, Maxville, ON K0C 1T0) is a family owned and operated business that cooks up the delicious dishes they are known for, including a variety of pies and cookies. Come in and fill up on home-cooked meals Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (take-out only).
To stretch your legs or to keep the kids moving and having fun, the Moose Creek Recreation Area (5 Munroe St, Moose Creek, ON K0C 1W0) offers an outdoor playground with structures that little ones will love!
The Finch Market (17 Main St, Finch, ON K0C 1K0) is a fresh market with all the essentials for a great meal: quality cuts of meat, prepared meals, spices, breads, specialty cheeses, wine and beer. Their mission: to offer their customers, whether local or visiting the region, a unique experience where the pleasure of good food is combined with a welcoming service.
Open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m., this is a must-see stop for local food lovers, with a selection of foods that change with the seasons.
As your last stop of the day, we suggest you reserve a table at Étienne Brûlé Brewery (893 Notre-Dame St, Embrun, ON K0A 1W1). On the menu: fresh, local food, plus a smokehouse that produces excellent chicken wings, ribs and even maple-smoked salmon.
We highly recommend their nachos, accompanied by a good certified organic beer, brewed right on site! They have made choosing your meal pairing very easy with the option of an assorted beer flight.
Where to Stay:
After a day of enjoying a variety of gourmet foods, you are invited to spend the night on the countryside at the Cedar Drive Inn (14990 Concession 10-11 Road, Crysler, ON K0A 1R0), a family-run inn (note that in the morning you may hear small footsteps walking).
There are three en-suite rooms on site, furnished and decorated to provide a comfortable and welcoming stay. The kids will also enjoy the play structures on the property.
Your stay in Eastern Ontario continues with a meal at The Side Door (33 Queen St, Crysler, ON K0A 1R0), a family-owned restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for less than $20 per plate.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, this place is well loved by locals, especially for its excellent service and food. One dish to try without hesitation: the fish and chips.
After a good meal, a nature walk is a must! The Reveler Conservation Area (14255 Concession 10-11 Rd, Crysler, ON K0A 1R0) is a great place for bird watching with its 100 acres of land.
The property offers a beautiful walking trail, somewhat rugged with no vehicle impact, even in the spring when the weather thaws. The forest offers great variety with an abandoned apple orchard and fields that are slowly being taken over by wild forest.
Before heading home, a detour to On The Bend Sugar Shack (4107 County Rd. 11 Chesterville, ON, Canada K0C 1H0) will allow you to end this gourmet roadtrip in the best way possible!
Although they do not offer sugar shack meals, their maple butter, maple BBQ sauce and maple cotton candy are to die for! They are scheduled to open the first weekend in April, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with taffy on snow and tours of the cabin.
Important note: Be sure to verify the information of every location you're planning on visiting before heading out as the hours of operation may change without prior notice due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Do you want to join us and explore the flavours that this route offers?
Download the itinerary right into your Maps application before leaving. The itinerary does not include a stop for accommodations because we provided several options below.
Prefer a printed itinerary?
These routes are proudly developed by the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network to promote local food, beverages, and businesses! The EOAN is grateful for funding from municipal partners, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Ontario.