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Sweet ‘n’ Tangy: Muskoka’s Famed Maple Syrup and Cranberries

Muskoka’s signature flavours—locally produced cranberries and maple syrup—are the pride of the region. But their pleasures go beyond merely tasting with the tongue. From touring farms to de-stressing at the spa, for the full Muskoka experience, you can delight in these flavours in ways that feed all your senses.

When the harvest is underway, it’s time to celebrate at the annual Bala Cranberry Festival (705-762-1564), October 13 to 15. This fun-for-the-family event includes music, performances, crafts and lots of cranberry goodies.

Enhance your dining experience with dishes inspired by local flavours. For grilled pork tenderloin with cranberry black-pepper jelly, visit Riverwalk Fine Dining (1 Manitoba St., Bracebridge, 705-646-071). Try maple-glazed duck breast at the Inn at Manitou (81 Inn Rd., McKeller, 705-389-2171). Savour roasted rack of lamb with cranberry and madeira jus at The Rock Steakhouse & Grille (1185 Juddhaven Rd., Minett, 1-866-765-ROCK). Indulge in maple-smoked chicken terrine served with baby greens in cranberry-peppered boursin dressing at Eclipse (Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville, 705-789-6411).

Let the bounty of Muskoka soothe you during one of the signature Cranberry Spa Experiences at Angel’s Spa (Delta Sherwood Inn, Port Carling, 705-765-3131, ext. 414), like a cranberry wrap followed by a decadent warm cranberry-wine mask. Or visit the Aveda Spa (Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville, 705-789-7113 ext. 4480) for an exfoliating maple body scrub and maple lotion application.SIP
Experience a taste that’s uniquely Muskokan with an award-winning wine from Muskoka Lakes Winery (1074 Cranberry Rd., Bala, 705-762-3203). Blends include cranberry-blueberry, white-cranberry and even cranberry-maple wine. Or wake up your taste buds at the Seven Main Café & Muskoka Roastery Coffee Co. (7 Main St. W., Huntsville, 705-789-9592) with a cup of their best-selling maple-flavoured medium roast.

Bring home a bit of Muskoka with irresistible products like cranberry wildflower honey and cran-maple syrup from Iroquois Cranberry Growers (Wahta Mohawk Territory, south of Mactier, 705-762-5725), or maple butter, candy pops and tea from Maple Orchard Farms (14 Gray Rd., Bracebridge, 705-645-3053).

Take in the beauty of the bog year-round at Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh (1074 Cranberry Rd., Bala, 705-762-3203) by hiking one of their six Cranberry Trails, like Old Marsh Trail or Blueberry Trail.

Learn about the life cycle of a cranberry by taking a guided tour of Iroquois Cranberry Growers (Wahta Mohawk Territory, 705-762-5725). View the bog from a horse-drawn wagon, tractor pull or on foot. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, visit Maple Orchard Farms (14 Gray Rd., Bracebridge, 705-645-3053) to tour their maple syrup kitchen—and nibble on some free samples!—Kirstyn Brown

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