Featured Destination: Bala, ON
In part 2 of our Barrie day trip series, we are featuring a quaint town within the Muskokas. located 59 minutes from downtown Barrie. Bala is probably best known for its Cranberry Festival in Late October. This small town has a lot of other attractions and activities to offer – making it a perfect day trip for Barrie residents.
Start the day
First up, we recommend grabbing a coffee and freshly baked good from Don’s bakery – a local staple since the 1940’s. Then, head to Windsor park to take in the waterfront view and morning sun. There is ample green space and beach space for young ones to run around. and the park boasts stunning views of fall foliage.
Next, we recommend heading over to the Bala Falls. These falls are truly something special to witness. Jagged rock and rapids lead up to the thundering waterfalls. Locals often swim down the river from them when they are fully flooded. This experience has been likened to sitting in a rapids hot tub. The scenic views are classic, and will add layers of depth to any Instagram post.
Once you’ve taken in the Bala falls, we recommend heading over the Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery. Here, there are activities to do all year round. We recommend a midday meal at the McArthur House Café. We also recommend sitting on the year-round patio and enjoying a glass of wine and charcuterie. Tours of the entire facility are exciting and informative. Here is a look at what is offered here, seasonally!
Explore Bala year-round
In the fall, you can see the cranberry harvest process, go on a wagon ride, Take the “Cranberry Plunge” which involves hip waders and more photo opportunities that we can count and fall colours on the trails. We recommend going on a trail hike/leisurely stroll between sampling their wine and cider products – but that’s just us!
In the winter, you can skate their famous ice trail, go for a snowshoe and cozy up with a mulled beverage on their year-round patio.
Springtime is maple syrup season – we recommend their Bog to Bottle Tour (offered daily at 11, 1 and 3). This experience is truly unique – as you try a combination of maple syrup and cranberries fused together. Here, you Learn how cranberries are grown, sap is boiled and sample their famous red maple dessert wine!
During the summer, the activities continue. As always, hiking the trails at Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery remains a top recommendation, in addition to a trip to Blueberry hill. Blueberry hill is teeming with fresh blueberries, and is a lovely way to spend an afternoon outside. The best part? The unique blueberry wine flavours you get to sample.
As your afternoon winds down at Muskoka Lakes, we recommend grabbing some cranberry-infused snacks for your drive home.
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