Who says picnics are only for sunny summer days? This fall, enjoy your outdoor meal with a side of crisp autumn breezes and colourful leaves. Rather than packing your meal in advance, take advantage of this specially crafted driving itinerary to stretch out the fun. Wind your way around scenic country roads that serve up an incredible selection of markets, shops, bakeries, breweries and more. As you stock up your picnic basket, you’ll meet a charming cast of country characters who are incredibly passionate about sharing the fruits of their labours with curious day-trippers.
After the drive to Georgetown, stretch your legs by exploring the businesses of this friendly town’s downtown core. Great picnic shopping stops include Heather’s Bakery Café on Main Street, where you’ll find a fantastic selection of baked goods as well as sandwiches and wraps. Mill Street Cheese Market, also on Main Street, will craft a customized cheese and charcuterie platter with all of your favourite items. They also offer an interesting selection of gourmet chips and dips that are perfect for picnic snacking. If planning your picnic for a Saturday before mid-October, be sure to swing by Georgetown’s Farmer’s Market, also on Main Street, between 8 am and 12:30 pm.
From Georgetown, enjoy a pretty drive through the town of Glen Williams as you make your way to Scotsdale Farm. If you’re up for a hike, there’s a beautiful six-kilometre section of The Bruce Trail to explore. Alternatively, you can enjoy a shorter walk to take in the fall colours around the farm and the beautiful pond just beyond the barn.
Andrew’s Scenic Acres is another must-stop picnic packing pick for the freshest of fall produce, pies, tarts and more. If you’d like a fresh bouquet of blooms for your picnic, their pick-your-own sunflowers and dahlias won’t disappoint. The onsite winery also offers a tasty selection of fruit wines that the family has been perfecting for over three decades.
There are two great options for apples nearby. In Milton, Wheelbarrow Orchards offers pick-your-own and curbside pickup of their apples. If you’d like to pick your own, be sure to reserve an orchard time slot in advance. You can also order ahead from their online store.
In addition to pick-your-own apples, Chudleigh’s, also in Milton, offers hands-on farm experiences and nature trails. If you’d like to tuck some freshly baked treats into your picnic basket, Chudleigh’s Blossom Café, in downtown Milton, offers a delicious selection of homemade desserts.
While you’re in the area, be sure to stop by Milton’s Orange Snail Brewers to sample some of their tasty autumn ales. Taproom guests are often treated to sneak peeks of their limited-edition brews.
Your picnic basket will likely be pretty full by this point. Just in case there’s something you’ve overlooked, stop in for a browse at Springridge Farm. If you’ve already bought butter tarts at Andrew’s Scenic Acres, buy a few more at the bakery here for a butter tart taste off. See if you agree with Springridge’s claim that they make Ontario’s best butter tarts! Their Front Porch Servery also has a great selection of sandwiches, paninis, salads and more that are all available as takeaway items.
Chances are you’ve done some significant snacking on your travels so far. Get your stomach growling again with a scenic stroll at Hilton Falls Conservation Area. Follow the Hilton Falls Trail for a truly stunning waterfall reward.
Good things come to those who wait, and by now, you’ve invested some enjoyable hours crafting your perfect picnic. For a picnic location that’s as spectacular as the food you’ve collected, make a reservation at Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Settle in near the shores to enjoy the view of this rare meromictic lake, and be sure to leave some time to explore the reconstructed longhouses and Three Sisters Garden to learn more about the Indigenous people who lived around Crawford Lake long before it was known by that name.