Muskoka Lakes Farm winery which was also used to known as the Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh, is the highlight of Bala.
Did you know that the cranberry capital of Ontario is the beautiful town called Bala? There are so many great things about this town, and yes, we will discuss everything one by one, but as the title of this article says, we will discuss the Muskoka Lakes Farm.
So, Muskoka Lakes Farm Winery is a place for everyone, and by that, I mean people who love wines, thrill, hiking, food, or simply nature can visit here to have a lifetime experience.
The town of Bala is known for its cottage industry because of its popularity among tourists and town visitors every summer and even year-round. One thing among all the reasons for the town’s popularity is Muskoka Lakes Farm Winery.
Bala has the largest cranberry farms and this is one of the reasons, Muskoka Lakes Farm Winery is the top travel destination among people within and outside Canada.
As a part of Muskoka communities, Bala is also known for Bala Waterfalls which is a part of Muskoka lakes. The town is filled with shopping places, great food choices, and of course, beautiful nature to admire.
Let’s deep dive into the Muskoka Lakes Farm winery or you can say Johnston’s cranberry marsh and check out everything that you can do here.
First things first is the location, So, The winery is located at 1074 Cranberry Rd, Bala, ON P0C 1A0, Canada. This is the exact location of the farm but you can also check out the directions on their official website here.
It’s always a good plan to check out the directions beforehand to avoid last-minute problems and to decide on the way of transportation.
The Johnston’s cranberry marsh is so famous that you won’t have any difficulty in finding the location.
2. Timings of Muskoka Lakes Farm
It is equally very important to check the timings of the place before visiting. Talking about the winery, it is open all year round i.e. every day except Christmas. For detailed seasonal openings and specific timings please go through their website, Here timings are mentioned according to the seasons.
The Farm has no entry or admission fees but all the activities that you will perform inside will require charges. I will share the timings and prices of each activity further in the article.
3. Things to Do at Muskoka Lakes Farm Winery
There are many amazing things to do at Muskoka Lakes Farm Winery. Let’s check them out in detail.
3.01. Cranberry Harvest
This is way more exciting than you can think. Witnessing the cranberries harvesting during the peak season is something you should really experience especially when it is done in the cranberry capital of Ontario.
There are many things you can do or ways through which you can enjoy watching the harvest, however, don’t forget to know all the details beforehand. So, that you don’t miss anything.
I would suggest you call or email the farm before your visit to check what activities you will be able to become a part of along with other information.
It is limited so, make sure you come on time and get it otherwise all the parking is done on booking. Otherwise, you will be allowed to park if there is availability, however, the parking is open year-round.
3.01.2 Access Pass
This is very important because you cannot enter or watch any activity related to harvesting if you do not get your farm and trail access pass, however, on weekends, you will need an all-access pass to enjoy the activities.
3.02. Bala Cranberry Festival
It starts after Thanksgiving, on the weekend. This is a festival organized by the townspeople to celebrate the cranberry harvest. The winery includes lots of activities and fun things to enjoy. For tickets visit their official webpage here.
The festival is full of fun things like:
- You can see the harvesting live which is usually done in three different ways, Don’t worry you will get a guide to brief.
- Can taste the fresh cranberries or go for your favourite wine tasting.
- Go shopping while enjoying the beautiful views of the town of Bala.
3.02.1 Farmer’s Market
The farmer’s market is a perfect place to shop for local fruit, other handmade items, town specials, and various unique products and art items.
The location of the farmer’s market is at Portage Landing on Highway 169.
3.02.2 Bala Falls Road
When you follow the path mentioned above, further by the waterfalls, you will experience many local shops selling the town’s merchandise. Not only this you will also experience the beautiful views of and around the waterfalls.
Get every detail about the Bala festival on the official website here.
3.03. Cranberries Plunge
Cranberries plunge is the most loved activity of Muskoka Lakes Farm. Have you ever plunged fresh cranberries right from the farm and had an amazing photoshoot? You can enjoy the guided tour and take part in the local fruit plunging.
If you want more details than this go through their website here, for more information.
However, before visiting the place, don’t forget to check their official webpage which shows all the activities that will be performed currently.
If you are visiting the Muskoka Lakes farm then you must not miss this amazing activity along with your kids.
3.04. Tours, Tasting and the Patio
The next fun thing to do in Muskoka Lakes Farm Winery is these three activities and trust As I will further explain you will be more interested in being part of them.
Let’s start with the very first one i.e.
3.04.1 Bog-to-Bottle Discovery Tour
So, the tours include the bog-to-bottle experience which is also known as the cranberry bog experience. You will be taken for around 30 to 40 minutes guided tour.
On this tour, you will enjoy the wine tasting. The amazing thing about this tour is that during the harvest season, it will be conducted via a fun tractor-pulled wagon.
Enjoy the tour with craft wines and a tutored wine-tasting process. Note that the whole tour is walking.
One thing I want to share is that this cranberry bog experience is termed the Ontario signature experience. The unique qualities and processes make it special.
3.04.2 Wine Tasting
Take the guided tour to enjoy the locally crafted wine tasting. Enjoy the bog experience, and visit the local shops. Throughout these activities, you will be offered to taste wines made from the best native fruits.
The best thing about the whole guided tour is you will get familiar with the wines made fruit-forward and absolutely yummy. Their methods of making wines from dry to desert have won awards for many national and international competitions.
Always check the What’s New section of the official website of Muskoka Lakes Farm Winery to know the latest and upcoming activities.
3.04.3 Wine and Cheese Patio
The Muskoka Lakes Farm Winery not only offers the best and freshly made wine but also their bestseller cheese patio.
The Muskoka Lakes farm patio is one place where you can enjoy the vast farm views with your favourite wine from their whole menu. Don’t forget to get your local cheese plate cause this is the silver lining.
Every season, the patio is different and unique in its own way. In winter instead of wine you can grab a hot mulled wine mug and sit in front of the fire to have a whole new experience.
Want to know what Muskoka Lakes Farm offers in other seasons, Here’s the link, Go and read and find which season would be most suitable for you.
3.05. Maple Syrup Tasting
This a beautiful tradition about 100 years old and now the generations of Johnston are taping the process. Take your Canadian signature experience to the sugar bush i.e. to the maple trees forest. Here you will have the cranberries tart paired with local and freshly made male syrup.
You will also get insight into how the cranberries are harvested and how the trees are tapped. Don’t forget to taste their red maple dessert wine which is a perfect combination of cranberries and maple syrup.
Here’s the link which will take you to the maple syrup trail website for dates and other info about the tour of Muskoka Lakes Winery.
3.06. Blueberry Hills in Muskoka Lakes Farm
Here’s a little surprise for you Along with the cranberry tour, wine tasting, maple syrup tour, and, the winery offers a beautiful yet exciting trail up to the blueberry hill.
The trail will cover all the scenic views of the hill, and the Muskoka Lakes winery will provide wine-tasting along with the best-picked blueberry flavours. Summers are the best time to visit the Blueberry Hills. Yes, you will offered the best wine here too.
Check the details here. If you want personalized information don’t hesitate to contact the winery, Here’s the Contact Us link to the winery.
3.07. Ice Trail
Ice trailing can be your once-in-a-lifetime experience at the winery. Unlike the other ice trails here you will be enjoying cranberry farms on the one side while a dense forest on the other, meanwhile, you will be doing ice skating in the middle. I mean isn’t amazing?
Trust me the winery is not just about wine and cranberries it is a whole package of activities from a wide range, whether it’s tasting the cranberries, wine, or ice skating.
Rentals are easily available at the store and for the timings do check their official webpage. This link will provide you with all the information you need to know before visiting.
3.07.1 Bog Hockey and Light the Night
These two activities will be the most exciting ones because, in bog hockey, you can play hockey on the frozen cranberry farms of thousands of acres in winter.
The timings and weather decide the activity, so, always check the website for details, otherwise, this activity is definitely going to be a memorable one.
The next is light night which is definitely for people who love nighttime or activities done after the sun’s down. Hundreds of torches are lit up around the huge ice trail which glorifies the whole trail. I mean even if you not going to do ice skating just visit once and you will fall in love with the night view.
Of course, you can grab the best wine fruit forward made from local fruit, but during winter I would suggest getting a hot mulled wine from the huge menu of wines. Check out more about the activity and the tour here.
3.08. Snowshoe Trail of Muskoka Lakes Farm
Snowshoe trails are always fun. The winery bought you the best snowshoe trailing 10km where you can do many things like skiing, walking your pets, and enjoying the best wine from the variety of wines offered.
The snowshoe rentals are available for different kinds of trails such as the cranberry, super berry, or the Medora trail. For more information check their official site here, you will find info about all the trails.
3.09. Cranberry Hiking Trails
Do you love hiking? or want your kids to be a part of a not-so-tiring hiking tour experience, then the cranberry hiking trail is waiting for you. The track is about 10km long and will cover 27 acres of cranberry farms.
The tour is self-guided and costs 5 dollars through a pass or access. It will include the blueberry hills, cranberry farms, beautiful farm views, picnic areas, sugar bushes, and amazing tree cravings.
There will be 6 trails in total and detailed information about each hiking tour is mentioned here.
3.10. Geocaching in the Muskoka Lakes Farm
This activity is not only about finding the rock paintings or the numerous natural features but also about the high-tech modern way of finding these. Geocaching is something that uses a GPS system and an app to do treasure hunting.
The activity is fun, exciting, and knowledgeable. So, if you are coming with your family or friends or it could be a school trip, you will get to know a lot about the place and the natural formations of rocks.
4. Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery – Muskoka Lakes Travel Reviews｜Trip.com Travel Guide
If you are a person who believes in checking the reviews before visiting the place. If you don’t make an opinion based on your personal experience, then here you go. This is the best website to go through real reviews of people been to the winery. Trip.com can be your pre-tester to have a quick insight into the place.
5. Final Note
So, I hope you got everything in this article that will help you visit the place and not to miss anything. The winery is worth visiting and with all the activities mentioned above, I am sure you are going to have a great time.
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