While a pumpkin patch or apple orchard trip may be high on your list of essential fall activities, consider adding a lesser known, unique experience: a visit to a cranberry farm. Taking you off the beaten track, the farms on this list provide a chance to see the interesting ways this healthful fruit is grown and harvested. And while not all cranberry bogs are open to the public, there are storefronts to visit where you can buy special lines of cranberry products, like jams, drinks, and sweets to take home at the end of your visit.
One of the best-known cranberry farms in Ontario and arguably North America, Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh is a tried and true fall visit for locals and tourists to the Muskoka region. It’s also an essential stop on what’s known as the Cranberry Route, a culinary trail that includes breweries, wineries and restaurants in the area that incorporate and honour all things cranberry.
The only commercial cranberry grower in Eastern Ontario, Upper Canada Cranberries is within the bounds of Ottawa’s city limits, making it an easy trip if you live in the area. Call ahead to ensure a time slot for visiting this family-run farm, which is open most days up until mid-November.
Dubbed the ‘cranberry capital’ of Quebec, Saint Louis de Blanford is the heart of cranberry production in this province. You can schedule a full tour of various cranberry farms in the region, from small family-run businesses to large commercial producers. To dive deeper, you can even include a visit to a place known as the Cranberry Interpretation Centre for the full experience.
Located in beautiful Lunenburg, Terra Beata is a producer with a line of award-winning cranberry products on the East Coast. Although farm tours are currently suspended due to COVID-19, the farm is running pick-your-own cranberry visits, and you can always stop by to try and purchase some of their delicious jams, juices, and spreads.
Along with Ontario, British Columbia is one of Canada’s top areas for cranberry production, with many producers selling directly to major cranberry manufacturers like Ocean Spray. Riverside Cranberry Farm is a multigenerational family-owned business located in the Fraser Valley, just outside Vancouver. You can book tours in advance, and shop their unique cranberry products online.
The only large-scale cranberry producer on Vancouver Island, Yellow Point is also family-owned and operates near Ladysmith, about 20 minutes away from the city of Nanaimo. Many cranberry products from Yellow Point can be found around local markets and stores on the island. While this farm doesn’t run tours, you can stop by the on-site store to pick up some of their delicious products.