Discovering Seasonal Routes
Foodie on the River
Please note: This itinerary was created in 2021 Be sure to verify the information of every location you’re planning on visiting before heading out.
The short story: Located 1 hour from Ottawa, the villages of Morrisburg, named after Canada’s first postmaster general, James Morris, and Iroquois, nestled along the shores of the St. Lawrence River, offer a creamery, a winery and vineyard, the impressive Locks Gauging Station and many restaurants. While Old Morrisburg was partly flooded by the dams being built as part of the Seaway, many historic churches and residences remain for you to explore.
Combining tranquility and the charm of a small village, the region also features many cycling and hiking trails if you wish to explore by bike or observe some wildlife with the kids. The Parks of the St. Lawrence feature 45 km of bike paths through the woods, along the shores of the St. Lawrence River and over bridges, bike causeways as well as two parkways. The Waterfront Trail running from Morrisburg to Cornwall leads to popular attractions like the Crysler Park Marina and Upper Canada Village and many other gems. Morrisburg and Iroquois are the perfect small-town getaway for a day or a weekend boasting several attractions, events and history.
Ideal for young families looking to taste the best strawberries and appreciate fun outdoor activities, couples craving a COVID-19 safe outing discovering amazing food and perhaps a water adventure on the Galop Canal, as well as retired folks looking to stroll along the St. Lawrence and meet the locals.
Recommended travel dates: 2nd week of June to early July for strawberries, end of July for raspberries), all summer for veggies, and the fall for the apple season.
Travel area: Iroquois and Morrisburg, Ontario.
Directions to Iroquois:
- From Ottawa: Hop on the 416 South, then take County Road 43 East from Kemptville to bring you to County Road 1, which will bring you to Iroquois.
- From Toronto: Let the 401 East take you directly to your location.
- From Montreal: Take the 20 West which then becomes the 401 West to reach to Iroquois.
Download the itinerary right into your Maps application before leaving:
- Option 1: Day trip (excludes accommodations but includes all other activities).
- Option 2: Weekend trip (includes accommodations).
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- Download the printable PDF (includes full weekend itinerary with accommodations).
Let’s begin in Iroquois where you can explore the Locks Station and lunch by the shores. The Alibi Restaurant is located at 10912 Golf Club Rd, Iroquois, ON K0E 1K0. You can pick up lunch on your way to the Locks Gauging Station or sit on their patio with a view of the water.
They are currently open for takeout and the patio is open from Thursday to Sunday. They offer good and hearty food such as fish and chips breaded in-house with their beer batter, a favourite among locals, scrumptious desserts and generous portions.
The Iroquois Locks Gauging Station is an 8-minute drive from The Alibi Restaurant (6020, Carman Road, Iroquois, ON K0E 1K0). The Locks Station is a good spot for a picnic. The kids will enjoy watching the ships come through while enjoying an ice cream cone or a sweet treat from the Lockview Ice Cream Shop that is currently open for the season.
You can also take a swim to add to your enjoyable day. On hand are a small beach with picnic tables, swings, shaded trees and a gazebo looking out on the Iroquois dam.
After lunch, drive to Stone Crop Acres Winery and Vineyard (5242 Smiths Road, Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0). It’s located off County Road 31. You can take a stroll on the estate grounds, learn about the wines and wine making process from the knowledgeable and friendly staff or simply enjoy a refreshing cider or glass of wine. The well established winery has 10 wines available and has added two new products to its lineup this year. The first is the Stone Cold Ciders which are already favourites among customers. Secondly, Red label is their dry, crisp apple cider and Green label is their slightly off-dry smoother tasting vinous cider (a blend of wine and cider).
You can spend the afternoon and night at the vineyard since the owners have added extra seating on the patio and a pizza oven for you to enjoy, this summer. They will also host live music performances on weekends with most events starting at 7 p.m. Check out their website and Facebook page for all the information and to make a reservation. They are currently open Thursday to Sunday – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the summer.
Relax and unwind at the historic Russell Manor Bed & Breakfast (36 First St., Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0). The boutique hotel-style bed and breakfast, built 150 years ago, is a true oasis away from the city. Perfect for a romantic getaway, it offers three bedrooms (no children under 12 please) and beautiful garden views. The owners have been busy improving the estate during the last year.
Currently, the original carriage house — built in 1871 — has been turned into a summer recluse and dining area for the guests to enjoy the gardens. Every room now has a separate dining area to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are followed. Check out the website to find the prices and amenities.
Ideally nestled by the St. Lawrence, Doran Bay Resort offers 9 waterfront cottages with kitchen, BBQ, bedding, and everything you need for your family to enjoy its stay. The kids will enjoy the pool (COVID-19 protocols are in place) while you sit back and enjoy the view with a glass of wine or a cider from the Stone Crop Acres Winery and Vineyard.
You can rent kayaks, a canoe, paddle boards and directly access the St. Lawrence, making it easy and convenient. You can also enjoy a campfire on the riverbank for a perfect end to your day.
Begin with Dentz Orchards and Berry Farm (4766 County Road 16, Iroquois, ON K0E 1K0). Strawberry season is finally upon us and if you want a nice setting to pick your own, Dentz has been renowned for more than 50 years for their delicious strawberries. Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, they were unsure about what it would mean for their season but the entire community came through, showing how they appreciate the family operation. Morning is the ideal time to pick your berries.
Dentz also offers raspberries, strawberries, apples, as well as snap peas, unpasteurized honey and homemade jams, while quantities last. This business is open from mid-June to early October but make sure to consult its Facebook and Instagram pages before planning your visit to pick your own raspberries and strawberries. You can bring your own standard containers (2, 3 or 4 L) or they have some available for purchase at the farm. They also offer curbside pickup for berries and other in-season produce.
Continue to Two Creeks Forest Conservation Area, a great spot for a romantic stroll or to see a bit of wildlife with the kids. The newest addition to South Nation Conservation’s network of natural spaces, explore the 4.5 km of marked trail and a large variety of animal and plant species.
Don’t forget to wear long pants, a long-sleeve shirt and closed footwear to protect yourself from ticks during your walk.
The historical predecessor to the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Galop Canal opened in 1846 and ran 12 km from Iroquois to Cardinal. You can still paddle on the canal and take in the scenery and attractions along the shores. Find the boat launch to the canal on Carman Road as you cross the old canal on your way to the Iroquois Locks Gauging Station.
Use of the Galop Canal shifted in the 1950s when construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway began. The nature of life along the St. Lawrence banks began to change and newer, larger locks were built to ship larger amounts of cargo from the Great Lakes. In addition, new hydroelectric power stations were constructed and ultimately led to the flooding of 10 villages along the river and the relocation of others. The canal is also the final resting place of the Conestoga.
End your day at Upper Canada Creamery (11575 Waddell Rd., Iroquois, ON K0E 1K0). Stop by the creamery to pair your berries with their yogurt or ice cream. Certified organic since the 1980s, the farm is known across the Ottawa-Gatineau valley for its organic milk, cheese and yogourt. The family-owned operation is famous for its eggnog and milk, as well as for its chocolate chip homemade ice cream. If you crave a little bit of spicy food, try their jalapeno curds!
They offer curbside pick-up and curds are available from Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to Saturday, while quantities last. Upper Canada Creamery offers its ice cream and frozen yogurt by the scoop, by the single serve and by the pint, along with other treats to the delight of the entire family.
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