Discovering Seasonal Routes
Romantic Winter Getaway
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: February is slowly settling in. We enjoy discovering the joys of winter through a series of outdoor activities and comforting gourmet delights. With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a romantic getaway through the snowy landscape of Eastern Ontario. From Vankleek Hill to Casselman, our route will have you falling under the spell of local producers who are proud to contribute, in their own way, to the region’s offerings. It will then invite you to enjoy the outdoors by skating or snowshoeing, before tasting the local flavours and spending the night in one of the warmest places.
This trip is for the curious as well as for sports enthusiasts and foodies. Local shopping, outdoor activities and gastronomy lovers will be delighted by the various stops along the way, making this romantic getaway an unforgettable experience. Enjoy your discovery!
Recommended travel dates: the months of February and March.
Travel area: This route starts in Vankleek Hill and will take you to L’Orignal, Moose Creek, Avonmore and Casselman.
Directions to Vankleek Hill:
- From Ottawa: Take the 417 East and exit to County Road 34 toward Vankleek Hill.
- From Toronto: Take highway 401 East to Lancaster. Take the exit to County Road 34, and north to Vankleek Hill.
- From Montreal: Take Autoroute 40 West which becomes Highway 417 West in Ontario; exit to County Road 10 toward Vankleek Hill.
Download the itinerary right into your Maps application before leaving. The itinerary does not include a stop for accommodations because we provided several options below.
Prefer a printed itinerary?
Start your trip with a gourmet stop at the Vankleek Hill Farmers’ Market. As one of the only markets in the region open in winter, it welcomes you every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It’s a great place to stock up on local products and discover the flavours of the region in all its forms.
Take advantage of this opportunity to meet local producers and get your hands on a wide variety of products grown, cooked and made by hand: honey, spices, clothing, plants, fish, duck, vegetables, woodwork and much more! It is also possible to place an order with a vendor and pick it up on Saturday morning. To learn more about the vendors or to place an order online, visit the market’s website.
Continue the day by visiting Vankleek Hill Vineyard, a family-owned business that proudly produces a fine selection of handcrafted wines: Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
On Valentine’s Day, they are planning wine tastings and will also be offering beautiful gift baskets, along with other gourmet products that are best enjoyed with a good bottle.
Stop by the boutique, open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and warm up by the fire outside after a snowy walk on the property.
The next destination invites you to get moving, while taking in the beauty of the winter landscape! With its 72 kilometers of snowy trails, the Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail attracts winter lovers every year.
Although the trail is reserved for snowmobilers, it is possible to bring your own cross-country skis or snowshoes for a walk, while being careful and staying visible.
The Vankleek Hill pavilion, one of five rest areas along the trail, includes a shelter, picnic tables and washrooms, making it a good place to start.
Finally, what better way to be rewarded after an outdoor activity than with a good comforting meal? The Riverest in L’Orignal is a must in the area, with its magnificent view of the Ottawa River. Recently named one of the best new restaurants in the Ottawa area, it is housed in one of the most historic buildings in Ontario.
With a menu featuring local and sustainable foods, their simple yet refined cuisine will impress you. From Thursday to Sunday, starting February 10th, you can expect a special Valentine’s Day menu. Reservations are strongly recommended and a take-out menu will be offered if restrictions are still in effect.
Along this route, we suggest you spend the night in one of the following local AirBnb’s, offering comfort, ambiance and charm to the visitors staying there:
- Mariposa Farm (Plantagenet)
- Anastasia’s Domain 1 (Alexandria)
- Anastasia Domain 2 (Alexandria)
- Butte & Bine Farm (Williamstown)
- Little Green House on the Hill (Vankleek Hill)
- Yellow House Inn (Vankleek Hill)
Soak in a hot tub, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy a romantic evening.
After a restful night, it’s time to start the day off right with a stop at A Taste of Health, a charming café in Moose Creek that serves up tasty breakfasts and lunches reminiscent of home-cooked meals.
Their affordable, healthy and varied menu will satisfy your sweet and savoury cravings: bagels, eggs, pancakes, waffles, omelets, soup and sandwiches.
Accompany your meal with a selection of hot or cold beverages, prepared by one of the friendly baristas. There is truly something for everyone, and vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.
Located in Avonmore, Cedar Barn Homestead, a body care products store, is your next stop if you like to treat your loved one (or yourself!) to a little tenderness.
Since 2018, using milk produced by their miniature goats, this small business has been handcrafting a wide selection of natural soaps with skin-nourishing properties.
Browsing their website or visiting their store, you’ll discover over two dozen natural soaps, in addition to handmade soaps, bath bombs and gift sets.
We invite you to continue your romantic getaway with a little adventure. Head to Countryside Adventures.
Open day and night, these activities will guarantee maximum fun for you and your family! Reserve your access on their website and check the opening hours and the quality of the ice on their Facebook page.
In addition, a reduced rate will be offered for couples during the Valentine’s Day period and special events will be held, combining an evening campfire and a food truck!
Finally, finish off your stay at Brian’s Bar and Grill in Casselman, about 30 minutes from Countryside Adventures. Open Wednesday through Sunday, it’s a worthwhile detour before or after spending a few hours enjoying the winter weather!
Not only do they serve comfort food like poutine and burgers, but also grilled meats, soups, salads and desserts.
Between now and Valentine’s Day, if the restrictions are lifted, comedy nights are planned and will be announced on their Facebook page. Come warm up in a casual atmosphere over a good beer or hot chocolate.
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