Quirky landmarks, classic trend and Canada’s ‘sweetest bakery’: Discover these gems in and round Hastings County, Ont.

Driving by way of the village of Stirling, Ont., 25 minutes north of Belleville, you’ll go previous one site visitors mild, the Homosexual Lea butter firm, and a handful of distinctive companies in the principle thoroughfare, from an vintage retailer to a retro sweet emporium. Not a lot right here, you may suppose whereas passing by way of the city.

However the actual enchantment of this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it group is that it’s central to a number of distinctive points of interest, which I found after shifting to Stirling final summer season. In your future street tripping, listed below are six locations to take a look at in and round Hastings County.

(Each regional journey tips and entry to particular locations can change shortly; all the time verify official updates earlier than you go.)

For a farm tour: Ontario Water Buffalo Co./The Buff Stuff Store (3346 Stirling Marmora Rd., Stirling)

One of the hundreds of water buffaloes at the Ontario Water Buffalo Co.

On the solely Ontario water buffalo farm permitting self-guided tours (free however e-book upfront), order a creamy, made-in-house gelato earlier than greeting one of many 1,000-pound creatures over the fence. Proprietor Lori Smith says the pleasant animals, sometimes present in Asia, are the “largest attraction” right here, although you’ll additionally discover handcrafted items, like moisturizing water buffalo milk cleaning soap.

For a scenic trailhead: Marmoraton Mine (Marmora Mine Rd., Marmora)

Should you love hopping on a snowmobile within the winter or an ATV in the summertime, this former mine website is a superb place to fulfill up and begin exploring the four-season, 156-kilometre Hastings Heritage Trail. The open iron mine pit itself can also be a sight, for those who’re fascinated by native relics: Deserted since 1978, it measures 2,800 by 1,500 ft, and is now crammed with turquoise water 700 ft deep. A fenced-in lookout level gives a secure space to see its magnitude. Although you could be tempted, swimming is just not allowed.

For a style of France: L’Auberge de France (304 Entrance St., Belleville)

Stop by L’Auberge de France for the handmade croissants and imported cheese and wine.

Faux you’re in Paris with one chew of L’Auberge’s double-baked, frangipane-filled almond croissant, handmade by French chef Jean-Marc Salvagno, proprietor of this gourmand store/boulangerie/bistro. His croissants take 4 days to make, culminating on Fridays, when he stays up all night time baking wherever from 500 to 1,500 brie, almond and butter croissants and different French pastries, prepared for brisk Saturday morning gross sales. This little slice of France, which additionally sells imported cheese and wine, has been a Belleville staple for 15 years.

For classic trend: Boretski Gallery (300 Entrance St., Belleville)

Browse the array of vintage dresses, handbags and other accessories at Boretski Gallery.

Tucked in a historic constructing, this upscale classic retailer is a testomony to proprietor and stylist Marina Boretski’s sense of favor and sharp seamstress expertise. Lace-trimmed satin attire are given new life as she reinforces, tucks and alters each bit, remodeling garments with each sew of her trusty Singer. Hong Kong-made resin wicker purses are displayed alongside dainty Lucite and caviar-beaded purses. Costume designers from films — notably Guillermo del Toro’s “The Form of Water” and “Nightmare Alley” — have sourced their one-of-a-kind frocks from this store.

For a sugar rush: Dooher’s Bakery (61 Bridge St. E., Campbellford)

Popular for doughnuts, Dooher’s has won the “Sweetest Bakery in Canada” contest twice.

Campbellford is just not solely residence to a 27-foot-tall Toonie monument, but it surely additionally boasts a bakery so beloved it has gained the “Sweetest Bakery in Canada” contest twice. A family-owned enterprise since 1949, Dooher’s frequently sells out of 5,000 doughnuts by midday on summer season weekends. Signature flavours embrace apple fritter, however strive the cream-filled ones first — they’re a bit crunchy on the skin, melt-in-your-mouth on the within, doused in powdered sugar, and the definition of dessert perfection.

For historical historical past: Bleasdell Boulder Conservation Area (760 Hwy. 33, Trenton)

The Bleasdell Boulder is a glacial erratic rock weighing more than two million pounds.

How did one among North America’s oldest, largest glacial erratic (“misplaced”) rocks find yourself in the course of an Ontario forest? About 2.3 billion years outdated and greater than 2 million kilos, the Bleasdell Boulder travelled by way of glacial ice or water earlier than lodging itself at its present location. A brief, 1.5-kilometre loop by way of this quiet, cedar-filled forest takes you to the huge rock, with the occasional chirping of chickadees and the gurgling of small streams breaking the silence. Broad, well-maintained trails can even join you to the 17-kilometre Decrease Trent Path.

The federal authorities recommends Canadians keep away from non-essential journey. This text is supposed to encourage plans for future journey.


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