The apple trees may be covered in a blanket of snow, but don’t let that stop you from discovering the orchards and delicious treats at Domaine Lafrance in Saint-Joseph-du-Lac.
The cidery located near Oka has opened up trails throughout its property for the enjoyment of all, and for free. Lace up your hiking boots and take a walk on one of the two trails: flat groomed paths that traverse the orchard, or a more challenging snowshoe hike in the nearby forested mountains. If your little ones get tired after a few metres, sleds or strollers can easily handle the flat terrain of the orchards. Cross-country skiing and fat bikes are also allowed, just bring your own equipment.
Before heading out, you can grab a cider for the walk or purchase some local products for a snowy picnic. Choose from fresh sandwiches, caramelized onion and apple pizza on focaccia bread, veggie calzones, their famous apple donuts, pastries, cider products, and apples which are available all year round.
To thaw your hands and toes, an outdoor fireplace and chairs are available for families. And beginning Wednesday, March 3, a booth will be set up outside where you can heat up from the inside out with a choice of two warm alcoholic beverages or warm apple juice. Both options are a great treat either before or after your hike!
Contact info: 1473, chemin Principal, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, J0N 1M0
Schedule: Wednesday to Friday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Fridays to Sundays is when you can get special treats outside like tir-sur-la-neige and cotton candy!
For up-to-date details on what’s available on the weekends, follow their Facebook page or send them a message.
Price: Entrance to the orchards is free whether you are hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing.
Dogs are permitted but need to be on a leash, and no littering!
All photos: Christine Latreille