Explore the Oxford County Cheese Trail
Explore the area along the Oxford County Cheese Trail, a self-guided route featuring almost two dozen places of interest, including factory tours with cheesemakers, cheese-inspired menus at local restaurants, museums devoted to the history of dairy, family-friendly farm attractions and more that make for a delightfully cheesy one-day or multi-day adventure.
Be sure to book tours in advance and pack a cooler with ice packs to store any tasty leftover treats as you eat (and drink) your way along the trail.
To help you get a head start on crafting the perfect itinerary for your cheese-centric getaway, we’ve outlined a few highlights along (and nearby).
Adam and Hannie van Bergeijk moved from Holland to Canada in 1996 after honing their cheese-making skills to craft award-winning Gouda. Stop by and get a behind-the-scenes look at the cheese making process, from pumping milk from the barn to the aging room shelf. You’ll also be able to sample some of their varieties of Gouda including Black Truffle and Wild Nettle.
Location: 3165 Huron Road, New Hamburg
This establishment triples as a chef school, a pantry and a take-out kitchen each Friday. Sharpen your culinary skills with chef taught community cooking classes that often focus on cheese appreciation, canning and preserving.
Location: 5183 Trussler Road, Ayr
Bright’s Cheese is not only delicious but also an important part of Canada’s cheese-making heritage. Established over 145 years ago, Bright Cheese is the oldest remaining Canadian cheddar factory, and is still located on the same site where the business was established in 1874 by a group of resourceful local farmers who realized they consistently had a surplus of milk. Known for naturally aged cheese made with 100% local milk, Bright’s produces aged cheddars, specialty flavours, curds and a number of other varieties, with a side dish of rich history.
Location: 816503 County Road 22, Bright
This small cheese plant is big on producing award-winning cheeses. Owners Shep Ysselstein and Colleen Bator have operated the plant for more than a decade, crafting unique cheeses influenced by the techniques and recipes acquired while training in the Swiss Alps and made with quality milk from their nearby family farm. Book time to tour the facilities and indulge in some of their cheesy selections like the Oxford’s Harvest, a mild, creamy cheese that is modeled after a Swiss cheese called Mutchli, the fresh curd available on Fridays and their Handeck cheese, which has won best Farmhouse Cheese in Canada at the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.
Location: 445172 Gunn's Hill Road, Woodstock
With specialty soaps using local goat’s milk, this stop along the Oxford Cheese Trail will allow you to create your own custom soap recipe using natural local ingredients. What better way to take a piece of the region home with you than with a beautifully scented souvenir crafted by your own hands.
Location: 445300 Gunn's Hill Road, Woodstock
Have you heard the story of a 7300-pound wheel of cheese that went on tour to New York City? While it sounds like the start to a cheesy joke, this mammoth wheel of cheese is actually a part of the captivating cheesemaking history of Oxford County. With more than 20,000 artifacts on display, including original (some still operational) turn-of-the-century equipment, this museum brings the rich farming history of the region to life. And little ones are invited to explore the cheese-themed playground located behind the museum in Centennial Park.
Location: 290 Harris Street, Ingersoll
Just a short drive from the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum, the luxury Elm Hurst Inn & Spa boasts its own claim to fame. Remember that 7300-pound wheel of cheese? This 49-room inn is on the grounds of what used to be the James Harris Cheese Factory, Oxford County’s first cheese production facility, which produced the colossal cheese wheel. The “Oxford Cheese Trail” package features a one-night stay in a deluxe room, complimentary breakfast at the Elm Hurst Mansion restaurant, a tasting of decadent chocolates from ChocolateTea and a cheese and cracker tray from local cheese artisans. During your stay, treat yourself to a spa experience in their full-service AVEDA Spa. On a sunny day, enjoy views of the inn and gardens from the Muskoka chairs throughout the property.
Location: 415 Harris Street, Ingersoll
Browse a beautiful selection of handcrafted serving dishes made by Canadian potters to showcase a variety of cheese.
Location: 112 Thames Street South, Ingersoll
If you’re touring the cheese trail with little ones in tow, this stop is a must. Explore the corn maze, meet the farm animals, and try a cheese trail favourite: their Apple Pie Grilled Cheese.
Location: 544212 Clarke Road, Ingersoll
Formerly known as Quality Sheep Milk, this farm-turned-artisanal-cheese-plant with a local store is operated by the Morris family who immigrated to Canada from West Wales. Schedule a visit to sample some of their signature selections of fine sheep and water buffalo cheeses and yogurts.
Location: 383723 Salford Road RR#1, Salford
Discover the most unique and artful charcuterie boards crafted from local ethically and sustainably sourced hardwoods. If you really want to impress at your next get together or you’re looking for the perfect gift for the cheese lover in your life, check out the Build-Your-Own-Board Experience.
Location: Bell Mill Sideroad, Tillsonburg
Last updated: September 14, 2023