A day spent on the back roads of rural Ontario? Oh yes! That's just the ticket to calm you need and when combined with some tasty eats, lovely views and a great road trip playlist, it's pretty darn near perfect. This summer (or fall! or winter! or spring!) consider checking out this route through Hickson to Tavistock to connect with your food, find a couple of cool new businesses and spend some time in Mother Nature on a quiet trail. You pack your bags, we'll take care of the planning. Read on! 

1. Oak Manor Farms

Where: Oak Manor Farms, 756907, County Rd 5, Tavistock, ON. (View Map)

oak manor fam

Oak Manor Farms was started up in the 1970s as Canada's first organic flour mill but its history dates much farther back than that. Fast forward to today and the Reibling Family is on their third generation on the farm and continues to manufacture delicious organic flour alongside a variety of other items. From Scottish oatmeal and popcorn to quinoa, spelt, rye and more, you'll find it all in their charming farm store just outside of Tavistock.

Located just south of Punkeydoodles Corner (how cool is that name?), Oak Manor Farms is located on a stunning back road filled with farm fields. You won't be able to miss it with their red mill setup! 

2. The Hickson Trail

Where: Parking lot across from East Zora Tavistock Twp. Office, 90 Lovey St. Hickson (View Map)
The trail can also be accessed from the following starting points: 1/2 Km east of Hwy #59, north of Woodstock, on Pittock Park Rd. at Frederick St. ; County Rd. 17 or County Rd. 33

jacklyn on the hickson trail with walking stick

After a morning of driving, what better activity than to get off the beaten path and stretch your legs? This beautiful trail runs along an old railway bed from Woodstock,  north through 9 km of Oxford County woodland to the village of Hickson. The trail is free and open all year round for walking, cycling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and other outdoor and nature activities. Grab a hiking stick at the start of the trail and enjoy an easy-going path with bridges overlooking babbling creeks, the sounds of birds in the sky and more. 

3. Lunch at Quehl's

Where: 33 Woodstock St. S. Tavistock, ON. (View Map)

brian at quehl

Refuel after your hike at Quehl's in Tavistock. This historic restaurant is home to hearty comfort food, heritage charm and community warmth you can only find in small towns like Tavistock. Take a look at their menu that features homemade cooking, baking and a whole lot of local ingredients for the scoop. Want something for the road too? Quehl's makes a plethora of their own preserves in-house as well as homemade pies and other baked goods. 

4. Noble North Co.

Where: 29 Woodstock St. S. Tavistock, ON. (View Map)

noble north hat

After lunch, don't miss out on two cool downtown shops nearby. The first, Noble North Co., is perfect for those looking for a trendy addition to their wardrobe. Specializing in flat brim hats (both fitted and snapback) but also branching out to other pieces of clothing like sweatshirts and tees, Noble North Co. is a tiny shop right on the main drag that is filled with the cool factor. Browse their hats online (you're going to want to get in on those new releases). 

5. Krug's 

Where: 28 Woodstock St. S. Tavistock, ON. (View Map)

krug

Charcuterie lovers will relish the opportunity to visit Krug's meat market! Step inside the doors and you'll love the smell of smoked meat! We hope you packed your cooler because this is your opportunity to stock up on some tasty cuts. Specializing in old-school butchering, ask the staff for their favs and pair it up with some locally-made Oxford County cheese from Bright Cheese and Butter or Mountainoak Cheese, both sold in-house to make a bangin' spread when you get home. 

There you have it! Want more ideas for spending time in Rural Oxford? Sign up for our Oxford Insider newsletter and check out our Back Road Runs page. 

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