Cheese Trail Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions? We have answers!
1. Does it cost anything or do I need to have a pass?
Nope! Visiting the Cheese Trail is like travelling wine country – but cheesier! You choose the stops you want to visit during their regular hours. Cheesemakers often have samples out for customers to try, cultural stops are by donation, and you choose what you would like to purchase including artisan goods, meals, unique experiences, and tasty treats to bring home.
2. What should I bring with me?
Pack a cooler to bring your delicious treats home with you. For clothing it depends on your stops. If going to rural stops you will encounter gravel parking lots and opportunities for outdoor fun so wear comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather.
3. When can I do the Cheese Trail? Is it open year-round?
The Cheese Trail does not run on a particular day and is available year-round. These are businesses that are open with regular hours and their cheese offers are available for purchase. The trail is best explored Thursday – Saturday as most stops are open during that period.
4. What is the Great Taste of Ontario Cheese Trail Passport?
The Great Taste of Ontario is a provincial program providing delicious travel itineraries to inspire you as you eat, drink, and travel throughout Ontario with the guidance of online itinerary passports. Sign-up and select the Oxford County Cheese Trail Passport. You will get an email or text with a link to access the passport via your mobile phone browser. It will also prompt you to save a shortcut on your mobile screen. You don’t need to download an app. When you visit a stop on the passport, push its check-in button (must have location settings on, and a phone data plan). When you check-in at 3 stops, you will be prompted to download a $25 Gift Voucher that can be used at a participating certified FeastOn location like sixthirtynine restaurant in Woodstock. You can stack check-ins meaning if you visit 6 stops you will receive a $50 voucher. Download the Passport here. Passport number of check-ins and redemption offers can change – see Great Taste of Ontario website for details.
5. How much time should I allocate at each stop?
The time you spend at each stop depends on what activities you choose to do. If trying samples or visiting an artisan shop plan on 30-45 minutes. If enjoying a tour or other pre-booked experience they often range from 1-2 hours in length. Most people visit 5 stops in a day.
6. Can you help me plan a driving route?
Visitors typically have time to visit 5 stops in a day if travelling to businesses close to each other. With 31 stops on the trail that means you can make multiple trips to explore the region! When you look at the Cheese Trail brochure stops are in order travelling east to west and are further broken into hubs; Blandford-Blenheim, Woodstock, Gunn’s Hill, Tillsonburg and Ingersoll. You can visit one hub or combine two of them as the travel time between hubs is short. This minimizes your driving making the most of your day!
- Starting at Blandford-Blenheim (Thames River Melons), it takes 12 minutes to drive to the next hub, Woodstock (Brickhouse Brewpub).
- Woodstock, Ingersoll, and Gunn’s Hill hubs are all within a 15 minute drive from each other.
- Gunn’s Hill (Jakeman’s Maple Farm) to the Tillsonburg hub (Red Dragon Dairy) is a 12 minute drive.
- Tillsonburg (Red Dragon Dairy) back up to Ingersoll (Elm Hurst Inn) is a 7 minute drive.
7. What are the best days to try the trail?
You can explore the Cheese Trail any day but several stops are closed on Sundays and Mondays. It’s always best to check with a business before visiting as the Cheese Trail does include some smaller entrepreneurs whose hours can vary.
8. Is it just focused on cheese? What if I have dairy or dietary restrictions?
If someone in your travel group has a dietary restriction you can still have fun on the trail touring museums, meeting farm animals, dining at restaurants, picking your own veggies, felting soap and exploring artisan shops. If they have a limitation for specific types of dairy you will want to check out the variety we have. You will find sheep, goat, and buffalo milk and cow dairy items along the trail. If someone in your group is lactose intolerant be sure to visit Habitual Chocolate who does offer dairy free chocolate, hot chocolate and ice cream (we all deserve a treat!).
9. How many stops are along the Cheese Trail?
The Cheese Trail is a self-guided tour of 31 stops featuring cheese, dairy and related offerings for visitors to experience. Visit cheese makers, restaurants, local food producers, museums, artisans and boutiques for a pleasant afternoon, day or weekend in Oxford.
10. Is there a tour guide?
No, there is not a tour guide for the Cheese Trail. It is self-guided with you choosing who you would like to visit. That said our team is available to provide advice for you plan a memorable trip.
11. How do I book experiences and tours of cheese factories?
Cheese tours are offered regularly by Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese (book online) and Mountainoak Cheese (call to book). If you are looking to book one of our experiences, we encourage you to check out the Cheese Trail Experiences below:
- Soap & Solace Experience; Wild Comfort Body Care
- A Taste of Farm Life, Goat Recess, Alpaca picnics and more; Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life
- From Tree to Table; Ottercreek Woodworks
- Chef’s Table; SixThirtyNine
- Churn Back Time; Norwich & District Museum & Archives
- Harvest Brunch; Thames River Melons
12. I'm still overwhelmed by the info. Can you help me plan my trip?
Absolutely! We’re in the office Monday-Friday between 8am and 4pm. Send us an email letting us know when you are coming, proposed arrival time that day (we suggest 9am-10am), and what your group enjoys doing. If you give us a week’s notice before your trip it really helps us provide the best guidance. We want you to have a GRATE time!