Inside My Headwaters Picnic Basket

Posted : June 20, 2022

Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.

Summer is here! At long last, the days are once again warm and sunny, and nature is in full bloom and donning its vibrant colours and fragrance. Here at YDH we invite you to celebrate summer with a good, old-fashioned picnic… with a twist, of course. Instead of good, old-fashioned items for your hamper, go for a taste of gourmet. Headwaters has a wide offering of delicious foods and beverages that will compliment the gorgeous scenery for which this region is renowned. So spread your blanket and breathe it in. To get you started, here are just a few of our favourite spots in Headwaters that are not only chock-full of delectable nibbles and bites, but that are a ton of fun to visit, too.

Sheldon Creek Dairy

4300 Concession Rd. 5, Loretto


Sheldon Creek Dairy in Loretto is one of our farm-fresh producers who are proud of the wholesome milk and milk products they offer. It was opened in 2012, and today, they craft the bounty from their purebred Holstein dairy herd into whole, A2 fresh milk in regular and chocolate, yogurt, kefir, heavy cream, ice cream and many more wonderful items. The on-farm market at Sheldon Creek Dairy has all kinds of goodies including pasture-fed beef raised on the farm, as well as other meats and eggs, frozen meals, baked goods, fruits and vegetables, and even treats for your pets—what’s a springtime picnic without your fur baby? Your Headwaters picnic basket is a blank canvas just waiting to be painted (or, well, filled) with the bounty of this wholesome family farm.

Wicked Shortbread

17 Armstrong St., Orangeville


Shortbread cookies, macarons, butter tarts, empire cookies—these are just a few of the scrumptious treats awaiting you at Wicked Shortbread. Summer is here, so it’s time to let your tastebuds out to play! Whatever sweet treat you’re craving, it will be handmade and locally crafted, from around the Headwaters region, with ingredients traditional to Scottish shortbread. The result is buttery, delicious goodness. And, Wicked Shortbread is so much more than just shortbread. Because this incredible shop has formed partnerships with local makers and bakers, you can also find items like kimchi, granola, kettle corn, toffee crunch, caramel sauce, pickles, beverages and even candles. All great additions to your summertime picnic hamper.

Heatherlea Farm Shoppe

17049 Winston Churchill Blvd., Terra Cotta

Heatherlea Farm

Summer is the season for beef. Steaks on the grill, homemade hamburgers, flame-kissed kebabs with seasonal vegetables… nom nom nom! Our mouths are watering just thinking about it. At Heatherlea Acres farm, the goal of owners Gord and Pat McArthur is to raise and craft the highest quality artisan meats, meals, snacks and treats using clean ingredients and local products. A visit to the farm shop market, and you will find frozen meats, baked goods and favourites from other local businesses. You can also stop in at Heatherlea’s onsite butcher to purchase fresh meat, if you’re preparing your picnic basket ahead of time, or will be bringing a portable barbecue. We love supporting our local farmers and everything they do to keep local food production alive in Ontario. For your summertime picnic in Headwaters, you can feel good about knowing where your food comes from and who is producing it.

Heartwood Farm and Cidery

5438 Second Line, Erin

Heartwood Farm Cidery

Capture the essence of summertime in a bottle with effervescent, handcrafted cider. Heartwood Farm and Cidery in Erin is one of our YDH family-owned operations that is helping to revive the time-honoured tradition of cidermaking. You can experience Heartwood Farm’s small-batch ciders at its onsite tasting room before committing to which one(s?) you’ll bring with you on your Headwaters picnic—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options are available. These off-dry creations use ingredients produced both on-site and locally, such as forest apples, maple syrup, currants, peaches, and even hot peppers in some cases. Four signature ciders are available regularly, with a rotating list of seasonal and experimental ciders on offer to keep things interesting. 

Ray’s 3rd Generation Bistro Bakery

1745 Queen St. W., Caledon


Last but certainly not least, to complete your springtime picnic hamper, you need a main dish. Ray’s 3rd Generation Bistro Bakery in Caledon has all the stick-to-your-bones takeout options you could want. Whether it’s a grilled lamb burger, house-made beef lasagna, chicken parmesan or blackened salmon with spicy aioli, you’ll make that fresh, summer air even more mouth-watering on your day out in the Headwaters countryside. Other picnickers will be gazing longingly at your basket, we promise!

Don’t forget to post your Headwaters picnic photos on social media and tag us at @VisitYDH. We’d love to see what you got up to as you enjoyed all the wonderful flavours inside your Headwaters picnic basket!

Story by Katherine Ryalen

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