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What is a Bruce Tour Wilderness Culinary Experience?

There’s something about an open fire that brings people together. The smells and the anticipation of a delicious meal make it a unique social event. That’s why The Bruce Tour incorporates wilderness culinary experiences into our thru-section hiking tours. You’ll savor chef-quality meals cooked right in front of you, over an open fire in a beautiful outdoor setting. We try to end each day with a fireside feast, because there is nothing better than a delicious meal after a challenging hike, especially when someone else is doing the cooking!


Fireside Feasts

Can you smell it? Grilled meat over an open flame and baked bread in cast iron pots. These mouthwatering flavors will be incorporated into the meals you’ll be consuming during this incredible hiking experience on the Bruce Trail. Fireside meals bring us back to our roots, returning cooking to its primal origins. Some view open-flame cooking as a dance between man and fire. It’s a way to step back from the technology of a quick meal and admire the time and technique involved in balancing flame with flavor.

Cooking with fire started nearly two million years ago as a simple way to preserve rations and provide flavor. Open-fire cooking evolved into primitive stone hearths, to household fireplaces, and finally into the backyard grills we know and love today. Some feel that the development of cooked foods is a key factor in human evolution as well. Richard Wrangham in his book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human(opens in a new tab), goes even further to say that once we started cooking our food, the human digestive tract shrank and the brain grew. Cooking became the basis for pair bonding, making humans into the social, intelligent, and sexual beings we are today. No matter the belief, we can all agree that a fireside meal somehow puts the world on pause as we admire the flame.

Chef Ben of The Bruce Tour organized our wilderness culinary experience to highlight what the region has to offer and incorporate as many native foods as possible. Ontario is home to wild leeks, asparagus, strawberries, rainbow trout, fresh cheeses, and so much more. We want to provide you with an Ontario fireside feast experience like no other. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Hospitality consists in a little fire, a little food, and an immense quiet.” The “quiet” of nature is unsurpassed when enjoyed next to trekking companions.

Though alcohol is not included in our tour packages, we welcome the pairing of an adult beverage with our fireside meals.



Although we wish every meal could be served fireside, the reality is that some foods may be prepared in advance and served in a setting that’s appropriate for the accommodation. It depends on conditions and the ability to cook over open fires at specific locations. For example, most lunches will be packed and ready to eat along the trail at specifically planned lunch destinations. This allows for a picnic overlooking Lake Ontario, a meal at the historical Bridge at Laura’s Crossing, or even eating next to the breathtaking Ball’s Falls.

Are you taking our self-guided tour? No worries, we will provide you with ideal picnic recommendations so you can eat at your leisure, while making the most of your hiking journey.


Dietary Restrictions

If you have food allergies or restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. We need to know as soon as possible about any dietary requirements we should consider when planning your trip menu. Unfortunately, people with severe food allergies may need to supply some or all of their own food as we can’t entirely mitigate the risk of cross-contamination. Additionally, some specific needs can only be met if we charge a supplemental menu fee to cover our increased costs. Please note we are not a peanut- or nut-free facility. Feel free to email us at in a new tab) with any questions or concerns.

We don’t want to ruin the surprise by giving a detailed list of every fireside meal. Know that Chef Ben and crew have thoughtfully planned your journey as well as your wilderness culinary experience, making your Bruce Tour more than a hike. Cheers and see you on the trail!

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