ATV Trip to Cheese Curd Heaven

A trip through the Larose Forest ATV trails on the hunt for Ontario's best cheese curds at the St. Albert Cheese Factory.

There are several loves in my life. Two that are very high on my list are ATVing in beautiful Ontario and eating! Even better is when those two joyous activities can go hand-in-hand!

Now, I'm not sure exactly how far across Ontario the legendary status of St. Albert Cheese is known. I do, however, know that within Eastern Ontario it's common knowledge. You mention cheese curds or poutine, and the next sentence includes St. Albert's.

St. Albert cheese curds photo courtesy of

How do ATVing and cheese curds come together? Well, as an avid rider, I’m always a fan of hitting the trails of the ATV Club of Eastern Ontario (ATVCEO), reaching the trails in the beautiful Larose Forest, and swinging by St. Albert, Ontario—home of the St. Albert Cheese Co-operative—for a fix of cheese curds and poutine! (Yes, both; separately and together!)

Welcome to the unassuming home of Ontario's best cheese curds: the Village of St. Albert

St. Albert Cheese unfortunately experienced a catastrophic fire in February of 2013. Cheese production was moved to different factories—to keep all of us supplied in the oh-so-good cheese curds—but the St. Albert location and restaurant were out of commission while rebuilding was underway. And rebuild they did! In 2014 the factory re-opened, and in 2015 a new bigger and better restaurant opened in the original location. This was something I needed to go check out first-hand.

On the way to my happy place

ATVCEO Trails and the Larose Forest

We loaded up our ATVs and side-by-sides and headed to Saint-Pascal-Baylon, where ATVCEO has a parking area at the Ronald Lalonde Community Hall, where they hold their monthly meetings. We followed the trail out of the parking area, along unopened road allowances, and a couple of road links, until we entered the Larose Forest.

The trails in this area are well-maintained wide forest routes, following forest access roads. It is wonderful to see all of the work that has gone into this forest to allow all types of trail users to share these forest trails year-round. 

ATV-friendly water crossing on the Larose Forest trails

After touring through the Larose Forest, we looped around through the Village of Casselman, which allows ATVs to run right through the heart of the city. After passing through Casselman, we were hot on the track to reach my true destination: poutine. Err, I mean St. Albert Cheese, of course!

Lunch at St. Albert Cheese 

The trail signage led us right to the new factory’s parking area. I was pleased to find a much larger establishment had arisen from the ashes.

We entered the new building and washed the dust of the trail off before checking out the restaurant. The restaurant was set up cafeteria style, bolstering many, many, many different specialty poutines for us to try. I went for the St. Albert’s Poutine, which offered ground beef, green peppers, sautéed onions along with the classic cheese and gravy.

A selection of St. Albert Cheese's gourmet poutines. Photo:

I will need to return many times to try them all! After stuffing myself with that awesome poutine, I followed up with a hand-scooped ice-cream cone. I took my cone and explored the 200-foot glass corridor that allows you to look down upon the factory floor and see the cheese making and packing in action. The new factory also offers a boutique selling fresh St. Albert cheese and many other artisan products from Eastern Ontario.

The ride back around to our starting location was much slower than the trip there, but I had a much fuller tummy than I did on the way there! It is definitely worth checking out this newly updated historic site. I look forward to the future grand opening of the St. Albert Museum, which will definitely serve as an excuse to make that trip again!

About Dave Baker

An avid outdoors enthusiast, Dave is active in hunting, fishing, trapping and ATVing. He has been involved with the Nation Valley ATV Club since its inception, and is a past president of the Ontario Federations of ATV Clubs.

Related Articles

6 Reasons Why Mattawa is Canada's Off Road Capital

Here's why VMUTS in Mattawa, Ontario is this rider's choice for the ATV (and UTV, and dirt bike, and ADV) capital of Canada.

Vintage ATVs: A Guide to Your Favourite Rides

From Honda's FourTrax to today's bush-bashing UTVs, here's a brief history of the ATV (and why you should care).

Ontario ATV Events

Poker Runs, Mud Bogs, Charity Rides, Rallies and more!

Getting Started on ATVing in Ontario

Everything you need to know.

Will you ride the new electric wave?

Quieter, cooler, made in Canada, and better for the environment—these lean green ATVs have it all.

Which Permit Do I Need for this Trail?

How to Navigate Ontario's ATV Trails

Ride On

How to legally ride ATVs and Side by Sides

Everyone is welcome!

Law Change Allows All Off-Road Vehicles Access to Public Roads

Guided ATV Tours

Are You Ready to Hit the Trails?

Central Ontario ATV Club

From Wasaga Beach to Barrie and beyond

Ghost Towns by ATV - Part Two

A trip through history on Old Nipissing Road.

ATV Clubs of Ontario

The Complete List

One of Ontario's best-kept secrets

World-class riding in Bancroft

Where to Stay in Ontario

10 Amazingly ATV-Friendly Lodges and Resorts

Ride Hard, Ride Fast

ATV Riding in Sudbury

ATVing Near Toronto? We got you.

Mattawa River Resort is the best place to ATV this spring.

Powersports, Trailers and the Law

How To Avoid Big Fines

Ghost Towns by ATV - Part One

A trip through history on Old Nipissing Road

What To Pack For An ATV Ride

16 essential items from tool kits to apps and safety gear

Stay and Play in Kearney

An ATVer's dream at the Gateway to Algonquin Park