Tour a Cape Cod Cranberry Bog

Man operating a cranberry thrasher in a flooded bog of ripe red cranberriesIf you’ve ever wanted to tour an authentic cranberry bog, you need to plan a trip to Cape Cod. Famous for its tartness and beautiful color, cranberries flourish in the sandy soil and wetlands of the region and are a big business on the Cape, as well as many parts of southeastern Massachusetts. When guests of the Whalewalk Inn ask where to find a bog, we happily point them to some of the best places to view bogs in action in the nearby villages of Harwich and Dennis.

Bogs are everywhere on Cape Cod, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for you won’t recognize one. Generally situated in low-lying areas, look for wide open fields of close-cropped vines located close to water. Bogs begin blooming in mid to late June and start to bear fruit in mid-July. Typically harvest begins in late September and continues through October and sometimes into November. If you’re lucky you’ll happen upon a bog in harvest while visiting the area, but there’s no need to wait for harvest season to enjoy a cranberry bog tour.

In Harwich, local growers Andrea and Leo Cakounes, offer daily tours of their bog starting in April and running through the harvest season. These one and a half our tours are extremely popular, so be sure to make reservations. And after your tour, check out the farm stand where you can purchase cranberries by the pound, dried cranberries and cranberry sauces.

Cape Cod Cranberry Bog Tours also offer a walking tour of their bog starting in June. Led by a seasoned grower, tours last one hour and provide insight into the history and cultivation of cranberries. Reservations are required with a minimum of four to go. Be aware that weather may affect departures.

Annie’s Crannies, only open for retail customers in the fall, is a family-owned business located in historic Dennis, MA. Watch for signs along Route 6A indicating they are welcoming visitors. In addition to fresh cranberries, you can pick up a jar of homemade jam, honey, beeswax candles, and soaps in their gift shop, only open during harvest season.

The Cranberry Harvest Festival in Harwich, usually held in mid-September, is a week-long celebration of this humble but tasty fruit, including food booths, music, crafts, a pancake breakfast, and fireworks. This two-day free event is slated for Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15, 2019.

If you really want to immerse yourself in an authentic cranberry harvest, sign up for the “Be the Grower Experience” at Mayflower Cranberries in Plympton, MA, just across the bridge from Cape Cod. Here you’ll don a pair of waders and waddle into a bog to assist growers in an actual harvest. It’s a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You don’t have to wait to the fall to enjoy a bog tour or sample some cranberry goodness. Just book one of our lovely rooms anytime spring, summer, fall or winter. In the morning we’ll treat you to our homemade Cape Cod pancakes, Cranberry and Blueberry scones, or Cranberry corn muffins. Ask us for the recipe; we’re happy to share.

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