Granola Bars – Great snacks for hikes!

This recipe was from my Mandarin student, MM. Thanks for sharing this recipe! It is easy to make and healthy!

2/3 cup honey
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups quick oats
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
2/3 cup almonds, chopped
2/3 cup dried blueberries (can be substituted for other berries)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper. (Two parchment paper criss-crossed.)
  3. In a bowl, mix together ingredients from Part A. Set aside.
  4. Mix together ingredients from Part B, fold into Part A. Coat evenly.
  5. Press mixture into the pan. A tip given by my student: before pressing, dip your hand in cold water, this prevents the mixture from sticking to your hands.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown. (I set mine to 23 minutes, kept an eye on it at the end.)
  7. Lift the baked granola bars with parchment paper from pan and cool on rack.
  8. Cut into bars.

Thanks Marcia for sharing this recipe. It was a good snack for our road trip to Tobermory and on our hikes.

Hiking in Tobermory
Flowerpot Island
There are two trails. There is the main trail that leads to the flowerpots and there is the Marl Bed trail.

We did both. We hiked along the shore toward the Light Station. It was fairly easy and quick. Took us about 30 minutes to get to the light station (mainly because we stopped to take pictures, to visit the cave and to have a small snack). The “Mountain Trail” coming back to Beachy Cove from the Light Station was a bit harder than the trail along the shore (took us approx the same time to get back to Beachy Cove). We ate lunch where the volunteer houses are (there were many picnic tables). Marl Bed Trail was moderate, not too difficult. The trails were well-marked and maintained by the volunteers and Park employees.

We spent about 4 hours on Flowerpot Island because we wanted to take it slow and just enjoy our time on the island. You could finish everything in less than 2 hours.

Mermaid’s Cove
We stayed at Molinari’s Bed and Breakfast (reviews). Awesome place to stay. Maria and Bob were great! Anyway, Mermaid’s Cove was about a 30-minute walk from their place. Even though the majority of the walk was paved roads, there weren’t a lot of cars (since we went early in the season and also we went to Mermaid’s Cove on a misty Sunday morning).

Walk on Water Drive toward Elgin Street (away from centre of town). Turn right onto Elgin, then keep following the road until you come to a trail. Mermaid’s Cove is just on the other side of this trail.

Burnt Loop Trail
From the National Park Visitor Centre. We had to purchase a park pass when we went to Flowerpot Island. The park pass was good for two days. We used it the next day at the visitor centre and the trail from the visitor centre (Burnt Loop Trail).

This area of the national park is part of Fathom Five National Marine Park.

This trail was labelled as “moderately difficult”. It was more challenging, in our opinion, than the two trails mentioned above (except for the beginning part – the beginning part was paved, strollers can go on it until the first lookout). The rest of the trail had a lot of turns and up and downs. It took us about 2 hours to complete the trail including time to stop, enjoy the view and snack. We were walking pretty fast (to avoid crowds of people). There were several look out points on the trail. The trail was well-marked.

(The guide said 1.5 hours to complete the whole trail.)

Horse Lake Trail – Bruce Trail – Marr Lake Trail
Our last day. Even though it was rainy in the morning, we decided it was worth it to go see the grotto on the Bruce Trail. We entered the park via Cyprus Lake Road and started at the Heads of Trails. Paid our park fees and set out to see the grotto. There were three trails to choose from: The Georgian Bay Trail (easiest), Horse Lake Trail (moderate) and Marr Lake – Georgian Bay Trail (Marr Lake is supposed to be the hardest one of the three, you merge with the Georgian Bay Trail when you are near the parking lot). We decided to do the Horse Lake Trail -> a bit of the Bruce Trail (once you get to the coast) -> Marr Lake Trail -> Georgian Bay Trail. The hike wasn’t too difficult, even on the Marr Lake trail. It was a bit painful for some parts of the hike because we were walking on rocks the whole way (Marr Lake Trail had a lot of rocks!). I guess you could look at it as a foot massage. It took us about 3 hours including stopping time.

(The guide said 30 minutes for Horse Lake Trail, 30 minutes for Marr Lake. We also went on a bit of the Bruce Trail and stopped at the Grotto for a long-ish visit.)

The trail “tail” for Marr Lake Trail was across this rock pile, to the left.

The grotto was pretty neat and there was a way to get down but there were too many people. We decided to admire it from the top.


  1. How long do you think granola bars will last? I’m always hesitant to make them because I don’t know how long they will keep, but this one looks delicious!

    Tobermory looks gorgeous! I really need to visit there one day.

    • I made it Thursday and it was still good the next Tuesday, store in cool place and in container. I would say a week?

      It was really good. It’s kind of like your granola recipe except with more honey, you can use any nuts and dried fruits.

      You should! It’s lovely! Esp if you want to dive!

  2. Yummy!!! I love home made granola bars! I have a very similar recipe and like to mix up the fruit with dried cranberries, pineapples, kiwi, mango!

  3. […] This is where we had our “honeymoon”. We are not very traditional in terms of wedding/wedding events. This year has been a year of celebrations (we didn’t have one big party, but many smaller gatherings – all very special to us). Hiking in Tobermory was great – amazing views along the Bruce Peninsula. We befriended 9 snakes along the way. Granola Bars – Great snacks for hikes! […]

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