Stanstead Stones + Woods Snack Bar in Ayer’s Cliff

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We’ve never been to Stonehenge but we got to visit the next best thing during our vacation in the Eastern Townships… the Stanstead Stone Circle! The Stanstead stones are carved from local granite and the interpretive site is situated on the 45th parallel— half-way between the North Pole and the Equator! It also represents the close relationship between the US and Canada and the duality of the English and French cultures in Quebec. The Stanstead Stone Circle is part of the Pioneer Trail. Each site along the route has a steel profile cut-out of a noteworthy local resident that tells a bit about the town’s history. I wish we had these in our region! I loved that you could just press the button (in French or English) and have the narrator give you a quick history while you sat nearby or walked around the sculpture.

There’s a nice park area surrounding the stones and we fell in love with the beehive-shaped topiary tunnels that you can walk inside of (excuse the terrible description… they were just so unique)! The Stanstead Stone Circle Park would be the perfect place to pack a picnic lunch if we make it back on our next trip North! I read online that it will be a location that you can view the totality for the 2024 solar eclipse!

We stopped by the stone circle on the way to meet up with a few family members in Coaticook (pronounced co-at-ih-cook) at a thrift store. I was tempted to buy Rooney a few baby books écrit en Français, but I knew we didn’t have much room to travel home with anything particularly bulky or rigid. I’m sure Alex was equally disappointed he didn’t come home with any new film cameras. Since we drove so far just to go to one shop, our little family of three decided to do a bit of exploring. We found Parc Laurence on Google Maps and decided it would be a nice place to sit in the shade and feed Rooney her lunch. We pushed her in the swing and then walked along the track near the soccer fields and then across the bridge to the local school. If you didn’t know, Coaticook is famous for its cheese curds served locally in poutine dishes!

We started our day in Stanstead to eat breakfast at Tim Horton’s and grab groceries for the day and somehow ended up back in Ayer’s Cliff to grab lunch at Woods Snack Bar. Ayer’s Cliff is a tiny little village that was home to several wealthy American families who had summer estates there in the 1930s. Now it’s famous for the best poutine in the Eastern Townships. Woods is our favorite spot to grab a couple of hot dogs all-dresses and a large poutine to share around the table! We even let Rooney try her first bites of poutine during our visits. We brought back a few trays to share lakeside for an afternoon snack!