There is a Hidden Goldmine in Madoc, Ontario

Welcome to Centre Hastings county and the Township of Madoc, Ontario. Situated at the intersection of Highway 7 & 62, Madoc has a place in Canada’s mining history. It is only a few scant miles from the location of Ontario’s first Goldmine and the resulting gold rush that took place in the late 1860s. Marcus Howell, a part-time prospector, discovered gold in the area of Eldorado, and the Richardson Mine was created. A bit of a gold rush followed, and smaller mines subsequently were established throughout the county, but after a few years, these mines would close due to a lack of profitability.

The town of Eldorado is now a gold mine ghost town with only a handful of the original buildings to remain. A visit to the Eldorado ghost town is actually how we first came to know this area. We had never been here before, but in the Winter of 2019, we drove down Highway 7 on our way home from the Ottawa Winterlude festival looking for unusual and exciting places to see.

The Christmas before this trip, we were gifted with the book: “Top 150 Unusual Things to see in Ontario“. We keep this book in our vehicle and try to visit as many of these places as possible. We plot our road trip routes based on what unusual spots we could visit, leading us to the Madoc, Eldorado, and Marmora areas.


Check out more amazing things to do in Hastings County by reading our Embracing Back Yard Tourism article.


Best of Hastings County

Madoc may seem like the type of place you pass through on your way to Bancroft, Ottawa, Belleville, or Peterborough, depending on your direction, but you need to stop in town. We may have just passed through as well; however, this small town gave us an excellent reason to stop for a visit — the Hidden Goldmine Bakery for our Butter Tart Quest.

Old-fashioned quality baking

The Hidden Goldmine bakery is a beautiful treasure located right on route 62 in downtown Madoc. You can pop in for a coffee, have a nice lunch, indulge in a sweet treat, and shop for cute country gifts. All of the baked goods are produced on-site, using old-fashioned recipes, and all are preservative-free. They carry a large selection of delicious baked goods, including sweet and savoury items like cinnamon buns, tea biscuits, hearty home-style bread, pies, cookies, squares, and much more.

Discover Gold

And then, there are the butter tarts.

Clearly, Hidden Goldmine prides itself on its butter tarts, as they have dedicated considerable retail space to them. Their customers agree – as they are the most sought-after item when they visit. Their butter tarts are what brought us to Madoc in the first place, and it was definitely worth the detour.

The flavour options they had when we were there were raisin, plain, pecan, and coconut/raspberry. I bought two pecans, two raisin, two plain, and many other sweets.


The pastry is a lovely light and flaky crust. It is stable in its structure without being too dense and holds the filling quite nicely. The crust is delicious and does not at all overpower the overall tart experience.


The filling of the butter tarts is very sweet and only slightly gooey. There is no worry about the ooze dripping down your hand. It is thick enough to stay in place yet runny enough to create that decadent experience we love—a sweet nugget of Gold.


The butter tarts at Hidden Goldmine Bakery are perfectly shaped, and nicely baked, not dry, or overbaked.
The crust has a beautiful light golden colour, while the filling is a lovely rich golden brown with a delightful Golden caramel on top.

Crust-to-filling ratio

The ratio between the crust and filling is excellent. The mixture is right up to the top without oozing or bubbling over. Every bite is a delicious combination of pastry and filling; no single bite is just pastry.

Overall Experience

The Hidden Goldmine Bakery makes a delicious butter tart. We quite enjoyed the overall experience of eating these sweet pastries.

    • The plain flavour was a fantastic butter tart. It had an excellent flavour to the filling – a nice smooth, creamy, and rich buttery taste. There was nothing to distract from the delicious primary characteristic of the tart.
    • The pecan butter tart has the right number of pecans to take the plain butter tart to the next level.
    • The raisin tarts, in my opinion, have too many raisins for my liking. They overpower the tart, making it taste more like a raisin tart and less like a butter tart with raisins. However, bear in mind this is just my personal preference – as I do not like raisins, as a rule. So, if you enjoy raisins – this may be to your liking.

The next time you plan to take a road trip through the eastern part of Ontario – head north of Belleville and visit the town of Madoc. While you are there, stop in and experience Hidden Goldmine Bakery’s handmade treats in a friendly hometown atmosphere! You won’t be disappointed. One of the Best Bakeries in Hastings County Ontario.

Now that we have friends who live in Hastings County, we will be sure to visit more often.

The opinions expressed here are our own, based on our personal preferences. Your experiences may vary. The Hidden Goldmine Bakery in Madoc is a fantastic small-town bakery and cafe that makes a great addition to a day trip.


Adventurer, gastro-tourist, avid road tripper, and butter tart aficionado. Exploring the road less travelled and the adventures that exist for all to see if you open yourself up to new possibilities. Greg and his husband Nick are residents of Guelph, and their greatest joys in life are exploring the world around them. Road trips with no real destination are a favourite past time. Get off the beaten path and discover somewhere they have never been before. Sometimes the best vacations are the ones you don't really plan. Life is about the journey together and not the destination.

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