Maple syrup season in Ontario is as short as it is sweet, but lucky for you, it’s happening right now and being celebrated across the province.
Typically recurring between early March and the end of April, warmer temperatures cause the sap in sugar maple trees to flow upwards from the roots, allowing for maple harvesting to begin. With Canada producing nearly 85% of the world’s maple syrup, it’s only right to honour the sticky treat.
Towns and communities all over Ontario embrace the harvest in the form of festivals, sugarbush tours, and by incorporating the syrup into various foods and beverages. Here are 5 small towns to visit during sugaring season.
Huntsville is one of the largest of three towns in Muskoka, and is a great all-season destination with loads of adventures to experience. From March 10th through April 28th, you can follow the Muskoka Maple Trail throughout the region, a culinary adventure with various stops offering tasty and delicious maple-themed goodies.
With everything from maple cheesecake to a maple espresso IPA, the trail is the perfect way to indulge your sugary cravings. At the end of sugaring season, downtown Huntsville celebrates with the Muskoka Maple Festival on Main Street.
The one day event includes vendors, live music, activities, a pancake breakfast, and even a lumberjack show. It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that!
Located within Ontario’s maple capital of Lanark County, Almonte is a charming town which you might recognize from many Hallmark movies. It makes for the perfect home base during sugaring season, with over 200 maple syrup producers in the area, including Fulton’s Sugar Bush and Maple Shop, one of the best and most well-known sugar camps in Ontario.
Stop by during the first weekend of April for the Maple Run Tour, which invites visitors to shop for artisan crafts and pieces from over 30 artists, as well as indulge in locally-harvested syrup. Nearby, Perth will also host the Festival of the Maples at the end of April.
Prince Edward County has so much to offer, from vineyard-hopping to sightseeing in provincial parks, gastro-tourism to perusing antique markets. The community of Wellington embraces The County’s month-long celebration of maple syrup, and with its posh restaurants, you’re sure to get some delicious maple-infused meals.
Every weekend in March, local businesses take part in the March Maple Madness festival, including many of the area’s wineries, breweries, and restaurants. At the end of the month, PEC will also host a two-day festival called Maple in the County.
Though technically not a small town, the city of Kingston is perfect for a quick getaway during maple season, as well as to explore its local bars, restaurants, venues, shops, museums and history. All throughout March, Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area is celebrating the season with its Maple Madness festivities.
The events take place every weekend during March, and include tractor-drawn wagon rides, demonstrations of sap boiling, multiple trails to explore, and freshly made pancakes with warm maple syrup.
The vibrant rural community of Whitchurch-Stouffville sits just on the outskirts of Toronto, and celebrates maple syrup in a big way. The annual Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival is on until April 1, and is held at two locations: Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park, and Kortright Centre for Conservation.
Take part in maple syrup demonstrations including games, horse drawn carriage rides, disc golf, food trucks, and activities. After, explore the town’s historic charm, dine on international cuisine, or shop in the village.