March 4 to April 3!
Tap into Maple hits the sweet spot!
There’s no doubt many adventures await you in Orillia & Lake Country during the winter. Groomed trails make the perfect conditions for snowmobiling, skiing, ice fishing and skating. But as the days and nights get warmer, and sap starts flowing through maple trees, the sweetest trail you’ll find in Central Ontario is the one that will lead you to all things maple in the Orillia area.
Between March 4 and April 3, take the self-tour through lesser-traveled routes to working sugar shacks that offer a firsthand view of the maple syrup process, from harvesting and boiling to enjoying.
“When someone visits The FarmGate, they will see maple syrup being boiled outside in the open air with steam flowing continuously,” says owner Bert Harrington, who was eight years old when his family started helping their neighbour make maple syrup. It was an experience that led him to start his own operation 12 years ago.
“We are more than willing to talk to people for as long as it takes to learn about this uniquely Canadian product. And, of course, they can acquire some great tasting maple syrup.”
The FarmGate, just outside of Brechin, joins a number of syrup producers that are offering safe ways to enjoy their products during Tap into Maple.
Backwoods Maple Syrup, Elsie’s Creek Farm, Hutchinson Maple Syrup, and Maple Grove Syrup each invite visitors to take part on self-guided tours through their sugar shacks and sugarbush trails while picking up some tasty treats. Check each farm for details about hours of operation and booking ahead.
In the rolling hills of Oro-Medonte, McCutcheon’s Maple Syrup will have road-side pick available for online orders of their award winning maple products and their sugar house will be open the weekends of March 26th and April 2nd.
Shaw’s Maple Syrup will be serving up their famous pancake meals daily, 8am to 4pm, until April 18th. This maple syrup hotspot offers self-guided sugarbush tours, indoor and outdoor seating for pancake meals, maple syrup, and more.
Hewitt’s Farm Market & Bakery will also have maple goodies for visitors to their store in Warminster. Enjoy Hewitt’s Pure Maple Syrup, maple pecan muffins, lollipops, suckers, toffee and maple sugar, as well as maple barbecue sauces, bacon, sausages, butter, fudge and loaves.
On Saturday, March 26, from 9am to 1pm, bring the family out to the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers Market with vendors featuring maple products from syrup to baked goods. There will also be games and activities for kids!
Indulge in maple treats while shopping around the region. In Craighurst, Chelsea Chocolates will be offering a special maple truffle and buttercream along with their decadent hand-crafted chocolates. Over in downtown Orillia, Apple Annie’s Café & Shop is offering sweet treats from store-made maple fudge to maple drinks to enjoy.
The Wye Marsh Sweetwater Harvest Festival returns for three weekends starting March 19th with lots of outdoor fun. Sugar shack demonstrations, Maple Kids’ Zone, vendors, interpretive hikes and more make it a perfect family outing to celebrate spring.
Rounding out the month is Maple Weekend, presented by the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association, which runs April 2nd and 3rd. Experience the traditional maple sugaring craft and taste why pure Ontario maple syrup is a favourite springtime treat. This Ontario spread event features a number of Orillia & Lake Country producers that are also part of Tap Into Maple including Backwoods Maple Syrup, Elsie’s Creek Farm, Hutchinson Maple Syrup, Maple Grove Syrup, and Shaw’s Maple Syrup. It may be a grand finale for Tap Into Maple, but Maple Weekend is a kick-off for the spring sales of maple products in our area.
Get ready to indulge your sweet tooth at the Tap into Maple experience!
Support Local, Shop Local
In the heart of Orillia’s downtown, enjoy store-made maple and maple-walnut fudge, maple candy, as well as maple syrup and butter. There will also be special pastries and lunch inside the café, as well as maple drinks.
Enjoy locally made maple syrup with Backwoods Maple Syrup. With over 2,000 taps and growing, come visit the sugar shack, just outside of Coldwater, for tours and curbside pick up! Open weekends 10am to 4pm. Call to place your order.
At Elsie’s Creek Farm, Quality and Flavor are the number one concerns. Carl and his wife Rebecca started producing maple syrup in 1999 and have since expanded their operation to over 1200 taps on their farm. Enjoy self-guided tours of the sugar bush, watch the evaporator in action (weather permitting) and take home delicious maple products. No washrooms on site and no food will be served this year. Advanced bookings preferred call or text 705-737-6339
Just outside of Brechin in Ramara Township, you can find The FarmGate. At The FarmGate you can see the steam rise as Bert boils the sap for all to see. Check out their maple products!
Hewitt’s Farm Market & Bakery has maple goodies for visitors to their store in Warminster. Enjoy Hewitt’s Pure Maple Syrup, maple pecan muffins, lollipops, suckers, toffee and maple sugar, as well as maple barbecue sauces, bacon, sausages, butter, fudge and loaves.
Experience maple syrup being produced from tree to bottle. Enjoy self-guided walking trails, tours of the sugarshack and maple syrup and other maple sugar products available for purchase. Open daily but call ahead to see if the sugarshack is boiling! Contact them via phone, e-mail, Facebook, or Instagram.
Visit the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers Market Saturdays 9am-1pm at ODAS Park Fairgrounds. Special Tap Into Maple market on March 26th where a pancake breakfast will be served with fresh local maple syrup. There will also be a kids craft corner as well as bakers/food producers with maple themed products. A fun outing for the family with games and activities for kids. Keep an eye on the OFFM Facebook page for what’s at the market!
Shaws Maple Syrup has been tapping their trees for over 100 years! This maple syrup hotspot offers self-guided sugarbush tours, indoor and outdoor seating for pancake meals, maple syrup, and more. Open daily from 8am to 4pm until April 18th.
Celebrate a uniquely Canadian tradition in a distinctively Canadian landscape. Escape to a time when maple syrup was made over an open fire, experience our history and explore nature at its best. The festival celebrates the history of maple syrup, and the role it plays in our cultural and natural heritage. Running March 19 & 20, March 26 & 27, and April 2 & 3. Activities run from 10:00am – 2:00pm. Trails are open from 9:00am – 4:00pm. Visitors must purchase their tickets online, in advance. Visit Wye Marsh’s website to register.
Making syrup since 1980, Sugar Sweet Farms invites you to see the maple process, from sap to syrup, on their farm in Oro-Medonte. Open seven days a week, look for the big maple syrup sign off of Old Barrie Road! Selling maple syrup and Ontario honey – Free maple samples available! Call 705-487-5152 or Email email@example.com