Please note: Our new ‘Great Canadian Wilderness’ website has replaced the old one that ran under our company name, Explorers’ Edge. From time to time in an older post, you may see references to Explorers’ Edge.
Warmer days and cold nights mean maple syrup season has arrived in the great Canadian wilderness just north of Toronto! Discover wonderful spots to experience maple syrup production, and check out incredible recipes featuring this iconic sweetener.
There’s no doubt that Ontario’s cottage country is a hotbed of maple syrup adventures once the warmer weather returns. Read on to learn about the tree-to-table-process, how to find up close harvesting experiences, and some seriously tasty recipes from the region’s famous sugar shacks.
How is it made?
The harvesting season takes place anywhere from late February to April, when temperatures are below zero during the evening and above zero during the day. This fluctuation in temperature creates pressure inside the maple tree that forces the sap upwards from the roots to the crown, and when you drill a small hole in the trunk and insert a spile, you can start collecting the sap that’s flowing through the trunk.
The waiting game begins once the spile and bucket are attached to the tree; it takes 45 liters of sap to cultivate just one liter of syrup… drip, drip, drip! The next step after sap collection is to boil it down to a roughly 66% sugar content, then bottle it and enjoy.
Just how good is the maple syrup produced in this neck of the Ontario woods? Being home to the 2019 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair champs – Clapperton’s Maple Syrup in Port Loring, Ontario – that should tell you a lot about our extra special maple trees. Check out all the amazing producers in the region (list below), how to visit a sugar shack, and learn more about cooking with Mother Nature’s golden elixir.
Where to Buy
Clapperton’s Maple Syrup Port Loring
Brooklands Farm Bracebridge
Deerhurst Resort Sugar Shack Huntsville
Maple Bluff Farm Huntsville
Maple Orchard Farms Bracebridge
Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery Bala
Muskoka Lodge Maple Syrup Bracebridge
Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm Huntsville
Sweet Muskoka Huntsville
Sweetwater Maple Syrup Supplies & Sugarbush Bracebridge
Windy Acres Maple Farm Utterson
Recipes from the sugar shack owners
Maple syrup is so much more than a condiment fit for pancakes and waffles – its potential is endless and you can quite literally ‘put that stuff on everything’. Here are some recipes from the region’s producers, who certainly know a thing or two about sweetening regular dishes for some extra panache.
Bella Hill Maple Syrup Powassan:
Golden Treasure Maple Trout Creek:
• Wild Blueberry Pancakes
• Maple French Toast Cups
• Maple Syrup and Mustard Salmon
• Maple Syrup And Balsamic Vinegar Roasted Brussel Sprouts
• Easy Maple Vinaigrette
• Kicked-Up-A-Notch Maple Marinade For Vegetables
• Maple Syrup Glaze For Ham
• Maple Banana Smoothie
• Maple Blueberry Smoothie
• Maple Chocolate Smoothie
• Maple Syrup Magic Sauce Cake
• Maple Syrup Gingerbread Cookies
• Golden Treasure Maple Mist (Tea)
Long’s Maple Syrup Trout Creek
• Maple Carrot Soup
• Swimmer’s Maple Granola
• Busy Day Elegant Maple Breakfast
• Jo-Ann’s Maple Chili
• Tangy Maple Meat Balls
• Maple Chicken With Napa Salad
• Maple Baked Beans
• Pineapple Maple Rice
• Maple Squash Bake
• Maple Mustard Dressing
• Spicy Maple Syrup Dressing
• Maple Oat Squares
• Maple Oatmeal Cookies
• Maple Cheesecake
• Maple Creamy Fondue
• Maple Sabayon
• Steamed Apple Maple Puddings
• Maple Syrup Fudge
• Maple Snow Taffy
Please adhere to all federal/provincial/municipal regulations regarding Covid-19 travel.
Visit the region when it is safe and legal to do so.