The Maple Route

Discover the signature flavours of Kawarthas Northumberland

Maple is an instantly recognizable flavour, beloved by kids and adults alike for its sweetness and natural, woody depth. Sugar bushes abound throughout Kawarthas Northumberland, and when the sap is flowing it’s easy to make a weekend of it travelling throughout the region and sampling maple’s many variations.

This itinerary is best enjoyed in early spring, though some offerings are available year-round. Check out our top recommendations, watch the video, and try the trip planner to get the most out of the maple season.


DAY ONE: Buckhorn & Area

Maple Wine, Maple Fest, and a Refreshing Hike

Buckhorn is charming town nestled in the quiet wilderness north of Peterborough. Nearby attractions include:

  • Kawartha Country Wines creates unique and flavourful fruit wines, among other delectable products. They are open daily from 10-5, and visitors who are 19+ can enjoy the tasting room without a reservation. In addition to their iced maple dessert wine, they offer maple products from Millbrook’s Red Mill Maple, as well as a range of vinegars, preserves, and other gourmet products.
  • While you’re in Buckhorn, experience the natural beauty of the area by hiking the Mississauga River Loop at the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site. This short trail will take you over beautiful Canadian Shield terrain as it follows the river.

Local Cuisine on the Shores of Rice Lake

When you’re done exploring for the day, we recommend staying at Elmhirst’s Resort. This luxurious destination offers cozy cottages that look out across Rice Lake, as well as free snowshoes for guests to try when weather conditions permit.

Their onsite restaurants are known for using as many ingredients produced on site as possible. They also use local maple syrup for quite a few dishes—ask your server for details.

Overnight: Elmhirst's Resort

Day TWo: Warkworth & Campbellford

Northumberland County’s Top Maple Attractions

When you’re ready to hit the road again, Campbellford is only a half hour from Elmhirst’s. Here you’ll find a fun photo op at the Giant Toonie, which commorates artist Brent Townsend’s iconic polar bear design.

After getting a few shots at the monument, it’s a short walk to Dooher’s Bakery, famous for its award-winning sweets, including a maple dip donut and maple walnut dip donut.

From there, it’s also quick jaunt to picturesque Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge, which offers a commanding view of the Trent River.

If you’re in town around lunchtime, The Dockside Bistro keeps the maple theme running with their Dockside Bistro Burger, topped with bacon strips, house-made maple bacon jam, and local Empire Cheese Whiskey Mustard Cheddar.

Beer lovers might also choose to stop in at Church Key Brewery to inquire whether their Maple Mead or Cranberry Maple Wheat beer are currently available.

Head southeast from Campbellford towards Warkworth, where visitors in March might just be lucky enough to catch the Maple Syrup Festival. When the festival’s in full swing you’ll find a range of events, from artisan vendors to axe throwing.

Even if you missed the festival itself, be sure check out the quaint shops downtown. One highlight is Centre & Main Chocolate Co., which makes gourmet maple chocolates. They use Sandy Flat Sugar Bush syrup in their recipes—and while we’re on the subject, we highly recommend checking Sandy Flat’s Facebook profile to see if tours are currently available.


There’s always more to see and do—browse the itineraries below for more daytrip and overnight suggestions around Kawarthas Northumberland.

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