Check the shelves in a grocery store on either side of the country, and you’ll find plenty of foods that taste exactly the same as they do here in Ontario. So many experiences these days are standardized for consistency, it’s a real thrill to find something uniquely tied to a place and a community. That’s
A sure sign of spring in Kawarthas Northumberland is the tapping of maple trees. We’ve gathered the best in maple from the region just for you
Nothing says springtime in Ontario quite like maple syrup. The season generally runs the beginning of March to mid-April, depending on the weather.
Visit a Kawarthas Northumberland sugar bush and you’ll be treated to a hearty helping of local flavour and culture. We’ve compiled plenty of recommendations to help you shake off the winter doldrums, have some fun with family, and taste the region’s unique terroir. Jump straight to our Maple Map to start planning your own trip, check out the Maple Route itinerary to see a few of our favourite stops, or head to our blog for sugar bush stories and recommendations.
Spring’s not the only time to enjoy the taste of the region—our resorts, restaurants, and food shops work closely with producers to make the most of maple syrup year round. From delicious baked goods to entrées with just a hint of sweetness, we’ve tapped into the best local businesses have to offer.
Featured Sugar Bushes
Enjoy the sweet taste of spring
In Warkworth you’ll find Sandy Flat Sugar Bush, one of the areas most popular maple-themed attractions. Time it right and you’ll be able to partake in the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival, which typically takes place in mid-March. During the ‘Fest, you can not only have classic sugar bush experiences like horse-drawn sleigh rides, but also take part in themed activities through the village. Not too far away you’ll find Colborne’s The Big Apple and Campbellford’s Curles Maple Shack which are also great spots to pick up a jug of the season’s best.
Year-round, you’ll find artfully designed cocktails and signature seasonal brews with maple flavours in Northumberland’s many trendy night spots and boutique restaurants. Stop into one of NoCo’s bakeries for some sugary treats where a little maple magic may be part of the recipes at this time of year.
If you’re planning on staying in the region, find places to stay here.
Red Mill Maple Syrup
The owner of Red Mill Maple Syrup, Sebastien Poulin, comes from a long line maple syrup producers—and you can taste the benefit of that experience at the Maple Syrup Tasting Bar. If you’ve ever wondered about the exact difference between light and dark varieties, or like the sound of a bourbon barrel-aged syrup, this is a sugar bush you won’t want to miss. Read about our visit to Red Mill here.
There are lots of other ways to see the influence of local sugar bushes in the cuisine found in Peterborough and the Kawarthas, too. Try out the Brews, Bites and Barns Brewery Route in Peterborough and the Kawarthas, or discover the many cafes in Peterborough and the Kawarthas serving maple sweets with your coffee.
Want to make it a weekend? You can also browse places to stay here.
The Roost Farm
The Stewart family has an appealing way of describing the syrup they produce on their farm: “pure sweet goodness with that mild smokey flavour of traditional maple syrup.” You can sample it for yourself on a tour of The Roost, where you’ll be treated to a wagon ride through the early spring landscape. In the sugar bush, you’ll have an opportunity to compare traditional production methods with the science of modern commercial production.
In addition to The Roost, charming sugar bushes are sprinkled all throughout Kawartha Lakes. You can see how Rainbow Woods careful stewardship of the land yields exceptional maple syrup, or visit Clancey and Gale’s Maple Products in Pontypool. Kawartha Lakes also has many craft breweries that tap into the sweetness of maple to make the most mouthwatering seasonal brews. It’s also home to the Kawartha Dairy headquarters, and the quirky Quaker Oaks Farm Store, which offers a wide variety of local products. Head to the Kawartha Lakes blog for details.
If you’re staying overnight, you can find accommodations options here.
Kawarthas Northumberland is covered in picturesque agricultural land and home to proud farmers rooted with generations of experience. Here farm-to-table isn’t a buzz phrase, it’s a way of life. Local restaurants and resorts take special care to source local and fresh ingredients from the region for you to enjoy, including locally produced liquid gold—maple syrup!
See what’s on tap at local restaurants, bars and cafes for some maple-inspired drinks. For those with a sweet tooth, well-known ice cream producers such as Kawartha Dairy and Central Smith are both located in the region, or you can try maple-flavoured butter tarts on the Butter Tart Tour.
Below are just a few examples of maple products and menu items found in our region.
Other Sweet Stops
Sugar Bush & Maple Events
Part of the charm of maple season is getting into the act—when the sap is flowing it’s easy to find a sugar bush and experience maple production firsthand. Kawarthas Northumberland is overflowing with opportunities, and better yet, entrepreneurs have found new ways to enrich the experience. From traditional sap boiling to tasting bars to maple-infused cuisine, you’ll find plenty of mouthwatering options below. There is even a whole weekend dedicated to the sweet stuff, click here to find out about the Ontario Maple Weekend!
April 6th - 7th, 2024
This is a once-a-year event where maple producers across Ontario open their doors to the public and invite you in to see how maple syrup is made.Many producers offer free samples of fresh maple syrup and confections. Enjoy sugarbush trails, demonstrations, taffy on snow, farm tours, and more. This just might be the sweetest weekend of the year! Take a look below at the participating procedures in Kawarthas Northumberland or use our Maple Map to make a whole day of sugar bush hopping!
Farms such as McLean’s Berry Farm, The Roost, and Sandy Flats Sugar Bush have offered fun and interactive maple syrup festivals with activities for the whole family. However, if attending events isn’t possible, there are still some options to learn about the syrup-making process. Some farms such as Red Mill Maple Syrup offer private tours. This farm experience is only offered during harvest season and allows you to learn the tapping process and experience the farm.
You can pick up sweet samples at farm stands, farmers markets and local shops throughout the region. Check out the Maple Map below to discover all the maple producers in Kawarthas Northumberland or click on one of the links below to discover your next maple adventure.
Tales from the Maple Trail
The Kawarthas Northumberland blog is the place to go for longer stories and additional recommendations. Browse the articles below to find out more about maple in the region.
With spring comes maple syrup, and Kawarthas Northumberland is packed with ways to celebrate the season. Keep an eye out for our local producers at grocers and farmer’s markets throughout the region, but to really experience local maple syrup at its freshest and finest you need to go straight to the source. Here are five
To many Canadians, sap buckets and tubing slung between trees are as much a sign of spring as melting snow and birdsong. In my household last year’s supply of maple syrup has usually run dry by the time March rolls around, and we start looking forward to the next harvest. This year my wife & son & I refilled our stores at the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival, and took in the weekend’s attractions while we were at it.