Maple syrup, liquid gold…whatever you’d like to call it, it’s delicious. We’re lucky to live in Canada, the land of maple syrup. Virtually all maple syrup is produced in Canada. There’s a few pockets in the USA that make syrup as well, but the vast majority is here. Right now, we’re in the heart of maple syrup season. Muskoka is celebrating with a Maple Syrup Festival that runs from now until April 20th. I spent the weekend exploring Muskoka and trying delicious maple products. Thanks for hosting, Muskoka Tourism.

We spent the weekend at the Lone Pine Inn. I stayed in a patio suite that had beautiful picture windows, a cozy living room, and a full kitchen. It was like staying in a cozy cottage. We were greeted in the best possible way, with a 6 pack of local beer from Sawdust City Brewing. (The owners of the inn actually own the brewery as well.)

Once we were settled in, we went to check out Sawdust City Brewing. The brewery is in a huge space, with a retail area and a large bar serving up the beer. Of course, they had a seasonal maple brew that had a sweet finish. I fell in love with the names of the beers. The Princess Wears Girl Pants, I Swear Sugar Pants it Was Your Idea and No Way of Knowing stole my heart.  It also helps that the beer is delicious, and the packaging is fun. We tried them all! See all the flavours here.

When we arrived in Muskoka, I was surprised to find a lot of snow there. Surprise! There was a blizzard in April. Despite this, the temperature wasn’t too cold, so we put our boots on and went into the sugar bush.

Our first visit to the Sugarbush was at Sweetwater Maple Syrup. We started off with a tasty pancake breakfast (slathered with lots of syrup, of course) and then set out to explore the sugar bush. Sweetwater is a family run business in Bracebridge. They have about 2000 taps. Some trees collect sap the old fashioned way, with pails. Others use a more modern pipeline system.

It’s been a rough year for maple syrup, thanks to our erratic weather. The perfect weather to get the sap running has to be cold at night, but warm during the day for the sap to run. When the sap is running, you can hear it tap as the bucket fills up. After we checked out the sugarbush, we headed into the Sugarshack to pick up some treats. I bought dark maple syrup and freshly baked maple sandwich cookies.

 

Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville is a sprawling resort with comfortable sitting rooms with toasty fireplaces. At lunch time, they offer up a Maple themed menu that we just had to try. Here’s what we had.

The Maple Chai Latte ($5.50) features maple syrup, maple extract, spiced chai and steamed milk topped with a cinnamon maple leaf design.

Maple Bourbon BBQ Burger has maple bourbon BBQ sauce, crumbled goat cheese and caramelized onions on a potato scallion bun.
Last but not least…
Maple Earl Grey Crème Brulée is a maple Earl Grey tea infused crème brulée served with maple cranberry gelato and a crispy feullitine wafer.
 The Maple Menu is on until April 30th.
Our last sugarbush visit was to Huntsville to visit Maple Bluff Farms. The 45 acre farm has 3200 taps, and is run by a retired couple from Quebec. The farm is a rewarding hobby for them that they started 15 years ago. The trees are tapped with lines, and the biggest job for maintenance is repairing the lines. Sometimes squirrels, chipmunks and even bears destroy the lines to get to the sap.

300 gallons of syrup is sold before their season even starts by repeat customers. They sell out every year. I can confirm that the syrup is delicious! I loved their vanilla infused golden maple syrup.

Don’t miss your chance to get your maple on! The Muskoka Maple Festival is on until April 21st.

Of course, there’s tons of other things to do in Muskoka! I’ll be back to share more of the delicious things I ate and during my visit.

 

 

 

Author: amanda

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