You may be living in a place where, when the sparkle of winter begins to fade, Spring looks a lot less cheerful than it should. Travel a little further north and you may find that the awakening is happening at a different pace, bringing with it fresh seasonal inspiration. Spring does not go unnoticed in Haliburton, Ontario. As the ice recedes from the hundreds of lakes that pepper the landscape, sounds from drips of sap into buckets and birds welcoming the longer days fill the air, Spring is truly a marvel in Ontario Cottage Country and it shouldn’t be missed!
For a certain group of people, Spring is the time to set buckets or lines and get to collecting nature’s sweet gift of maple sap. With over 10 local producers around our Haliburton cottages alone, you could make the weekend even sweeter with a maple syrup-inspired cottage getaway!
Maple Syrup Adventures
We invite you to celebrate family and our rich Canadian heritage with maple syrup at one of these excellent local Maple Producer establishments:
1. Wintergreen Pancake Barn - a truly unique experience on the infamous #GetOnGelert road where you will find a timber-framed barn, in a country atmosphere, chock full of foods and preserves produced on site. View the Maple Syrup Operation through the glass wall of the La Sucrerie Restaurant and savour a French Canadian-style menu. Open Saturday and Sundays 9am-4pm through March and April. Take home some of their delectable preserves to jazz up your recipes back at the cottage!
2. Esson Creek Maple - The passionate new business owners of Esson Creek Maple in Wilberforce, Ontario are a family-run, maple syrup farm with a high-tech operation, producing syrup utilizing a reverse osmosis unit, a wood-fired evaporator, and a filter press. Wow! They love sharing their passion for making syrup, offering samples, sales and tours at their Sugarhouse & Sugarbush. Bonus: You can book an “Art and Syrup of Maple” tour, which includes a trip to Esson Creek, with Yours Outdoors adventure tourism.
3. Emes Family Maple Syrup - This Maple Sugar bush has a great history, producing maple syrup since the 1980’s and passed down the family to the Grandson of the original operator. Now, Emes Family Maple Syrup is proud to offer syrup made using their wood fired evaporator, located at 20960 Hwy 35 in Dorset, Ontario.
4. Winterdance Dogsled Tours & Maple Syrup - A combination like this cannot be missed. Head to Winterdance in Haliburton, Ontario to access their sugar bush by dogteam! Their sugar bush is located in the heart of the Haliburton wilderness and at the top of the Algonquin Dome watershed. Currently at 2000 taps, the sap gravity flows to their log sugar shack and wood-fired boiler. Very cool stuff! Give winter the send-off it deserves by meeting Winterdance’s family of Huskies and share their passion for dogsledding and the wilderness.
For further listings of producers and their locations, visit here.
Reap the rewards
Chances are you will be purchasing a years supply of Haliburton maple syrup and what better time to tantalize your tastebuds than using it back at the cottage. With the immune boosting qualities of zinc found in our beloved maple syrup, you can feel good about using it in one of these recipes:
1. Picture yourselves sitting out on your lakefront cottage dock with a maple syrup-infused latte, like this one (with a great trick for easy milk frothing that we love!!) cuddled in blankets, watching spring emerge all around you. Sighhh.
2. Simple and delicious after a day outside nothing beats a spread of crackers and cheese using this great recipe.
3. In keeping with the season, rutabaga is a wonderful earthy root vegetable that loves to be dressed up. Use maple syrup to coat cubed and peeled rutabaga with salt, pepper and a little butter, baked at 425°c until tender. The perfect side dish to any meal. Easily substitute rutabaga’s close cousin turnip and/or toss carrots into the mix.
With maple syrup-inspired events happening around the Haliburton area throughout the months of March and April, this could be the perfect opportunity to welcome Spring into your lives. Find a list of what’s on in #myhaliburtonhighlands here.