ORILLIA -- We invite you to get out and discover the sweetest route in Ontario this spring. Pick-up your brochure, print your coupons and experience all things maple on the Tap into Maple route in Ontario's Lake Country and the Heart of Georgian Bay.
With some mild weather and cool nights, the local maple syrup producers are busy with the sap flowing in this sweet time of year.
With snowshoes providing solid footing, Tom Shaw was traipsing through his Oro-Medonte Township acreage, drilling metal spigots into the 4,000 maple trees that will produce about 160,000 litres of sap – that magnificent watery liquid needed to create mouth-watering maple syrup.
“We have been tapping trees in this forest since 1904 and many of those original trees are still producing liquid gold today,” said Shaw. “We have multiple generations of customers who come out to visit us each year … because we offer a family atmosphere where you can experience a tradition that is unique to this part of the world.”
Shaw’s Maple Syrup Bush, located on Line 14 just a few minutes south of Orillia, lies in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country where the promise of spring means the advent of a season of sweetness – and an opportunity to Tap Into Maple.
One of the best ways to Tap Into Maple in Ontario’s Lake Country & Heart of Georgian Bay is with our specially-designed self-driving routes that will allow you to experience first-hand our maple-infused history and sample our mouth-watering maple cuisine at unique local attractions like Shaw’s.
This year, we are offering an array of coupons that you can use at various attractions and events.
Through mid-April, Shaw’s Pancake House serves up fluffy pancakes and sausage that generations have enjoyed smothered in fresh, delicious maple syrup. On weekends, you can take a horse-drawn wagon ride through their trails and, if the weather’s just right, you can watch – and smell – the sweet sap being boiled and transformed into that golden nectar everyone loves.
Another route will take you to The FarmGate in Brechin where, if you see steam rising and smell sweetness in the air, it means the Harringtons are hard at work producing maple syrup or their popular artisan soaps. Stop in and see the outdoor wood-fired evaporator at work and learn how maple syrup is made.
You can also Tap Into Maple at Hewitt’s Farm Market and Bakery on Townline in Severn Township. The family enterprise started with two retail stands and developed into the extensive market and bakery. Learn about their production and visit their bakery where maple is used to give flavour to baked items, barbecue sauces, candles, soaps, fudge, coffee, candies and more. On April 8, they will host their popular annual pancake breakfast.
A trip to Midland’s Wye is also an experience you won’t soon forget as you can learn about the cultural and natural uses of maple syrup during their special sweetwater programs until April 9 that include Sugar Shack tours.
If Wye Marsh is on your itinerary, why not make a side-trip to Everything Maple & More, located in Waubaushene, a producer of gourmet maple products. They combine maple syrup with only the finest and freshest ingredients to create more than 180 all-natural, premium, maple-based products. Stop by their retail store to learn about their business and try some samples.
In Downtown Orillia, at Apple Annie’s, located in the bottom floor of the iconic Mariposa Market, you can enjoy a mouthwatering sample of fresh, creamy maple fudge and a variety of maple products – syrup, candy, maple butter, preserves and sauces made with maple.
On April 22 at Grant’s Woods, local naturalist David Hawke will lead a guided hike and provide information about the forest and maple trees.
Even restaurants and local accommodations are tapping into the flavor of maple. Many local eateries will offer special maple-inspired dishes. Several of the restaurants at Casino Rama, for example, will have maple-infused choices while their Balance in Life Spa will offer a maple body scrub and petite pedicure for a discounted price during midweek days. Casino Rama, Forks in the Trail, Sugar Ridge and Bayview Wildwood Resort offer special Tap Into Maple packages for those who want to stay in the area while reveling in the sweetest season on the calendar.
Bring your sweet tooth and Tap Into Maple until May 31. You can also share your Tap into Maple experience with us by using #TapIntoMaple. Discover, taste, see, smell and shop all things maple on the Tap Into Maple Route! For more information, visit tapintomaple.com
We would like to thank our municipal and county supporters: Tourism Simcoe County, City of Orillia, Township of Oro-Medonte, Township of Severn & the Heart of Georgian Bay. We are also thankful for our sponsors and partners: Sunshine 89.1, Bruce Grey Simcoe & Ontario Tourism.
Pick up a brochure or visit the website to create your own route and print off coupons.