While Canadians are known for enjoying our cold winters, there are few of us who don’t anticipate the arrival of spring and the promise of warmer, longer days.Not only is spring an exciting change in weather, it’s also key to the production of one of our most treasured Canadian products: maple syrup. Early in the season, maple trees are dormant but when daytime temperatures rise above the freezing mark and drop back below freezing at night, the conditions are perfect to get the sap running. We’ve heard that it's already started in Grey County, and we encourage you to get out and enjoy a maple festival and some sweet maple products while you're here.
2023 Maple Festivals
Maple Magic at Regal Point Elk Farm - March 18-19 and 25-26, 2023
If you're in Grey County during the month of March, we highly recommend you experience Maple Magic at Regal Point Elk Farm outside of Wiarton in Georgian Bluffs. This maple festival runs for two weekends this year; March 18 and 19, and March 25 and 26 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm each day. From the time you park your car until the time you leave you are in for a wonderful Canadian maple experience! As you ride the wagon to the Sugar Shack, you’ll pass several elk fields where you can view over 100 elk that live on the farm. Enjoy a homemade pancake meal, maple syrup production tour, Mount Haymore play area, Willie Walk scavenger hunt, petting zoo, pony rides, heavy equipment display and more!
Kemble Maple Tour - April 1, 2023
The Kemble Maple Tour takes place all around the picturesque village nestled at the base of Kemble Mountain. Kemble is just 15 minutes north of Owen Sound and 15 minutes east of Wiarton. You have to purchase a passport in advance, between March 4th-25th at either the Kemble Post Office, Josie's Fashions in Wiarton, Bayshore Country Feeds in Owen Sound or Balmy Beach Convenience in Balmy Beach. Your passport will give you entry to any of the six maple production tours stops and a meal. The tour runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and the maple-themed meal is available anytime between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm at Kemble-Sarawak United Church. You can find out more details on their Facebook page.
Maple Weekend at Meaford Maples - April 1-2, 2023
Meaford Maples is a boutique, organic maple syrup operation that uses gravity-fed tubing to bring sap from the trees above. They have a weekend of fun and education planned for the first weekend in April that you don't want to miss. On April 1st and 2nd, you can visit their Sugar House to see how they make maple syrup and bottle it. Explore the property and hike through the maple trees, sample different grades of maple syrup, maple candy and more. Maple products will be available to purchase and door prizes to be won. You can also check out their Facebook page for more event info and other fun things happening throughout the year.
Maple Weekend at Beaver Valley Maple - April 1, 2023
Beaver Valley Maple is opening its doors to public tours for the first time. This VIP tour experience includes a full explanation of the process, from spout to bottle. You will be transported to see one of our forest properties on the Niagara Escarpment before returning to the sugar shack for a maple tasting of Ontario’s finest maple syrup. Your tour will be hosted by one of Beaver Valley Maple’s owners and lead sugar-makers.
Holstein Maplefest at Love's Sugar Bush - April 8-9, 2023
Back again for 2023, is the 27th Annual Holstein Maplefest at Love's Sugar Bush. Once you've arrived, you will take a hay wagon ride back to the 40-acre working sugar bush. They serve pancake breakfast all day long, and have over 30 demonstrations taking place including woodcarving, log sawing, maple taffy on snow, sheep shearing and blacksmith demos. Check out the full entertainment schedule on their Facebook page.
*Please remember that these are all outdoor experiences and events taking place during a Grey County spring. Please dress according to the weather conditions and prepare for mud, rain, snow and hopefully sunshine!
Other Sweet Maple Treats
If you're in Markdale, you should pop into Susan's Deli for a homemade Maple Apple Fritters made with Beaver Valley Maple or try their Maple Oat Mylk Latte. Keep your eyes peeled for daily specials and more maple-infused creations throughout maple season.
Maclean's Ales in Hanover took two of their favourite parts about being Canadian, real Canadian Maple syrup and dark roasted coffee beans, and combined them to make Maple Coffee Mild. It's a complex brew with a host of flavours at play. The rich full-bodied ale has a warming aroma of coffee with the signature flavor of real Canadian maple syrup that lingers and begs for the next sip. You can now find it at select LCBO locations.
If you haven't been to Eowyn's Littlest Ice Cream Shop in Durham yet, you're missing out. They are more than just ice cream, they have baked goods, ice cream sandwiches, delicious lunch specials, and custom cakes. They also serve only the very best small batch, locally homemade ice cream from Big Bay Ice Cream.
Highland Grounds in Flesherton uses Uncle Richard’s Maple Syrup in their butter tarts, and sells their maple products right in store. Using a family recipe, their unparalleled butter tarts include a generous portion of locally produced Uncle Richard’s maple syrup. Hand made from scratch with fresh ingredients, their butter tarts carry you back to tea and sweets with grandma in her kitchen because they are made just like she did, using the same recipe.
Sapsucker is organic, sparkling tree water - from maple trees! The subtle bubble and slightest hint of natural sweetness make it delicious, easy to drink and unexpectedly refreshing. Sapsucker is plant-based and nutrient rich, powered by 46 naturally occurring minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Sapsucker is a product of the Lower Valley Beverage Company in Flesherton, and you can find it at many local stores.
If you want melt-in-your-mouth maple, you have to try the Maple Smoothie from Mill Creek Chocolates. The Dark Salted Maple Leaf Chocolate is available in the assorted chocolate box, or you can purchase as many as your heart desires by weight in store at the Owen Sound location. Also look out for the assorted boxes at select local farm stores and businesses across Grey County.
Local Maple Syrup Producers
Did you know it takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup? Our Grey County maple syrup producers work hard every spring to bring you the best maple syrup products. Many of them sell products at their farm store, at local markets and in several local stores and shops.
Beaver Valley Maple, Beaver Valley
Dejong Acres, Wiarton
Kemble Mountain Maple Products, Kemble
Love's Sweetness, Holstein
Meaford Maples, Meaford
Regal Point Maple Syrup, Oxenden
Uncle Richard's Maple Syrup, Priceville