As temperatures are forecast to rise above the freezing mark and long icicles sag and drip from Toronto rooftops, there’s the slightest hint of spring on the horizon. But, before getting excited about the truly warm weather, there’s maple syrup season to look forward to.
In only a few weeks, conservation areas around Toronto will draw huge crowds for the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival, which runs for a month starting on March 10. It’s an ideal way to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring.
No less than four conservation areas will celebrate this year, including the always busy Kortright, plus Bruce’s Mill, Terra Cotta, and Island Lake. All can be reached in less than an hour of driving from the city.
Each location offers hiking opportunities, sugarbush demonstrations, maple syrup samples, and, of course, massive pancake breakfasts to soak up all the sweet goodness.
Daytime events tend to skew toward families, but it’s not all sugar-addled kids running around. On numerous occasions in March, Kortright hosts Maple Syrup by Lamplight, which features a twilight hike to a sugar shack in the woods, complete with a campfire and complimentary treats.
You’ll have to book tickets for the twilight events in advance, but for daytime visits, the best bet is to arrive early because most parks get very busy during maple syrup season.
The festival runs from March 10 to April 8. Parks keep different hours, so be sure to check the main festival page for more info.