The maple trees are tapped, the sap is flowing, and our Muskoka sugar shacks are a hub of activity! It’s time to celebrate the sugaring season, breathe in the crisp spring air, and enjoy sweet maple syrup with friends and family. For an experience to remember, head to historic downtown Huntsville on Saturday, April 27th for the 4th annual Muskoka Maple Festival.
First up… the star of the show! With an abundance of pristine lakes, granite outcroppings to get warmed by the spring sun, and forests of mature maple trees as far as the eye can see, Muskoka is literally the perfect place to make award winning, mouth watering, naturally sweet maple syrup. The festival’s Maple Marketplace will feature many of the region’s syrup producers. Take the time to stop and talk to some of these passionate sugarbush owners as they share with you their history, hard work, and pride for their products. Barmont Maple Syrup, Hubbert’s Maple, Mark’s Muskoka Maple, sponsor Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm, Sweet Muskoka and Sweetwater Maple Supplies and Sugar Bush will all be on hand with maple syrup and goodies to try and buy – the perfect gift for someone special or just to sweeten your day!
Not surprisingly, our local chefs and restaurateurs find endless inspiration in Muskoka maple syrup. From sweet to savoury and all the pancakes you can eat, the festival serves up delicious maple recipes to try. Start with a pancake and sausage breakfast sponsored by Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm, but save room because there’s lots more to sample. For savoury options check out 3 Guys And A Stove, Jackie Lovegrove’s Catering, Algonquin Café and Deli, and Hidden Valley Resort. Wash it down with a maple latte from Wheelie Good Coffee or try the Pancake Breakfast Specialty Maple Ale – a one-off creation created by a partnership between the brewmasters at Clear Lake Brewing Co., Canvas Brewing Co., Lake of Bays Brewing Co., Muskoka Brewery and Sawdust City Brewing Co. We’ve got sweet options galore with delectable maple treats from Whimsical Bakery, Don’s Bakery Muskoka, YourTV, The Strudel Lady, Granny Lyn’s Kitchen, Seven Main Cafe, and Erika’s Bakery.
At the Muskoka Maple Festival, maple delicacies are just the beginning…the festival is loaded with family entertainment. The Nydock stage has live music all day including local favourites Scotia Junction who play lively folk and bluegrass tunes with down home energy and humour. Put on your dancing boots because they will be hosting a square dance tutorial for all ages – learn how to do-si-do and allemande left from the best local dancers. The Griffin Pub Band will play their signature mix of tunes to get your feet tapping and your inner rocker singing. Be sure to stay and hear the fuzz-folk duo the Mayhemingways take the stage. Hailing from Peterborough, Ontario, the band uses a mixed bag of instruments including banjo, mandolin, accordion, and acoustic guitar to create original and inventive songs with roots in North American folk music. The Mayhemingways have travelled across Canada and in Europe, so don’t miss their Maple Festival set right here in Muskoka.
A hallmark of the Muskoka Maple Festival is the action-packed lineup of live street entertainers. Returning favourite Lukas Stark The Mystery Entertainer brings his high energy, interactive show filled with physical magic and mental illusion to overwhelm and excite your senses. The Festival will also feature the juggling antics of Mighty Mike. Witness Mighty Mike throwing around bowling balls and sledgehammers as if light as a feather… all while wearing 1920’s bathing suit. You’ll be amazed as he bends horseshoes, juggles bowling balls, and tears packs of cards… just try not to laugh at his dance routines. Still looking for more? You won’t want to miss the performance by Steve Goodtime. Combining face-melting guitar playing with circus and comedy, Steve Goodtime brings you in to be a part of the show and creates a rockin’ good time!
Family comes first at the Festival, with tons of fun activities for the kids. The Kiwanis Kids Sap Run returns this year and raises funds for local children in need. There are two distances – 500 metres for children ages 3-7 and 1 kilometre for kids 8-13. Starting at 9:00 am in beautiful River Mill Park, registration also includes a free maple festival pancake breakfast. Pre-register online or register when you arrive. Also for kids of all ages, the EarlyOn Kid Zone features giant board games and physical activities for all the antics your family can handle!
After a full day of activities and a belly filled with maple deliciousness, it is time to wind down and head to bed. The Muskoka Maple Festival has partnered with local hotels and resorts to ensure that your evening is as enjoyable as your day. If resort amenities are calling your name, try the luxurious offerings from the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka on the shores of historic Lake Rosseau or Huntsville favourite Deerhurst Resort surrounded by beautiful Peninsula Lake. The Gravenhurst Wharf provides a classic waterfront experience at the Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf or choose to extend your Huntsville stay at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites. Click here for more info to make your festival stay memorable.
You think you know maple syrup, but you’ve never experienced it like this. Food, drink, music, family, fun… and so much more! Head to historic downtown Huntsville Saturday April 27th for the Muskoka Maple Festival. They say you can never get too much of a good thing – we dare you – prove us wrong!