As winter winds down, the longer days and rising temperatures make way for many families and friends to get out and enjoy the maple syrup harvest right here in Durham Region.

The origin of maple syrup production dates to Indigenous peoples living in the northeast part of North America. Zhiiwaagamizigan is the Anishinaabe word for maple syrup, and it’s prized for both its medicinal properties and sweet taste. The earliest method of sap collection was done by cutting a V shape into the bark of a maple tree, then placing a wedge at the bottom of the cut and letting the sap flow into a bucket at the base of the tree. You can discover this original method of processing maple syrup by visiting Harlaine Maple Products during the Sunderland Maple Festival.

Today the collection process has changed, yet the result is that same sweet liquid gold.

Maple syrup festivals and events kick-off in March and run through May, check them out in the listings below. Please remember to follow provincial and local health guidelines when planning your maple syrup adventure.

Brooks Farms Maple Fest

Dates: March 5 and 6, March 12 to 20, March 26 and 27
Location: Brooks Farms, 122 Ashworth Road, Uxbridge, Ontario, L0G 1M0
Price: $12.99 plus HST (children under the age of two are free). Tickets can be purchased in advance online.

Enjoy a train or wagon ride to the sugar bush where you can take a self-guided or guided educational tour. While at the sugar bush, you can enjoy a campfire; observe evaporator demos; and enjoy a maple syrup tasting, marshmallows and a hot chocolate. For an additional cost, you can head to the Hungry Hut for pancakes or purchase maple sugar products. Weather permitting the Barnyard Playland will be open.

Visit the event website.

Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival

Dates: March 16 to 20, March 26 and 27, April 2 and 3.
Location: Purple Woods Conservation Area, 38 Coates Road East, Oshawa, Ontario, L9L 1B3
Price: Free admission. Advance registration required.

Enjoy a free maple syrup self-guided hike through the sugar bush at Purple Woods Conservation Area. A collection of maple products are available for purchase in the Heritage Store.

Visit the event website.

Pefferlaw Creek Farms Maple Weekends

Dates: March 19 and 20, March 26 and 27, April 2 and 3, April 9 and 10
Location: Pefferlaw Creek Farms, 12300 Concession Road 6, Uxbridge, Ontario, L9P 1R2
Price: Free admission. Purchases available.

Visit Pefferlaw Creek Farms to explore the trails throughout their sugar bush and soak in the sights, sounds and smells of this beautiful farm in Uxbridge. The barn will be open for tours and the evaporator will be on full boil!

Visit the event website.

Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival

Dates: April 2 and 3.
Location: River Street along historic downtown Sunderland, Ontario
Price: Free admission and free parking.

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival! The event takes place in historic downtown Sunderland and includes pancake breakfasts, street vendors, live entertainment, horse drawn wagon rides and a historic bus tour that stops at Harlaine Maple Products’ sugar bush (for an additional cost). On April 2, there will be bathtub races and pizza-eating contests. On April 3, watch the 4-H Ontario’s lawn tractor pull demonstration.

Visit the event website.

Bowmanville Maple Fest

Date: Saturday May 7, 2022.
Location: Historic downtown Bowmanville
Price: Free Admission and free parking.

This highly anticipated festival showcases many of our local syrup producers who offer up the best of the region. Find treats such as maple donuts, cheese, candy, nuts, fudge and so much more. Stroll along four city blocks to explore unique items from craft and food vendors. A famous hot pancake breakfast is available alongside live entertainment.

Visit the event website.

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Bryen writes about local Durham community news, including regional events, municipality updates, entertainment, lifestyle, and the great outdoors. Email him directly if you want your business profiled or know a community member that deserves recognition -