Tales from York is a blog series focused on the people and places that make York’s Greenbelt great. The series will cover everything from local businesses, to seasonal events, to life on York farms. Look out for our upcoming posts to stay up-to-date and informed on exciting going-ons in York's Greenbelt.
On a foggy spring afternoon I travelled into the Greenbelt to experience my very first Maple Syrup Festival!
My destination was the Horton Family Tree Farm in the hamlet of Vandorf, where Aurora meets Whitchurch-Stouffville in York Region. Open since 1961, The Horton Family Farm sugar bush is among the first recreational sugar-bushes in the province.
As I arrived to the property I was immediately welcomed out of the fog and onto a wagon-ride. The wagon toured through fields of White Spruce and Douglas Fir trees. Our destination, a warm log cabin.
The cabin air was smoky from the crackling fire outside and smelled delicious and sweet from the unending batches of pancakes being poured and flipped inside.
From the warm cabin I ventured out into the the snow and was led by friendly staff to the farm's self-guided trail. The trail, using a mix of signposts and artefacts, took me through the history of maple syrup production.
As I walked I watched the plumes of steam escape the sugar shack in the process of tree sap turning into rich dark maple syrup. The sap from tapped trees was available for tasting, it was refreshing as cold fresh water with a sweet aftertaste!
To cap it all off, I ended my tour with an order of delicious pancakes smothered with hot butter and maple syrup along a steamy maple coffee.
I'd say it was a pretty "sweet" day!
And Horton's is far from the only Greenbelt Farm offering maple syrup experience this spring. From first the first thaw in March until mid-April it's maple syrup season in Ontario's Greenbelt!
There's still time to enjoy authentic locally produced maple syrup!
Here's a few Maple Syrup Festivals to check out in the York Region :
Visit a sugar bush before the season is over!
--Communications and Outreach Assistant, York Region Office