Oh that glorious miracle of nature that is the sugar maple… Many of us have sweet memories of the sound of its sap dripping into metal pails, or the taste of a sap icicle, or the bits of bark that your dad didn’t properly filter out of his syrup. Well they may not use pails now, but that doesn’t take away the joy of a visit to the sugar shack. You know, a trip for the kids… but you can sample some treats too, ya know… to participate.
It’s Rona here. I took one for the team, as I took a pre-weekend sugar shack jaunt on Good Friday just to give you some educated advice. Because this is Maple Weekend (April 4-5), with events throughout the Valley at sugar shacks and pancake palaces. Most offer samples and tours, with some extras. Not too far from downtown Almonte, you can visit Fortune Farms (fun with The Kettle Boys, fiddle), Fairbairn Maple (see the wood-burning evaporator), Thompsontown Maple (hiking, Sat-only pancakes/music), Jameswood Maple (horse-drawn rides), and of course the famous Fulton’s, where there’s even an Easter Egg Hunt (every 30 mins, 10am-2pm) and I hear they have gluten-free waffles!
After all that maple, you may want to drop in at Mill Street Books and pick up Salad Love (20% off in April!), then take a walk around town — most shops are open on Saturday, and some on Sunday too. Insider tips: take a look at the ceramic garden in The General, the real flowers at Acanthus,and before you go, get some skewered meat for the BBQ from Don’s, some hot cross buns at Baker Bob’s, and some Noyan — the Cheese of the Month at Pêches et Poivre (with 10% of the proceeds going to Hub Hospice).
If you’re feeling crafty or simply need to occupy your hands so you stop snacking, you can make a scarf with lacy yarn at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum and peruse their Hooked on Rugs display before it disappears (on Apr. 12).
Here is proof that I suffered for you… with my mom… just to make sure that Maple Weekend was a good idea:
To keep up with what is happening in Almonte, see ifounditinAlmonte.com!