Flavour matters: What makes Lanark County maple syrup taste so good

Did you know that like fine wine, the geographical location where maple syrup is made has a big impact on its flavour? Year after year, the distinct flavours of Lanark County maple syrup are celebrated on tables across the region. Interestingly, it is the same scenic topography that draws thousands of visitors to Lanark County each year that is also a contributor to the flavours found in the syrup made here.

Lanark County is fortunate to have the perfect environment for maple syrup production; both geographically and geologically. Situated near the Frontenac Axis where the Canadian Shield meets the Limestone Plains, the combination of minerals in the soil found in Lanark County offers an especially diverse “terroir” that flavours the world champion maple syrup produced across the county.

Lanark County’s geology is celebrated alongside maple syrup in communities across the County: In Perth, the Perth Museum hosts a permanent geology exhibit with rock samples and information about the uniqueness of the geological findings there, while in Mississippi Mills, the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park, the first municipal geoheritage park in Canada, offers visitors a chance to explore geological riches like fossils, cross-bedding, glacial modification and weathering, and more!

For the skeptic, the proof is in the (maple) pudding; Lanark County’s maple syrup producers have walked away with numerous awards thanks to the high quality and flavourful syrup produced there. Among the prestigious awards earned by producers are: the David Eaton World Championship Award at the Royal Winter Fair; the Premier Exhibitor Trophy for the highest points in all maple syrup categories; and the C. P. Corbett Trophy for the highest total points related to value-added maple categories.

On the Maple Flavour Wheel, the syrup produced in Lanark County falls in the “Confectionary” range, and is a sponge–taffy-type syrup that tastes great on pancakes. It is this distinct flavour that makes the region so attractive to maple connoisseurs.

In some ways, Lanark County’s maple syrup industry could be compared to the wine industry, where vineyards are sought out for their regional flavour varieties. With over 200 maple syrup producers found in the county, there is a wide variety of flavours and processing styles for visitors to explore.

As the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario, this sweet liquid gold is considered part of the very fabric of the community and celebrated, revered and loved, all year long. In spring, the maple syrup harvest is celebrated at maple sugar bushes and through community events, but the celebration continues into fall, where the concentration of sugar maple trees creates a dramatic display of fall colours.

The maple syrup influence in Lanark County doesn’t end there, it’s found everywhere from the Rideau Canal to Canada’s Mississippi River, where maple syrup pours from every table and its influence is found in local sugarbushes, museums, specialty stores, restaurants, and even local architecture.

Visitors from all over the world enjoy this authentic Canadian experience, spring, summer, fall and winter. Maple-themed events taking place in Lanark County are a chance for visitors and the communities to celebrate the importance of maple syrup to the fabric of the community. A few of these events include:

Festival of the Maples:
The Festival of the Maples is a free, outdoor celebration of everything maple that has been taking place in Perth the last Saturday of April for more than 40 years.


Maple Weekend:
On the first weekend in April, participating maple syrup producers open their operations during Maple Weekend to celebrate and share the first maple harvest of the season.


Maple Run Tour:
The annual Maple Run Tour is a self-guided driving tour showcasing artisans, heritage buildings and locally made products during the maple season.


Lanark County Harvest Festival:
The second Sunday of September, Beckwith Park in Beckwith is a haven for local products during the Lanark County Harvest Festival. Visitors are invited to meet local producers, talk to food experts, learn from cooking demonstrations and educational displays while enjoying live musical entertainment and free children’s activities.


Agricultural Fairs:
In September, Lanark County is home to the Maberly Fair, McDonald’s Corners Fair, Middleville Fair, Pakenham Fair, and the Perth Fair. Visitors are invited to visit a fall fair and experience the beauty of Lanark County’s forests as Lanark County’s sugar maples turn from green to gold.


For more information about Lanark County’s maple heritage, please visit www.lanarkcountytourism.com. For event updates, join Lanark County Tourism on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Get travel ideas about Lanark County on Pinterest. Order your free Lanark County Maple Routes map at www.lanarkcountytourism.com/free-brochures.

Call 1-888-452-6275 for information and advice on planning your trip to Lanark County.