The Pakenham Maple Run Tour returns April 1st and 2nd with 8 fascinating tour stops and 30 artists and artisans. A tour like no other, Maple Run is a unique blend of art, fine craft, interesting and heritage buildings, spectacular spring scenery, and to top all that off, it takes place right in maple syrup country. Maple Run, a self-guided free tour, truly offers something for everyone in the family.
An incredible gathering of artists and artisans from the area, up the Valley, and across eastern Ontario will present an impressive array of artistic expressions: ceramics, wood carving and turning, jewellery, baking, leatherworking, painting, watercolours, photography, weaving, felting, handmade soaps, miniature quilts, mosaics, fabric sculpture, paper art, children’s literature, basketry, honey products, clothing design, natural skin care, tie dye, barn art, textile designs, art glass, pewterware, and artistic blacksmithing.
Art and fine craft are the roots of the tour, but the Maple Run venues are a tour all by themselves, whether for their history, their architecture, or their function. Farmgate Cider’s heritage post and beam cider barn – reconstructed during the pandemic and now open as a tasting room and event space – is our newest and biggest stop, located just off the 417 at the Kinburn Side Road. The “home farm” for Farmgate Cider, it’s the tour’s largest stop and will present 7 artists and yes, cider tasting and sales. In the village of Pakenham a cluster of 4 tour stops will welcome you. First visit the 3 artists at Stonebridge Haven, a peaceful heritage home and retreat perched high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Cross the unique Five Span Stone Bridge – the only bridge of its kind in North America – and venture into the heart of Pakenham village, with its historic stone general store and unique shops, and find a further 3 tour stops. Photography, clothing design, and textile design can all be found at Paddye Mann’s clothing design studio in a heritage stone building that was home and workshop to one of the first tailors in Pakenham. The sunny and welcoming Pakenham branch of the Mississippi Mills Library hosts an Ottawa Valley landscape painter, a weaver, a paper artist, and a children’s book author as well as a lunch stop. St. Andrew’s United Church, built of local stone in 1897 and featuring a rare sanctuary design, offers 6 artists presenting miniature quilts, pewterware, felting, soaps, jewellery, and fine art. Heading west from Pakenham, travel to Cartwright Springs Brewery at the base of the Pakenham “Mountain” and visit a ceramic artist and an artistic blacksmith. While there, you can of course enjoy a tasting – the brewery is known for offering fine craft brews and even bottled carbonated maple sap! The warm and entertaining Chris van Zanten studio offers you demonstrations of the fiery art of glass making – an experience of colour and drama. At our 8th tour stop, the Cedar Hill Schoolhouse, step back in time to a one-room schoolhouse hosting 5 artists presenting leatherworking, hand painted pottery, gemstone jewellery, baking and honey products. While in the area of the schoolhouse, continue down the Cedar Hill Road for a visit to Fulton’s Sugarbush and Maple Shop.
Following the entire route of the Maple Run tour is easily done in a day, since the tour stops are open from 10am to 5pm. A car will be a requirement – or if weather permits, why not cycle? – and the route covers about 40km.
Information on the Maple Run Tour can be found at mapleruntour.com, and follow our Facebook page for news, updates, and more.