It’s that time of year again, the hopeful time when the yearning for spring starts to take hold in the heart of every Canadian! The days are longer, the sun stronger, and the promise of maple season is just around the corner. The maple sap is flowing and Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Areas are firing up for two marvellous maple syrup festivals.
Starting this Saturday, February 27 until April 3 Mountsberg Conservation Area is pleased to welcome visitors to the working sugar bush at Maple Town and Crawford Lake Conservation Area presents Sweet Water Season. Conservation Halton’s maple programs are run on weekends, March Break and holidays.
Regular park admission fees apply and the festivities are free for children four years of age and under, Conservation Halton Parks Members only need to show their pass for admission. Best of all, you can visit two parks for the price of one, as admission to one park may be used at any other Conservation Halton park (except Glen Eden) when visiting the same day. For more information on all Conservation Halton recreational activities and special events visit the Conservation Halton Events Calendar.
Did you know it takes 40 litres of maple sap to make one delicious litre of maple syrup? Or that sugar maple trees which have more leaves tend to produce sweeter sap? If you didn’t, Mountsberg Conservation Area can help enrich your Maple IQ. The working sugar bush at Mountsberg’s Maple Town has been producing maple goodness for more than 150 years and educating the public for more than 30 years.
The park staff will tap about 600 trees this spring and the watery sap will be magically transformed into sweet maple syrup in the Sugar Shanty. How will it be served? Over hot pancakes in the Pancake House, of course! Maple candy tasting, guided wagon rides and tours of the sugar bush with Conservation Halton Forestry staff round out the maple town experience.
Of course, a trip to Mountsberg wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Raptor Centre. The birds of prey will be stretching their wings in the outdoor theatre (weather permitting) as they greet visitors during shows at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Then take a stroll on the newly updated and accessible trail around the centre to learn more about these amazing creatures.
Finally, little ones will enjoy a trip to the play barn and farm yard before heading home tired, happy, and perhaps a little sticky from all the maple treats found in the gift shop.
Sweet Water Season
The skill of maple sugar making was learned from Ontario’s First Nations who have been enjoying the tasty treat for centuries. A trip to Crawford Lake will help take you back in time to learn how maple sugar may have been made in an Iroquoian Village over 600 years ago. Sweetwater demonstrations occur at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and conclude with a tasty morsel of cornbread soaked in maple syrup. Don’t know what type of syrup you enjoy most? Syrup is similar to wine with many distinct flavours! Warm up in the heated Deer Clan Longhouse with syrup sampling flights at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Maple taffy on snow will also be available (conditions permitting) from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. (weekends and March Break) – a truly Canadian delight.