The maple sap is about to flow and Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Areas are gearing up for the start of the maple harvest. One of the great traditions of springtime in our area is maple syrup season and each year we welcome thousands of visitors to Mountsberg’s Maple Town and Crawford Lake’s Sweet Water Season.
Starting February 24 until April 2 (open on weekends, March Break and holidays) Mountsberg Conservation Area welcomes visitors to the working sugar bush at Maple Town and Crawford Lake Conservation Area presents Sweet Water Season, a celebration of the Indigenous origins of maple sugaring.
Regular park admission fees apply for Maple Town and Sweet Water Season, Halton Parks members only need to show their membership 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. Please note some additional fees may apply for certain programs such as wagon rides. For more information on all Conservation Halton recreation activities and special events visit www.conservationhalton.ca/events.
Canada produces approximately 80 per cent of the world’s pure maple syrup. Canada’s maple syrup producing regions are located in the provinces of Quebec (primary producer), Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. There are more than 10,800 maple syrup farms in Canada with more than 40,000,000 trees, according to the Government of Canada.
The sugar bush at Mountsberg’s Maple Town has been producing maple magic for more than 150 years and educating the public for over 30 years.
The park will tap about 400 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’s knowledgable 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., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Then take a stroll on the stroller and wheelchair friendly 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 first learned from First Nations people who have been enjoying the tasty treat for generations. A trip to Crawford Lake will help you step back in time to learn how maple sugar may have been made in an Iroquoian Village over 600 years ago. Sweet Water 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! Treat yourself to syrup sampling flights at noon and 2 p.m. Maple taffy on snow will also be available from 11a.m. until 4 p.m. (weekends and March Break) – a truly Canadian delight.
Want to kick your maple experience up a notch? Join us for one of these special events!
- Sugarmaker’s Breakfast: Have you ever wanted to tap a tree and learn how to make syrup at home? Come to the Sugarmaker’s Breakfast at Mountsberg with sittings at 8 or 9 a.m. on February 24 and 25 (pre-registration required).
- A Taste of Maple: Meet Chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette in the Deer Clan Longhouse and learn about the Indigenous heritage of maple and Indigenous cuisine in the GTA! Chef Johl will be providing tasty samples from his team at NishDish Marketeria. Join us for A Taste of Maple, Sunday, March 18 from 1 to 2 p.m. for $25 (pre-registration required).