Wondering when spring will arrive? Stop looking to groundhogs and robins for predictions of the thaw, at Conservation Halton we say look to the trees! The maple sap is about to flow and Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Areas are firing up for two marvellous maple syrup festivals.
Conservation Halton maple syrup programs start this Saturday, February 28 and go until Monday, April 6 (weekends, March Break and holidays). Mountsberg Conservation Area is pleased to welcome visitors to the working sugar bush at Maple Town and Crawford Lake Conservation Area presents Sweetwater Season.
During Maple Town at Mountsberg, there are a number of themed events and weekends. The Flap Jack Olympics highlight the opening weekend at Mountsberg this Sunday, March 1. The Great Canadian Maple Weekend is March 7 and 8 and during March Break, you can meet a CH Forester and learn about the sugar bush at Mountsberg. March 28 and 29 is the Save our Syrup (SOS) Climate Change theme to raise awareness of the potential impact of climate change on maple syrup. Easter Egg Extravaganza wraps up the final weekend from April 3 to 5. Please visit the Conservation Halton Events Calendar for more information on these theme events.
Regular park admission fees apply and the festivities are free for children 4 years of age and under, 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 Events Calendar.
Did you know it takes 40 litres of maple sap to make one delicious litre of maple syrup? Or that the Sugar Maple has the sweetest sap of any maple tree? If you didn’t, Mountsberg Conservation Area can help. 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.
More than 600 trees will be tapped this spring and the watery sap will be magically transformed into sweet maple syrup in the Sugar Shanty. How will it be served? Over piping hot pancakes in the Pancake House, of course! Maple candy tasting, guided horse drawn wagon rides and tours of the sugar bush with Conservation Halton Forestry staff round out the maple experience.
Spring has come calling in the rest of the park as well. In the Cameron Barnyard, kids will love to meet our baby sheep and goats before a romp in the Play Barn. In the Mountsberg 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.
Sweet Water Season
The skill of maple sugar making was learned from Ontario’s First Nations 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 would 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! 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 from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. (weekends and March Break).
Flap Jack Olympics at Mountsberg 2015
The Olympics have returned to Mountsberg again this year. The Flap Jack Olympics, that is. The only competition where having fun is the gold medal achievement. The Flap Jack Olympics will take place on Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Join other syrup-time athletes and compete in traditional and not so traditional sugar bush events. There will be activities for kids of all ages and their families; adults and children alike are encouraged to join in the fun! Prizes will be awarded for exceptional performances.