Sweet news from Conservation Halton! Get out there…
March is the month for all things Maple! A sticky sweet harbinger of spring, the maple sap has begun to flow and Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Areas are firing up for two marvellous maple syrup festivals.
Starting on Saturday, March 3, and running until April 9 (weekends, March Break and holidays) Mountsberg Conservation Area is pleased to welcome visitors to the working sugar bush at Maple Towne, while guests at Crawford Lake Conservation Area can enjoy the Sweetwater Season. Another highlight of maple syrup time is the Flap Jack Olympics on Sunday, March 4 at Mountsberg.
Regular park admission fees apply and the festivities are free for children ages four years and under, Conservation Halton annual passholders 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 for Kelso/Glen Eden) when visiting the same day. For more information on all Conservation Halton recreational activities and special events visit our website www.conservationhalton.ca.
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 you become a syrup expert. The sugar bush at Mountsberg’s Maple Towne has been producing maple magic for more than 150 years and educating the public for more than 30 years.
Approximately 500 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., noon, 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 had been enjoying the tasty treat for generations before European contact. 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 more than 600 years ago.
Sweetwater demonstrations occur throughout the day and conclude with a tasty morsel of cornbread soaked in maple syrup. Maple taffy on snow will also be available from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. (weekends and March Break).
Test your flapjacks skills at Mountsberg on March 4
The Olympics are returning 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 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join other syrup-time athletes and compete in these traditional, or maybe not so traditional, sugar bush events. There is something for kids of all ages and their families. Prizes will be awarded for exceptional performances. While you are here enjoy all the Maple Towne festivities.
About Crawford Lake Conservation Area
Crawford Lake Conservation Area is located at 3115 Conservation Road in Milton (at the corner of Guelph Line and Conservation Road (formerly Steeles Ave.), 15 km north of the QEW and 5 km south of the 401. You can call Crawford Lake at (905) 854-0234 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get a close look at what’s happening at Crawford Lake and Maple Towne, see our published feature articles on them: