Tis the season. The sweet sweet maple season. And lucky for us Torontonians, we need not travel far to find that sugary goodness. With so many farms and parks to choose from, all offering tons of family-friendly activities, sugar shacking is a perfect reason to leave the city for a day.
Our previous excursions were done late in the season so the sap had run dry and we were mucking around in the chilly weather. This year, we felt like we struck gold when we travelled an hour west to Maple Town, Mountsberg’s Maple Syrup Festival. So picturesque. A few small log cabins nestled in the snowy woods, steam rising from the kettles, and music playing from the main pavilion where pancakes are served.
The bonus – and nothing to do with maple – is the Raptor Centre. We may have ate into our pancake-eating time hanging out with the hawks, eagles and owls. Who knew raptors trumped syrup in a four-year-old’s mind?
What are your favourite maple syrup destinations? Maple Syrup Festival in Kortright and Bruce Mill’s? Bronte Creek? Or are you holding out for the world’s largest Maple Festival in Elmira on April 5th? Do tell! There are a few weekends left to indulge.
Getting there: Mountsberg Conservation Area is approximately one hour west on the 401 just past Campbellville.
Admission & Hours: Park entrance $7.50 per adult; $6.50 seniors; $5.25 kids 5-14; kids 4 & under free. Plus cost for any maple products and meals in the pancake pavilion. 10 am – 4 pm on weekends and during March Break (March 10th – 14th.)
Distance: five-minute walk from parking lot to sugar bush. All-terrain stroller could do it. Better yet, if there is snow, bring a sled for the little ones.
Play: playground and slide, barn with animals and horse-drawn wagon rides.
Explore: trails for hiking or snowshoeing on site.