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Mountsberg Maple Madness

Maple syrup madness has been in full swing around these parts. So we set out for Mountsberg Conservation Area to take part in the truly Canadian tradition of tasting that sweet, sticky, goodness right there in the sugar bush.

Maple sap dripping from tree into bucket

Mountsberg Conservation Area is one of Conservation Halton's six parks located around the Niagara Escarpment.   It has a great approach to environmental education, and is super kid friendly.  If you are looking for a place to get your hands sticky and really be a part of the action, this is the place to do it.
Mountsberg's maple syrup festival is a shout out to tradition. That means buckets on trees and horse-drawn wagon rides.  Which is really cool because the park is located on land that was originally farmed by Halton settlers.

And really, how can you not love the sound of creaking harness leather in a forest, on a beautiful spring day?

Mountsberg's Maple Towne features a Sugar Shanty, where you can see up close and personal how the clear sap collected in the buckets is boiled to make syrup - the modern way.  There is also the Candy Shack, where sap is boiled on a wood stove and made into maple candy right in front of your eyes and free samples melt in your mouth.

A visit to the country store is a must. This is the place to purchase locally produced syrup, maple candy, fudge... you get the idea.  The syrup sold here comes from the Mountsberg forest and other syrup producers in the area.  This is also the place to buy tickets for the wagon ride through the sugar bush.

So I've mentioned the wagon ride, the buckets of sap, the Sugar Shanty and the Candy Shack.  But what really goes with maple syrup? Pancakes of course!  Pancakes are definitely part of the Mountsberg Maple Syrup Festival, so if you've got a craving for a plate of flapjacks with fresh, made-right-there-on-site syrup you are in luck.  But be forewarned - the line-ups are huge and you will have to wait to fill your plate.  If you have kids with you, take a snack for them because the line for pancakes is a lot longer than a little persons patience.

Speaking of line-ups, be prepared to wait a little bit to actually get into the conservation area parking lot.  This fantastic weather is bringing people out from all over the place.  But you know what? The 15 or 20 minute wait is totally worth it.

I could go on and on about this park.  But I think I'll write about the play barn, the Raptor Centre (get up close and personal with live vultures, owls, hawks and eagles), the trails and the observation tower another day.

Maple syrup season only comes once a year - which makes heading out to the sugar bush, totally eventful. If you make the trip to Mountsberg, or any other maple festival this year, let me know about it. I love to see your comments!

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