Maple Syrup By Lamplight

Our YDH Conservation Areas Know Their Maple!

If you want to escape the city, to get out of the concrete jungle and experience the purity and joy of nature, then set your maps to York Durham Headwaters. We have no shortage of amazing conservation areas that preserve nature for us to enjoy, while making it accessible to you through managed public spaces. At this time of year especially, when the city snow is sludgy and brown, our YDH conservation areas offer a fresh perspective of winter at its finest. And with maple syrup season just around the corner, you can bet that they’re in full gear as they prepare to bring you those wonderful festivals and activities that we Canadians love. After all, maple syrup practically runs in our blood.

Supporting our conservation areas and the work they do

We all know that conservation areas are nice places to visit. They’re our escape from the crush and calamity of city life, where we can picnic, hike, bike, snowshoe and ski, fish, and enjoy a number of recreational activities and pursuits surrounded by the peace and tranquility of nature. But our conservation areas are so much more, because at the heart of what they do is conservation. Year round, they are involved in conserving, managing and enhancing our natural resources—our forests, lakes, rivers, watersheds, marshlands, meadows and critical migration corridors (to name just a few). They are also heavily involved in education initiatives to make sure that knowledge about, and appreciation for our protected natural spaces continue on through generations of visitors.

Maple Syrup Trees

During maple syrup season, which falls each year between mid-February and mid-March (depending on the weather), our conservation areas are busy tapping their maple trees for that special sap that is quintessentially Canadian. Maple trees and maple products are a major part of our Canadian heritage—the maple leaf is our national symbol, after all. Maple syrup has been a part of our history and culture for hundreds of years, an this, too, is a tradition that our conservation areas are heavily engaged in preserving and promoting. Once maple syrup season is in full swing, they are doing amazing work to put on immersive and interactive maple festivals for everyone to enjoy.

This maple season, come out to the sugarbush to enjoy demonstrations and activities that are designed to teach you all about the sweet history and process of maple production. The best part? You get to sample that first taste of spring maple syrup boiled fresh onsite!

Where to find our YDH maple festivals

Here are a handful of maple syrup festivals here at our York Durham Headwaters conservation areas.

Purple Woods Conservation Area

38 Coates Rd. E., Oshawa

Purple Woods Maple

From March 8th to April 7th, on weekends and throughout March Break, you are invited to come out and experience the joys of sugarbush season at Purple Woods. Before your very eyes, sap from their sugar maples is collected and boiled onsite to create mouth-watering maple syrup. Take a self-guided tour and visit a modern evaporator to find out how the magic is made today. You can also partake in games, activities, horse-drawn wagon rides and, of course, pancakes with real maple syrup! At the end of your visit, check out Purple Woods’ Heritage Store to purchase some maple treats to take home (if they make it that far, that is).

Cold Creek Conservation Area

14125 11th Concession, Nobleton

Maple Syrup Festival

On March 9th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., come out to Cold Creek for a day filled with fun activities. Enjoy a traditional pancake breakfast, and learn all about how maple syrup is made. Take a guided hike through the sugarbush, and watch tree tapping demonstrations. There will be no shortage of vendors onsite for you to purchase local goods and treats from, and you can warm up with complimentary hot chocolate provided by Chilly Moose—the first 500 guests will even get a reusable cup! Purchase your tickets in advance to secure your spot.

Terra Cotta Conservation Area

14452 Winston Churchill Blvd., Halton Hills

Maple Syrup Tools

Tap into the sweet taste of a quintessential Canadian spring at Terra Cotta with Maple Syrup in the Park. From March 14th to April 13th on select dates, you can enjoy pancakes with real maple syrup, taste maple taffy, and purchase all kinds of maple sweets and treats from the Maple Shop. There will also be maple syrup demonstrations, a walk with Tales on the Trails, teachings from Island Lake’s Indigenous partners, and so much more. This family-friendly event requires reservations, so book your tickets in advance. For visitors 19 years of age and older looking for a unique maple experience, check out Lamplight: Maple Syrup After Dark.

Maple Syrup By Lamplight
Maple Syrup By Lamplight

Come after hours and enjoy an evening tour guided by lamplight through the story of the maple sugarbush. This tour ends outside the sugar shack, where you are invited to warm up in front of a campfire and taste maple taffy and other maple themed treats and samplers. You will also have the option to select one signature maple themed cocktail or mocktail in a souvenir glass. Advanced reservations are required and space is limited, so secure your spot now. Plus if you’re looking for a little bit extra for your maple syrup season, join Terra Cotta for an intimate, hands-on experience in the sugar shack. For guests 18 years of age and older, you can learn how to tap trees, collect sap and use an evaporator to produce and bottle your own maple syrup that you get to take home with you. Advance reservations are required. If you haven’t been before, we’re sure you’ll want to make this an annual tradition.

Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park

3291 Stouffville Rd., Stouffville

Maple Tree

Weekends from March 9th to April 7th, Bruce’s Mill is once again holding its long-running and beloved Maple Syrup Festival. Bring the whole family for a day of fun with life-sized games, maple syrup demonstrations (on the weekends and during March Break), horse-drawn carriage rides, disc golf demonstrations, food trucks and activities for all ages. Be sure to purchase your ticket in advance online to enjoy this Stouffville-area tradition that goes back generations.

Kortright Centre for Conservation

9550 Pine Valley Dr., Woodbridge

The Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival is back at Kortright on weekends from March 9th to April 7th. Enjoy early Spring’s sweetness, while you enjoy life-sized games and activities for all ages, as well as maple demonstrations on the weekends and during March Break. Purchase your tickets in advance online to partake in this fabulous Canadian tradition full of sweet treats and fun.

Download your very own maple syrup map below!

Maple Map

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