Monday, March 26, 2012

Maple Syrup Festival at Kortright Centre

Yesterday was a beautiful day, with temperatures hovering around 18C, the nicest it's supposed to be for the next week at least.  So, we decided to get out of the house and take our son to the Kortright Centre, where the Sugarbush Maple Syrup festival is underway.  I like the Kortright Centre for several reasons.  There are several hiking trails where one can enjoy nature peacefully while getting in some exercise, but there are also several programs for adults and kids, including guided walks, night walks, special events and seasonal activities.  Just being there brings me a sense of calm.

My son has been obsessed with dragons and wolves lately, and so was thrilled to be going to the forest where the wolves live.  We tried to explain to him that the wolves would be hiding, but he wasn't fazed; he was so excited to see the trees that seeing an actual wolf wasn't necessary (thank goodness!)

We decided on the self-guided tour this year, since we've done the guided tour before, and we set out along the trail.  The first thing that I noticed was the quiet that enveloped us as we made our way onto the path and away from the main centre.  Although the trees were still without leaves, there's a definite beauty to the bare trees, surrounded by a floor of dried leaves and a few patches of moss peeking through.

Etienne was excited to see the sap dripping into the buckets attached to the maples, and even got to sample some sap before it was boiled down into syrup.  The demonstration of the boiling sap was interesting, although Etienne was more interested in the fire than the syrup, and kept reminding me that fire was for cooking marshmallows.  Somebody remembers his cottage visit from last summer!

We bought some maple candy (gluten free!) and some syrup, and ended our day off with a wagon ride around the centre.  There was a snack centre serving food, but unfortunately nothing was gluten free- pancakes, sandwiches, sausages on a bun, etc.  Instead, I promised Etienne that we could have a special pancake dinner when we got home topped with the maple syrup we bought.

He loves helping mommy in the kitchen, so the thought of cooking the pancakes was enough to make him forget that he couldn't have any at the festival.  Overall, it was a great morning at the Kortright Centre.
Kortright Centre for Conservation, 9550 Pine Valley Drive, Woodbridge ON L4L 1A6
Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival runs until April 9, and is open daily.  
 Weekdays 9:30-4:00, Weekends 9:30-5:00.
Kids 4 and under are free.  Adults are $9 and parking is $4. 
Wagon rides are included in the price.  Food is extra. 

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