For 6 weeks of the year something very special happens in a small part of the world and we happen to live there. The climate conditions in the North Eastern part of North America are perfect for Sugar Maple trees to produce a sweet tasting sap first discovered by the Indigenous peoples hundreds of years ago. In time that knowledge was shared with the early settlers of Canada and ever since the task of boiling sap into maple syrup and maple sugar has been a sign of surviving another winter and welcoming spring.
Each year maple syrup festivities happen throughout Ontario and Quebec. Did you know that Canada supplies 80% of the world’s maple syrup? No wonder we associate this laborious activity as a Canadian rite of passage. This year Westfield will not be hosting a Festival. We are giving our maple trees a well- deserved break. While our volunteers will miss the sweet tasting maple syrup samples they won’t miss carrying 12,000 litres of sap or frozen fingers and toes from standing outside over an open fire.
Visitors to Westfield though can still learn about the magic of turning sap to syrup. This year visitors can come out to the conservation area from March to the end of May and learn all about the process of making maple syrup. Beautiful new information panels are scattered through our trail system carefully explaining how sap comes to be in the maple tree, how the sap is harvested and then processed to make a sweet treat that we love to eat.
Take advantage of our various maps to either explore our trails, find out more about our historical village or maybe the kids in your group would like to play along with our children’s maps. We are having some fun with a scavenger hunt. Can you find 14 wooden maple leaves? Sunday afternoons in March are a good time to visit our Gift Shop to buy maple syrup products or stop by the General Store for a sweet maple treat. Both shops are open from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. We are following all the necessary covid protocols so remember your mask.
Westfield is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. Admission starts at $15.50 per car. Watch for notices on our website and facebook page for most up to date information regarding site conditions and activities.