With the maple syrup season around the corner, St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours is busy preparing their sugar bush for visitors.
On their "Sugar Bush Tour", you'll travel from St. Jacobs Farmers' Market with a guide aboard a horse-drawn trolley to a real sugar bush on a Mennonite farm to learn about maple syrup production firsthand.
Upon arrival at the sugar bush, visitors can take a short walking tour and see a progression of methods used to turn watery sap from maple trees into thick sweet maple syrup: first by indigenous people, then by settlers and pioneers, and those of a modern-day operation.
You'll see how sap is collected and boiled down to syrup, have the opportunity to tap a tree, or participate in old fashion log sawing.
Hopefully you will have worked up an appetite because this tour also includes pancakes with fresh maple syrup made on site, and hot coffee or apple cider, served up by the woodstove in the bush's cosy former sugar shanty.
Need more real Ontario maple syrup products to get your fix? You can purchase fresh maple toffee on snow and other local maple syrup products.
But that is not everything. This family-friendly tour even has a small petting area where kids can see farm animals up close before reboarding the trolley for the return trip to Market.
The "Sugar Bush Tour" leaves from St. Jacobs Farmers' Market on Saturdays from March 3 - April 15, 2017, departing every half hour from 9 - 3:30. The tour will also be offered every day during March Break (Monday March 14 to Friday March18, 2017). For more details, visit www.stjacobshorsedrawntours.com
You can also purchase fresh local maple syrup at St. Jacobs Farmers' Market (open Thursday & Saturday all year) or at The Farm Pantry in St. Jacobs (open daily).
For more things maple, visit The Maple Syrup Museum in St. Jacobs, or plan to attend the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival - billed as the world's largest annual maple syrup festival - taking place Saturday April 1, 2017.