maple madness interpretive display

Even with a slightly altered menu of activities due to continued precautionary health measures, Cataraqui Conservation’s 2022 Maple Madness event proved to be very popular with people chomping at the bit to get back to having some outdoor family fun with friends and family.

Running each weekend in March as well as throughout the entirety of the March Break in the sugar bush at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, even a mixed bag of weather (rain, sleet, snow, cold temperatures) did not dampen spirits nor did it deter people from showing up. Statistics showed that a total of 12,276 people enjoyed the festivities over the 13 days, an average of nearly 1,000 per day, with many of the pre-registrations filling up well in advance.

tree tapping demonstration

Maple Madness 2022 saw a revised format, with a greater focus on outdoor activities and displays. Cataraqui Conservation staff, community volunteers and teacher candidates from Queen’s University worked a number of special interpretative stations throughout the sugar bush, telling the evolutionary story of how ‘sweet water’ (maple sap) was turned into the delightful, sweet treats of maple syrup and maple sugar from indigenous times, through early European settler days, up to the present.

Proof that folks were eager for a chance to celebrate Spring and the advent of maple season came in the form of outstanding sales of all maple-related products, including maple candy, lollipops and syrups. As well, 15,340 pancakes were consumed.

cooking pancakes

Cataraqui Conservation staff and volunteers were thrilled to be able to welcome area residents and visitors alike back to our property and the sugar bush and were heartened by the expressions of appreciation and gratitude conveyed by so many visitors. We want to express our own thanks to all those who did visit during Maple Madness 2022, and who respected our health and safety protocols.

Planning is already underway for Maple Madness 2023.

pioneer interpretive display