For my birthday, which was back in December, Seabrooke gifted me with an I.O.U. for a visit to Wheeler’s Pancake House and Sugar Camp, near Lanark. We’ve been waiting for the maple syrup season to get underway, and last Friday, we were finally able to get together for our outing. It was a beautiful sunny day, but cold! We arrived just in time for lunch and were happy to get settled at a table to enjoy the view through the window.
We had pancakes and beans. Everything was delicious, and the light, fluffy pancakes were wonderful with Wheeler’s own maple syrup. After eating, we visited the exhibits in the Maple Museum. Here is Seabrooke, posing with old-time evaporation kettles. There were impressive collections of maple-syrup related items such as these syrup pots.
We said hello to the highland cattle and the sheep. On weekends, there are horse-drawn sleigh rides. We were sorry to miss the horses.
There is a selection of trails that you can follow through the 730 acres of maple bush, but it was a cold enough day that we settled for the shortest hike, just enough to get a feel for the forest and see the sap collection system.
Many, many trees are tapped. Rather than the traditional method of collecting sap in buckets, the trees are hooked into a maze of blue pipes that carry the sap back to a central collection point. A vacuum pump keeps the sap moving. On the day we visited, though, it was so cold that everything was frozen.
On our way back to the parking lot, we stopped at the children’s playground. It was a quiet day and the playground wasn’t busy, so we each had a turn on the zipline. Wheeeeee! Next to the pancakes, that was our favorite part of the visit! Maybe we’ll return for another lunch and hike when the weather warms up.