Wheelers Hiking Trails
The most popular of our trails, this offers a short hike through the sugar bush. The boardwalk from the Maple Heritage Museum leads to a forest amphitheater where you can learn about the seasons and photosynthesis. As you walk up the hill, the old growth maple forest surrounds you. Cattle pastured this area for quite a few years in the mid 1900’s. The cattle would eat all of the seedlings, preventing young trees from growing, resulting in a stand of mature maples with very few younger trees. It wasn’t until the Ice Storm of 1998 that the canopy was opened up significantly, allowing other growth. As you go up around the corner there are coniferous (evergreen) trees that contribute to wild life habitat and plant diversity in the maple forest. The trail then enters a newer part of the sugar bush that has been managed for maple production since 1975. This section is a good example of a healthy sugar bush because there are a variety of ages present to ensure continuous availability of mature maple trees to tap. The trail finishes at the barn.
Pump House Loop Trail
This trail starts at the barn where you will turn left just past the barn, following along the edge of the barnyard where you can see the animals as you enter the sugar bush. The first part of the trail is a gravel road, which turns into a trail once you traverse the small bridge over the maple pipelines. After crossing the bridge, keep to your left to stay on the pump house loop trail. Next you will see evidence of the Ice Storm of 1998 in an area where trees have been left bent and damaged as a reminder of the severe impact it had on the maple trees. After continuing through more of the sugar bush, you will pass by one of the pump houses. This one is needed to get the maple sap over the hill to the sugar camp. Keep to the left past the pump house and up the hill, past the upper parking lot and back to the Pancake House.
Horse Loop Trail
Originally named after our old horse drawn sleigh ride route, it is now used for hikers and for easy access to various sections of the sugar bush. This trail is on a gravel road that goes straight past the barn and into the sugar bush, ending in a circular loop. You will pass by a sap ladder and a pump house along the loop portion at the end of the trail before continuing back to the pancake house on the same trail that you came in on. This trail is easy walking, wheel chair/stroller accessible, maintained all year, and has just one gradual hill.
Best sample of the variety that the sugar bush has to offer. The trail starts out on the same trail as the Ridge Trail, continuing from the boardwalk just past the maple museum. After passing through a mature section of the sugar bush and alongside a small stand of conifers, continue straight ahead to stay on Woksis, where the Ridge Trail branches off to the left. You will continue to see stands of maple trees with networks of tubing as you hike along. You will pass by some swampy areas, sheltered areas of evergreens where deer like to bed down at night, and a variety of tree species. Keep an eye out for glacial erratics, which are large rocks that may appear out of place because they were dropped by the 2 km thick glacier that retreated from this area 11,000 years ago. You will pass by an active beaver pond and a boardwalk made of railroad ties will take you along the edge of a large beaver flooded area. After the railroad ties, Woksis meets up with the Pump House Loop Trail. Continue straight ahead to complete Woksis on the last half kilometer of the Pump House Loop Trail. Otherwise, turn left, crossing the footbridge over the maple pipelines to come out at the start of the Pump House Loop Trail at the Barn.
Half Way Trail
The Half Way Trail is a short section of trail that joins the Woksis Run Trail and the Horse Loop Trail through a mature stand of maples. This trail is called Half Way Trail because it connects Woksis to the Horse Loop Trail at about the halfway point of Woksis.
Very rugged. Not summer accessible due to very wet areas. Used mainly for work access to remote areas of the sugar bush. Sometimes groomed for cross-country skiing or winter hiking (ask for conditions).
While you use these trails please abide by the following rules:
- Trails are for walking, snow shoeing, cross country skiing but not for ATV’s
- Do not litter
- Please leave plants untouched
- No smoking on trails
- Dogs must be on a leash
- Stay on marked trails
- Trails are unsupervised, use at your own risk
- Trails are open during business hours only