Province/Territory: Quebec

A taste of Maple Sugar in the Bush

  • 365 days of sugar shack food and fun
  • 120 acres of century-old maple trees
  • 20 – 50 litres of sap to make a litre of maple syrup

Travel back in time with a horse-drawn sleigh ride to the Sucrerie de la Montagne, a traditional Quebec sugar shack in a maple forest. Though open year round, in springtime the air is sweet with maple sap being boiled down to golden nectar. At rough-hewn tables in front of a huge stone fireplace inside a rustic log dining hall, savour homemade pea soup with ham delivered by waiters in period costume. Then comes a parade of hearty winter dishes: platters of Canadian back bacon, maple-smoked ham, baked beans, country sausages, tourtière - meat pie - with homemade pickles. Try crispy fried pork rinds – nicknamed “Christ’s ears” – and pour fresh maple syrup over everything. Lively Quebec fiddle music soon has adults and kids dancing and singing along. Then head outside to twirl a wooden stick around warm maple taffy cooled on a trough of snow. Want to linger? Settle into a cozy log cabin with your own fireplace to spend the night among the maples.

Why you should visit
  • Luscious warm, homemade maple sugar pie.
  • Sampling a roll call of hearty Quebecois dishes from the past.
  • Tour an old-time maple-syrup-making shack.
  • Buy maple syrup, butter and taffy at an old time country general store.
  • Celebrate a real, old-time Christmas.
  • Sip a glass of maple beer, maple wine or "caribou", an old time cocktail of red wine, whiskey and maple syrup.
  • Dance to the toe-tapping rhythms of traditional Quebec music.
  • Sleep in a vintage log cabin in a maple forest.

Weather

  • Rigaud shares Montréal’s weather with a little added chill. Winter (December through February) is snowy and cold. Summer (July and August) is generally warm and humid with occasional rain showers. Fall months are spectacular for the maples’ autumn colours and the weather is warm and pleasant though cool in the evenings: sugaring-off time in spring (February through May) sees lengthening days that might be chilly early in the season - especially in evenings - but sunny. Expect snow on the ground until April.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Visitor information
When to go
  • The liveliest time to go is during the sugaring off season – February through May – when there is live music, bread is baked in the wood-burning oven, taffy-on-snow is a treat, and there are tours of the sugaring-off process.
  • Christmas is a time of authentic Quebecois Noel celebrations including a horse-drawn sleigh ride, live music and traditional holiday recipes.
  • New Year’s Eve is another traditional feast time with a dance troupes and sparkling wine at midnight.
Need to know
  • With an open sleigh ride and several buildings to stroll to within the forest it might get chilly, so bring warm clothing for lingering outside.
  • Plan to spend about three hours on the grounds during your visit.
  • Kids are welcome and invited to join in all the activities.
  • Reservations are essential.
Getting Here
  • From Montréal, it is a 45 minute drive west to Rigaud.
  • From Ottawa, it is a 90 minute drive east towards Montréal.
  • A horse-drawn sleigh takes you from the parking lot to the sugar shack.