Desjardins Sugarbush Ride:
TRACK: DESJARDINS SUGAR BUSH RUN
AREA: Region: Sturgeon Falls, Field & Marten River
Off of Pike Lake Road, Field
DISTANCE: 42 km.
ACCESS: Can leave from Sturgeon Falls parking at the old Pie XII school on Leblanc Road or leave from Field parking at the boat launch on Hwy. 64.
– From Sturgeon Falls follow Leblanc road north to Steward Road turn left to Clear Lake Road.
– Follow Clear Lake Road to Hwy 64 in Field.
– From Field travel 3 km. on hwy 64 north, turning right onto Pike Lake road.
– Go 6.0 km. on Pike Lake road to the sugar bush turnoff. The going is on a Municipal road.
– Turn left onto the sugar bush road going to Mud Lake and beyond. The 6.5 km. is easy going and enjoyable.
HISTORY: This ride has been on our agenda each year to kick off the season.
The Desjardins sugar bush was started around 1997 by Gilbert and his family and has been running every spring since. It is a modest operation operating 1500 trees and producing an excellent quality of syrup. It has a modern collection system using plastic hoses, 2 central collection stations which pump the sap up to the main stainless steel boiler. Gilbert is very knowledgeable and is always ready to explain some of the basics to making syrup. For example:
1. Production is at the mercy of nature with best times having temperatures of 5 Celsius during the day and minus 5 during the night with little or no wind.
2. Each tree can produce 10 to 15 litres per season.
3. It takes 45 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup.
4. Colour goes from clear to amber to dark or #1, #2, #3.
5. Colour is determined by soil, daytime temperatures, time between boils, amount of good bacteria in the sap, smoke from the fire, and so on. We all realize that this is an art and part of our heritage.