Bruce's Mill Conservation Area
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|Bruce's Mill Conservation Area|
The second mill, built in 1858, that replaced the original built in 1829
|Operator||Toronto and Region Conservation Authority|
Bruce's Mill Conservation Area (BMCA) is a conservation area located off Stouffville Road in the town of Whitchurch–Stouffville, Regional Municipality of York, Canada. The conservation area is about 108 hectares (267 acres) in size. BMCA is home to a diverse ecosystem, including 1.2 hectares of wetlands and 44 hectares of deciduous, coniferous and mixed forest. It is owned and managed by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).
BMCA was established in 1961, after 52.6 hectares of land were purchased by the then Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. At the time, several buildings and a road system existed on the land. Today, the only historic buildings that remain include the mill attendant's house and the water-powered mill building.
The park's regular operating season runs from mid-April to Thanksgiving weekend each year, weather permitting. During the regular season, people can enter the park for free during weekdays, but must pay a small fee for weekend visits. Large groups of people can also choose to book a private onsite picnic area if they wish. The park also opens briefly in early spring for the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival.
There are about 10 km of recreational hiking trails at BMCA, shown on provided trail maps.
Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival
Since 1966, the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival has been held at BMCA. TRCA also runs the festival at the Kortright Centre for Conservation. It is the longest-running maple syrup festival in the GTA, running for 5–6 weeks each year, depending on the weather. Visitors see demonstrations of the various methods that have been used to make maple syrup throughout Canadian history. This includes Native Canadian, pioneer, and modern-day maple syrup production methods. There are also a variety of family activities, such as horse-and-carriage rides, face painting, a petting zoo and pancake meals.
In June 2014, the park unveiled an aerial ropes and zip-line course located within BMCA. It offers 5 aerial courses for users 9 years and older.
The park will also be home to Treewalk Village - a treefort adventure for kids aged 5 to 10.
BMCA offers twelve picnic sites that can be booked for large picnics and events. The capacity of the sites ranges from 100-300+ people.
In the fall of 2014, the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville opened a BMX course at BMCA. This is the only BMX track located in York Region. It is a cycling-only facility and no motorized vehicles are permitted on the course.
A pool is also located at BMCA. The pool is available for group reservation only. The pool is available for rental on evenings and weekends during the summer months. The pool area can accommodate up to 50 people and comes staffed with a lifeguard.
- Bruce's Mill Conservation Area - Toronto and Region Conservation Authority