Learn How To Make Maple Syrup At The Maple Syrup Festival
Have you ever wondered how to make Maple syrup?
Great news! This weekend, the Maple Syrup Festival will be continuing to showcase the process of how Maple syrup is made in the beautiful Hueston Woods State Park. Come alone or bring the family. Either way there will be a pancake feed on Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($5 for 10 and younger and $6 adults). Afterwards, enjoy a hayride or take a tour that will show you the steps to making maple syrup with a taste test at the end.
The Oxford Press reports:
The first sign of spring for many is the Maple Syrup Festival at Hueston Woods State Park. The festival showcases the age-old tradition of making maple syrup and highlights many other attractions at Hueston Woods, said Naturalist Amanda Dalton. Each year the event attracts over 5,000 people and drew a crowd during its opening days last weekend, Dalton said. The festival concludes this weekend. Saturday and Sunday a pancake breakfast will be served at the lodge from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($6 for adults, $5 for children 10 and younger). From noon to 4 p.m. each day there will also be maple syrup tours and the Nature Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“We invite everyone to join us at the Pioneer Farm for a free hayride to our ‘Big Woods,’ a designated State Nature Preserve,” Dalton said. “You’ll then hike with a naturalist through the Sugar Bush Trail where you will learn about the history of maple syrup production, watch how trees are tapped and how the sap is collected. The Nature Preserve consists of 200 wooded acres.”
Making maple syrup the traditional way is labor intensive, but much of the work is done prior to visitors arriving, Dalton explained. “Naturalists and park staff select over 200 sugar maple trees that meet the criteria for tapping,” she said. “A small hole is drilled into the tree (which doesn’t hurt it), then a spigot called a ‘spile’ is inserted and a bucket hung below to catch the sap. “Sap is the clear liquid that is stored in the tree during winter. The excess is collected in the buckets then transported to a cistern which feeds into the park’s warm, steamy Sugar Shack where you’ll get to see syrup being boiled down and also offered a taste. Because the sap is only about 2% sugar, it takes around 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.”
There are a lot of other things happening as the park transitions to warmer days. “While you’re visiting, be sure to check out Timber, the Nature Center’s 5-month-old cougar cub,” Dalton said. “His new exhibit opened on Groundhog Day and since we don’t have a groundhog on display, young Timber playfully predicted an early spring. “Our campground is also open for campers who are eager to get outside and shake off cabin fever.” For more information, contact a park naturalist at 513-524-4250.
This will be a fun and tasty event for everyone who comes. so if you have ever wanted to learn how to make maple syrup, do not miss this opportunity.