Maple Syrup Days

Come share in a true farm-to-table experience. Every year the sugar maple trees at McCloud Nature Park produce sap with a high sugar content. We tap these trees by boring holes in their trunks and when daytime temperatures increase, sap runs into the attached buckets. Staff and volunteers collect the sap daily, which is then placed in an evaporator where it is reduced into the delicious maple syrup. It’s an amazing process that visitors can witness and participate in first-hand!

Our 8th Annual Maple Syrup Days will take place on March 3 and 10, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Carol-Ford-Maple-Sirup-Days_643Here is a checklist of things you can do during either of these days:

  • Learn the difference between sirup and syrup.
  • Tap a tree yourself.
  • Explore the “Sugar Bush” area.
  • Find ways to identify trees in the winter.
  • Learn how Native Americans first made maple sirup and how colonial Americans advanced the process.
  • Visit the “Sugar Shack”, where our modern-day evaporator will be condensing hundreds of gallons of sugary sap into sweet, rich maple sirup.
  • Sample some 100% pure McCloud Maple Syrup and purchase some to take home, with all proceeds benefitting the parks!

Maple Syrup Days Field Trips

McCloud Nature Park * 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Available Dates:

  • Wednesday 2/28/2018, available for 3 classes
  • Thursday 3/1/2018, available for 3 classes
  • Friday 3/2/2018, available for 3 classes

Reserve your spot now for our limited-time-only Maple Syrup Days! In a delicious twist on a typical McCloud field trip, students will join Naturalists in an exploration to discover the rich history of maple sugaring. Learn how sugaring techniques have transformed from the original Native American methods to our modern-day evaporator, how to identify “tappable” trees, and how our Naturalists collect and store sap from the McCloud sugar bush. This program meets or exceeds 2016 Indiana Academic Science Standards for K-5.

K.LS.2 Describe and compare the physical features of common living plants and animals.

1.LS.2 Develop a model mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.  Explore how those external parts could solve a human problem.

1.LS.4 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.

2.LS.2 Compare and contrast details of body plans and structures within the life cycles of plants and animals.

3.LS.3 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

4.LS.2 Use evidence to support the explanation that a change in the environment may result in a plant or animal will survive and reproduce, move to a new location, or die.

4.LS.3 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction in different ecosystems.

4.PS.1 Investigate transportation systems and devices that operate on or in land, water, air and space and recognize the forces (lift, drag, friction, thrust and gravity) that affect their motion.

5.LS.1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.


10th Annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser
March 3 & 10, 2018

pancakesSlip into the Nature Center to warm up and enjoy our popular “all-the-pancakes-you-can-eat” fundraiser for breakfast or lunch. The pancakes feature our very own maple syrup made using sap from McCloud’s own maple trees!

For any freewill donation that you’re comfortable with, your family can eat as many pancakes as it takes to fill your belly, and you can also partake in fruit salad, sausage, orange juice and coffee. 

This fundraiser is brought to you by The Parks Foundation of Hendricks County, which funds improvements to Hendricks County Parks.

We Highly Recommend Reserving Your Seat!

Our Nature Center has limited seating and it fills up quickly, so we highly recommend reserving your family’s spot at the table. Online reservations will open on Feb. 1, 2018.

Seating Times: Saturday, March 3 & March 10, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (every 45 minutes)