13th Annual Maple Syrup Days
March 4 and 11, 2023
Our 13th Annual Maple Syrup Days will take place on March 4 and 11, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at McCloud Nature Park.
The sugar maple trees at McCloud Nature Park produce a sweet treasure throughout the winter months: sap with a high sugar content. Once the daytime temperatures start rising, the sap starts flowing, and our park staff and volunteers begin collecting it. Pretty soon, we have bottles of 100% all-natural maple syrup!
How do we know which trees to use? How do we collect the sap? Do the sugar maple trees die afterwards? How do we turn that natural sweetness into syrup? How is McCloud Maple Syrup different from the syrup you buy in plastic bottles at the grocery store? How has maple syrup been made in the past?
If any of these questions have crossed your mind or your kids’ minds, grab your favorite flannel and head on out to McCloud Nature Park in early March to experience the 13th Annual McCloud Maple Syrup Days! Bring the whole family because Maple Syrup Days are FREE to attend!
Tap a Tree
Visit the tree-tapping station, where you’ll learn how sugar maple trees are identified in the winter (with no leaves!), how sap is collected from them, and how the trees respond to being tapped.
Then try your hand at tree-tapping under the guidance of our park staff and volunteers! This is a very popular station for photos and videos, so bring your camera!
How Maple Syrup Was Made
Warm yourself around a campfire as you learn how maple syrup has been made – and who made it – over the course of history. Visit the nearby Sugar Bush area with our own tapped trees to see if the sap is flowing.
Try on a yoke similar to what was used in the past to haul buckets of sap to the campfire and feel the weight of the sap on your shoulders. This is another popular photo opportunity.
How Maple Syrup Is Made
Head on over to the Sugar Shack at the McCloud Pavilion to see a modern evaporator and learn how maple syrup is made today. Discover how the sap from maple trees becomes the tasty topping for pancakes.
Maple Syrup Days are held entirely outdoors, so be sure to dress for the weather! We’ll see you at the park!
Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser
The Parks Foundation of Hendricks County is hosting the 14th Annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser at McCloud Nature Park on March 4 and 11 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day.
Reservations are highly recommended (click here to make reservations). Walk-ins are welcome as space allows.
Freewill donations are accepted (suggested donations of $10 per adult and $6 per child), and all proceeds go to Hendricks County Parks & Recreation for future development of and improvements to McCloud Nature Park, the Vandalia Trail, and W.S. Gibbs Memorial Park.
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