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Metroparks: Sweet on Maple Sugaring

Maple sugaring season is upon us and there is no better way to celebrate than by coming out to one of the many "sweet" programs going on at the Metroparks!

Are you one of those people who just can’t say no to syrup’s natural sweetness? If so, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks have you covered! Check out the maple sugaring programs offered at five Metroparks, then get ready for a sweet adventure! 

The fifth largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, Michigan’s maple sugaring history dates back to American Indian times. Discover the maple sugaring process, including how trees are tapped and sap is collected, along with a history of maple sugaring, from historic American Indian times to present, during a maple sugaring program. The process of boiling sap to maple syrup is demonstrated during most programs. 

“Maple Sugaring: Journey to the Sugar Bush,” Hudson Mills Metropark near Dexter, Saturdays & Sundays, February 23 and 24, and March 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 10 am, 11 am and noon, by appointment. See how to tap trees, collect sap and boil it into maple syrup. Reservations are required for guided tours at $3 per person. An all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast, with real maple syrup, will be served at the Activity Center from 9 am to 2 pm on the days the tours are offered. Pancake breakfast is $3.50 per child/$5.50 per adult. Tap your own tree at the park and collect your own sap with the purchase of a maple syrup starter kit for $25. Weekday programs (Tuesday through Friday) are available by appointment to schools and organized groups, during which an interpreter presents “Maple’s Sweet History.” For more information/reservations, call Hudson Mills Metropark at 734-426-8211.

“Maple’s Sweet Story,” Kensington Metropark Farm Center near Milford/Brighton, Saturdays and Sundays in March from noon to 3 pm. Stop in for a pancake breakfast from 9 am to 2 pm at the Farmhouse Grille, and then head out on a guided tour to the sugar bush to see the maple sugaring process, including tapping trees and boiling down the sap. Guided tours begin at noon; the last guided tour leaves at 2:30 pm. A re-enactment of an Algonquin winter camp is also located within the woods from noon – 4 pm. Registration is not required for the weekend programs. Fee: $5 for adults; $3 for seniors and children 3 to 12 years old; children under 3 are free. Separate charge for breakfast.  Weekday programs (Monday through Friday) during March are available by appointment to schools and organized groups. For additional information or to make an appointment, contact Kensington Metropark at 248-684-8632.

"Maple Sugaring,” Indian Springs Metropark near White Lake, Saturdays, March 2 and 9 at 11:30 am, 1 pm and 2 pm;  Saturdays & Sundays, March 3, 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 11 am, noon, 1 pm and 2 pm.  Learn the history of maple sugaring and hike out to the sugar bush.  Discover how to choose and tap a sugar maple, then go to the sugar shack to see how the collected sap is boiled down to make maple syrup. An advanced “Super Sugaring” class is available Saturdays, March 2 and 9 at 10 am, designed for those who want to process their own maple syrup.  Sap collection starter kits are available for purchase at $15 each. A pancake and sausage breakfast, with a separate fee, will be served at the Golf Course Starter Building on weekends the programs are offered. Preregistration is required for all programs. Weekday programs (Wednesday through Friday) during March are available by appointment to schools and organized groups. Weekend program fee: $3 per person. For more information/registration contact Indian Springs Metropark at 248-625-7280.

“Maple Syrup for Kids,” Historic Center of Wolcott Mill Metropark in Ray Township, Monday, February 18 at 1 pm. Where does maple syrup come from? Children will make a craft, learn what a maple tree looks like, sample different types of syrups and watch a movie, followed by a walk outside. Fee: $3 per child (children under 16 must be accompanied by adult). Preregistration required. For additional information or to register, please call the Historic Center at 586-749-5997.

“Maple Sweetness for Homeschoolers,” Historic Center of Wolcott Mill Metropark in Ray Township, Wednesday and Thursday, March 6 and 14 at 11 am. Learn the basics of making maple syrup, from identifying trees and how to tap them, to boiling down the sap into syrup. Dress for the weather as part of the program will be outdoors. Preregistration with payment of $5 per adult and $3 per child is required. Times fill quickly!  Programs during March are available by appointment for school groups. For additional information or to register, please call the Historic Center at 586-749-5997.

“Maple Sweetness,” Historic Center of Wolcott Mill Metropark in Ray Township, Saturdays and Sundays, February 23 and 24 at 1 pm; and March 2, 3, 9, 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30 at 12:30 pm and 3 pm. Learn the basics of making maple syrup, from identifying trees and how to tap them, to boiling down the sap into syrup. Dress for the weather as part of the program will be outdoors. Preregistration with payment of $5 per adult and $3 per child is required. Times fill quickly!  Programs during March are available by appointment for school groups. For additional information or to register, please call the Historic Center at 586-749-5997.

“Maple Sugaring Through the Ages,” Oakwoods Metropark Nature Center near Flat Rock, Saturday, March 9 at 10 am. Enjoy a great hands-on demonstration about the unique and tasty art of gathering maple sap to use for making maple syrup, sugar, candy and more. From ancient techniques to modern day equipment, this program has something for everyone. Preregistration is required. Fee: $3 per person. For more information or to register, call Oakwoods Metropark Nature Center at 734-782-3956.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

For persons with special accessibility needs or who have limited English proficiency, please contact the park facility of your choice at least 72 hours in advance of your visit.  A Metroparks vehicle entry permit is required to enter any Metropark and is only $25 annually for regular admission, $15 annually for seniors or $5 daily. General information can be found at www.metroparks.com or by calling 1-800-47-PARKS.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Brooke Tajer February 21, 2013 at 09:49 PM
I love this! Great blog, thank you for sharing :)

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