OHIO – Warmer days and chilly nights create the ideal conditions to get the sap flowing in Ohio’s maple trees, which means it must be maple syrup festival time at Ohio State Parks. This year the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has four family-friendly events scheduled that will offer visitors a glimpse into how early settlers turned tree sap into America’s favorite waffle and pancake topping.
Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County will hold a pancake brunch at the Pioneer Village from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 1-2. For a small fee, visitors are invited to enjoy homemade maple syrup with pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and hot chocolate. Tours of the Sugar Camp are offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 513-897-1120513-897-1120.
Hueston Woods State Park in Preble County will hold its annual Maple Syrup Festival on two weekends: Saturday and Sunday, March 1-2 and March 8-9. A pancake breakfast will be available for a small fee from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Free tours of the park’s sugar bush will originate at the main beach parking lot from noon to 4 p.m. each day. Park staff will explore the process of maple sugaring from the methods used by Native Americans to the way maple syrup is made today. Call the park office at 513-523-6347513-523-6347 to learn more.
Malabar Farm State Park in Richland County will hold its 38th annual Maple Syrup Festival from noon to 4 p.m. on the same two weekends: March 1-2 and March 8-9. Visitors can take a horse-drawn wagon ride to the park’s sugar bush to see demonstrations of maple sugaring throughout history. A variety of delicious maple products will be offered for sale at the park’s gift shop. For more information about the event, call 419-892-2784419-892-2784.
“Maple Sugaring in the Hills” is the theme of the annual maple syrup festival at Hocking Hills State Park in Hocking County. The event is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9. Maple sap from park trees will be used to make tasty treats that will be available for sampling in the Naturalist Cabin behind the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center. Naturalists will demonstrate the many historic methods used to make maple candy and syrup. A breakfast with all-you-can-eat made from scratch buttermilk pancakes is offered at the dining lodge on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $8.50 per person and includes local maple syrup, a topping bar with lots of pancake toppings, bacon and sausage. On Sunday, the lodge will also feature pancakes on their brunch buffet. Call 740-385-6841740-385-6841 to learn more.
For more information concerning how maple syrup is made, including an educational video explaining the process by state parks naturalists, go to http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/maplesyrup.