A fun, free and educational annual family event, Maple Syrup Days are returning to McCloud Nature Park on March 4 and March 11, celebrating the park’s sugar maple trees and the delectable sweetness that they produce.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each Saturday, visitors to McCloud Nature Park can step back in time to learn how Native Americans and pioneers made maple syrup, see how a modern evaporator works, sample some McCloud Maple Syrup, and more.
McCloud Maple Syrup is all-natural and made with the sap from the sugar maple trees at McCloud Nature Park. Every year, the trees in the park produce sap with a high sugar content. The trees are tapped by Hendricks County Parks & Recreation staff and volunteers, the sap is collected daily, and then it’s placed in an evaporator to be reduced into delicious maple syrup.
At Maple Syrup Days, visitors of all ages can learn how a tree is tapped and then try it themselves. Explore the “Sugar Bush” area – a group of maple trees tapped for their sap – visit the “Sugar Shack” at the McCloud pavilion to see a modern evaporator in action. McCloud Maple Syrup is also available to sample and purchase.
Park staff and volunteers will have a campfire burning throughout both days while they teach about how Native Americans and colonial Americans made maple syrup, and they’ll be able to help visitors learn to identify trees in the winter.
While Maple Syrup Days take place outdoors, the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County will be hosting its annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser inside the McCloud Nature Center on both days.
For a donation of $8 per person, visitors can enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes topped with McCloud Maple Syrup, along with sausage, fresh fruit, coffee and juice. Children ages 6 and under are free.
First seating begins at 8 a.m. on both days, and the pancake breakfast continues throughout the day in 45-minute intervals with the last seating at 2:45 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made online at pfohc.org. Walk-ins are also welcome as space allows.
Proceeds from the Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser go toward continued enhancement and expansion of Hendricks County parks, such as a new interactive display inside the Nature Center that will be completed in time for Maple Syrup Days.
For more information about Maple Syrup Days, visit www.HendricksCountyParks.org.