It’s a sure sign of spring when the annual tradition of tapping maple trees for syrup returns to Minnesota state parks. The Department of Natural Resources is offering several free programs in March and April to help people learn about making maple syrup.
Some parks will offer the syrup-making demonstration only; others will offer hands-on instruction with a taste of the finished product. Participants will learn how to identify and tap the right kind of tree as well as how to boil the sap until it is ready to serve.
A sampling of the maple syrup events includes:
- Whitewater State Park (near Winona). Maple Syruping for the Whole Family (two programs) - 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.
- Wild River State Park. Tree tapping program - 1 to 2:30 p.m.
- Fort Snelling State Park, Maple Syruping in your Backyard - 1 to 2:30 p.m.
- Maplewood State Park, Maple Sugar Demonstration Day - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For a schedule of events, visit mndnr.gov/maplesyrup.
It usually takes 30 to 40 gallons of tree sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup. Often, the best time to collect sap has been between mid-March and mid-April, when temperatures are in the high 30s to mid-40s during the day and below freezing at night.
The maple syrup programs at Minnesota state parks are free, but vehicle permits are required to enter the parks ($7 for a one-day permit or $35 for a year-round permit). Due to space limitations, the programs at Whitewater State Park and the maple syrup workshops at Wild River State Park also require advance registration.
For more information, contact the DNR Information Center by emailing [email protected] or by calling 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday).