March is the month for the early spring activity of tapping maple trees in Michigan. The sap runs in late winter or early spring on a “warm” day of about 45 degrees following freezing temperatures the night before.
There are two nature centers within an hour’s drive from Our Summer House in South Haven, Michigan, where people can go to watch and learn about the maple sugaring process, from tapping the trees to boiling down the sap into a beautiful, sweet, amber-colored syrup.
Maple Sugar Madness takes place on Sunday, March 11, at the Sarett Nature Center, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Staff members will lead a walk through the woods, teach how to identify maple trees, and demonstrate how to tap the trees and collect the sap, and begin the process of cooking it down. Participants will be able to taste the sap, syrup, and candy made from maple syrup.
A little north of Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Nature Center will also be celebrating the end of winter during their 53rd annual Maple Sugar Festival on March 10 and 11. Participants will be able to walk the trails with a naturalist to learn about maple sugaring and visit the center’s new Sugar Shack. They can also visit the center’s Birds of Prey and Creature Features displays. Other activities include a pancake breakfast, arts and crafts, and vendor booths. The DeLano Homestead will feature sugaring demonstrations, blacksmithing and fiber arts demonstrations, as well as horse-drawn wagon rides and ice cream with maple syrup.
For more information:
Sarett Nature Center is 4832 located at 2300 Benton Center Road, Benton Harbor, MI. Telephone: 269.927.
Kalamazoo Nature, is located at 7000 N Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI. Telephone: 269.381.1574