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Maple syrup season makes a trip to state parks especially sweet

• Feb 17, 2017 at 5:00 PM

s there anything better than a breakfast of pancakes or waffles smothered with delicious maple syrup? Eager to try homemade maple syrup this year? Look no further than Ohio State Parks.

Warmer days and chilly nights are the ideal conditions to get sap flowing from Ohio’s maple trees, and four state parks will host maple syrup festivals to celebrate the season. Visitors will see how maple syrup is made and enjoy locally made maple syrup afterward.

Malabar Farm State Park in Richland County will host its 41st annual Maple Syrup Festival from noon to 4 p.m. the weekends of March 4 to 5 and March 11 to 12. Visitors can take horse-drawn wagon rides to the Sugar Camp, witness live historical demonstrations and enjoy music and food. Maple products will be available for sale. Donations may be made to the group providing wagon rides. For more information, call 419-892-2784.

Hueston Woods State Park in Preble County will host its 51st annual Maple Syrup Festival from noon to 4 p.m. the weekends of March 4 to 5 and March 11 to 12. A pancake breakfast, with locally made syrup, will be available at the park lodge. Throughout the weekend, concessions will be made available by the Friends of Hueston Woods and the Museum Association. Visitors can go on maple syrup tours, hay rides and hikes through the Big Woods State Nature Preserve. The nature center will also be open during this time. For more information, call 513-524-4250.

Hocking Hills State Park in Hocking County will host events at the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 11 to 12. Free tours around the naturalist cabin will be taking place from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Naturalists will demonstrate methods to make maple syrup and maple candy, and delicious samples will be available. For more information, call 740-385-6842.

Indian Lake State Park in Logan County is holding events from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 18 to 19. Free wagon rides will be available to visit the Sugar Shack for demonstrations on turning sap into maple syrup. Wagon rides will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. For a fee ($5 for adults and $3 for children), visitors can enjoy a pancake breakfast with sausage and beverages from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. There will be pints, quarts and gallons of syrup for sale. For more information, call 937-843-2717.

For more information on these events and on maple syrup in Ohio, including a video on how to tap a tree, go to parks.ohiodnr.gov/maplesyrup.

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