JACKSONTOWN – The sap flowed as soon as the tap met the tree Tuesday, as Dawes Arboretum crews began collecting maple sap for Dawes’ Maple Syrup Madness event beginning this weekend. “It’s a good reason to bundle up and go outside,” said Dawes Public Relations Director Laura Appleman, who added for many, the annual maple syrup event is the first sign of spring, even if the snow is still falling.
Maple Syrup Madness begins Saturday, Feb. 23, and continues through March 9 with guided tours each Saturday. According to Dawes web site, it’s that time of year when the sugar maples are tapped and visitors indulge in the sugary goodness of maple syrup. Visitors will discover how sap is collected and processed to produce maple syrup as they walk a self-guided trail. The journey ends at the log cabin where sap is boiled down and all receive a delicious sample of homemade syrup.
Appleman said Dawes isn’t licensed to sell the syrup it produces. It’s fine, though, to give it away as samples at the end of the tour and the staff and volunteers enjoy a pancake breakfast, with all the syrup they want, when the event is concluded. However, the Visitors Center does sell maple products produced in Chardon, Ohio.
Interpretive Educator Beth Spieles said as of Tuesday a dozen groups were already scheduled to enjoy the maple syrup tour, including scout troops, preschoolers, and people from retirement communities. “There’s quite a mix of ages,” she said, “especially when you’re a guide.”