Syrup Season – How Sweet It Is!

a drop of tree sap

Syrup Season – How Sweet It Is!

Have you ever heard of March MAPLE Madness. When the sap runs, we celebrate!

Cincinnati Parks responds to the earliest promise of spring with maple sugar programs that culminate in two popular pancake breakfast celebrations in March:

Maple in Mt. Airy on Saturday, March 4 at Oak Ridge Lodge  in Mt. Airy Forest (1400 Oak Ridge Rd., 45223). Breakfast seatings are from 9am – Noon.
This event is perfect for scouts, organized groups and families of all ages! A free pancake breakfast is provided in Oak Ridge Lodge before your program begins. After breakfast, participants head outside to visit 4 stations and interact with sugar makers from the past and present. Lots of tasting… Yum! The program including breakfast takes approximately 1.25 hours. Program fee: $8.00 per person (ages 3 and under are FREE), Reserve your seat before March 3 at:
Call 321-6070 for additional information.


Pancakes in the Woods on Sunday, March 19 from 9am – 1pm at California Woods Nature Preserve (5400 Kellogg Ave., 45230).
Celebrate the maple season! Enjoy pancakes and sausage grilled by celebrity chefs at the Marian J. and Charles D. Lindberg Nature Center. Learn about the process and story of maple sugaring with ongoing demonstrations and hands-on activities during the event. Don’t forget to take a walk or short hike in the woods to enjoy the colorful carpet of wildflowers. Breakfast seatings are first come, first serve; no reservations are required. All proceeds benefit California Woods and Magrish Riverlands Preserves. Suggested Donation: $7 per person. For more information, call 231-8678 or email gia.giammarinaro@cincinnati-oh.gov.

So why don’t we just have these breakfasts in May or June, when the weather is a bit more predictable? If you head out for a walk in the woods, you’ll see the answer in action. Trees make sugar for their own purposes: to fuel growth, especially the tremendous growth spurt required in spring when buds burst open and new leaves, twigs and flowers emerge. As the new growth uses up the sugar, the tree sap becomes increasingly less sweet, even bitter, and totally unfit for syrup.

Over the next few weeks, you can watch the progress of sugar being converted to tree parts. Choose your favorite tree and watch it at least once a week (or maybe even daily). Pay special attention to the buds on trees. See how they’re stretccchhhinnggg out until the scales split open, and small leaves appear. Watch how quickly those tiny leaves swell up to full size in a matter of days. Which trees “pop” first? Last? Discover the answers to these questions on your weekly trek outdoors!

This is definitely a limited-time-only opportunity. Don’t miss it. Get out and explore!