Maple Syrup Hikes and Workshops

Maple syrup time is now and here are a few maple syrup hikes and workshops.

Maple Syrup Hikes through Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods

Riverwoods, IL — Educators and volunteers at the Lake County Forest Preserves have led very popular Maple Syrup Hikes through Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods for more than 40 years. Every March, school groups, scout troops and families, learn about the process of converting raw maple tree sap from the preserve’s immense sugar maple trees into maple syrup.

The one-hour hikes run every half-hour from noon to 2 pm are offered Saturdays and Sundays, March 5–20 and are open to all ages.

“Educators are prepping a full slate of programs taking place in March,” said Director of Education Nan Buckardt. “We are looking forward to offering both in-person and virtual programs this spring.”

“This year all public program hikes will be held entirely outdoors,” said Buckardt 

The weather dictates what visitors will see along the trails, said Environmental Educator Jen Berlinghof. “The timing for tapping maple trees comes down to temperature–above freezing during the day but still below freezing at night–plus precipitation and the hours of sunlight in a day,” Jen said. Changing temperature is what causes the sap to surge upward from the roots toward the branches, where it helps the leaves grow and the buds bloom. Then in the summer, the leaves will produce more sap, which will settle back down in the roots come winter, Berlinghof said.

“Visitors are able to witness the wonder of turning sap from sugar maple trees into sweet maple syrup. All registered participants can have a taste,” Berlinghof added.

Tickets for Maple Syrup Hikes sell out very fast, so please register early. The cost is $6 per person and kids ages 3 and under are free. Special hikes designed for scouts or other large groups are also available.

“We are enthusiastic that we are again able to offer the outdoor educational experience,” Berlinghof said. The experience includes learning where we use the maple syruping process to meet science learning standards, Berlinghof said. 

“If your family is ready to hit the trails, we are providing free self-guided Maple Syrup Hikes from March 21–31. Through informational signs, you’ll learn the science behind how trees make sap and how we turn that sap into real maple syrup as you walk along the designated trail at your own pace,” Berlinghof said.

Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods.
21950 North Riverwoods Road
Riverwoods, IL 60015


Mohawk Valley Trading Company

Utica, NY – Mohawk Valley Trading Company  dark, robust maple syrup (formerly called Grade B) is made primarily from sugar maple sap which is preferred for maple syrup production because it has an average sugar content of two percent. Sap from other maple species is usually lower in sugar content, and about twice as much is needed to produce the same amount of finished syrup. Mohawk Valley Trading Company also offers granulated and powdered maple sugar.

Mohawk Valley Trading Company

901 Broad St

Utica, NY 13501


“Making Maple Syrup” Workshop 

Eagle River, Wis. — “Making Maple Syrup” workshop will be held by Trees For Tomorrow (TFT), an accredited nonprofit environmental education center in Eagle River on March 26. The workshop runs from 9 a.m. to noon and will mostly be held outdoors. The campus includes National Forest property under permit from the USDA Forest Service.

As part of TFT’s Sustainable Living Institute series, this is a good introduction to the history, art and science of maple sugaring. The programs were developed with the goal of educating participants with the knowledge and skills they can use to get closer to the land and lead a more sustainable life. 

Sugaring, or making maple syrup from organic raw sap, is a time-honored tradition that takes place each spring in the North American. 

“We are fortunate to have one of the highest concentrations of sugar maple trees in North America right here in northern Wisconsin,” said Todd Starling the program coordinator “Tapping trees is something that many residents look forward to each spring. The entire process from identifying trees to tapping to boiling and bottling may seem intimidating to inexperienced people, so we wanted to host a program to get people comfortable and confident with the process.”

Attendees will have the opportunity for hands-on learning and be able to practice each step in the process. No prior experience is necessary to participate this program;

Registration is required and the cost for the day is $30/person or $45/couple which includes a complete morning of hands-on coaching and three sap collection kits to assistance get your own maple sugaring operation underway. 

519 East Sheridan Street
Eagle River Wisconsin 54521

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