The air is warming bit by bit with spring just a few weeks away. Already, the area’s maple trees are gearing up for the growing season and sap is flowing through their trunks. February is the season to tap into those trees, extract sweet, sticky sap and boil it into tasty maple products. Learn all about how it’s done at one of these nature centers during their annual sugaring festivals.
Wissahickon Environmental Center
300 W. Northwestern Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19118 // 215-685-9285
Sat., Feb. 24 | 11 am – 3 pm
Join the educators at the center on Forbidden Drive (near Northwestern Ave) for their annual Maple Sugar Day. Watch ongoing demonstrations on how maple sugaring works, sample pancakes with real maple syrup and do a taste test to see if you can tell the real stuff from flavored varieties. There will also be freshly made maple candy to taste and Pennsylvania maple syrup products available for purchase. No registration is necessary. Stop by for this free event.
Wissahickon Watershed Association
12 Morris Rd., Ambler, PA 19002 // 215-646-8866
www.wvwa.org | Sun., Feb. 25| 12 – 3 pm
Learn the science behind the process that turns tree sap into maple sugar. WVWA guides will lead small groups on a short hike into the stands of maple trees. See how the trees are tapped and the collected sap is boiled down into syrup. Tours last about 45 minutes and finish at the headquarters where hot chocolate and warm maple treats will be served! Pre-registration and pre-payment for the program is available online here, but walk-ins are welcome. Everything begins at the Green Ribbon Trail entrance on Butler Ave. in Ambler. Park at the Ambler Post Office and follow the signs to the reception table.
Norristown Farm Park
2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403 // 610-270-0215
Sun., Feb. 25 | 2 pm
Get an up close look at the maple sugaring process during this workshop. How did the Native Americans and early settlers learn to take the sap from trees and make such a delicious, sweet treat? You’ll have a chance to taste real maple sugar and compare it to commercially produced store brands. Maple candy will be available for purchase. Pre-registration is necessary for this free program designed for adults and children aged 6 years and older.
Green Lane Park
Hill Road Day Use Area off Rt. 29, Green Lane, PA 18054 // 215-234-4528
Sat., March 3 | 11 am and 2 pm
This maple sugaring demonstration day will show you how to tap a tree for sap and boil it down in an evaporator. Park staff will share stories of “sugaring off” parties that took place in days past. Pure Pennsylvanian maple candy, cream, and syrup will be available for purchase. Two demonstrations will begin promptly at 11am and 2 pm. The event is free.