Making maple syrup at Wild River

The maple syruping process begins with tapping trees to gather the sap. Photos supplied

The maple syruping process begins with tapping trees to gather the sap. Photos supplied

Tap into a sweet springtime tradition by taking part in a maple syruping workshop at Wild River State Park.

All ages are invited to one of the five workshops scheduled for March 9, 10, 17, 23 and 24. Each workshop will begin at 11 a.m. at the park’s Visitor Center and conclude at 2 p.m. Space is limited in each workshop, so call now to register.

Park naturalist Kacie Carlson will begin indoors by taking you back in time to learn about the history of maple syrup and sugar making, as well as the equipment and procedures used. The group will then head outdoors to tap trees, gather sap, fire up the evaporator and, best of all, get a taste of the home-made pure maple syrup.

This is the evaporator used in the next step of the syruping process at Wild River State Park.

This is the evaporator used in the next step of the syruping process at Wild River State Park.

Participants are invited to bring a lunch and enjoy the day at the park.

Maple sap runs best when daytime temperatures are in the high 30s to mid-40s and overnight temperatures are below freezing. This cycle of above-freezing days and below-freezing nights needs to continue for several days. Some sap may flow as early as January or as late as May, but the typical time for a good sap run in Minnesota is from about March 15 to April 20. It usually takes 30-40 gallons of sap to get one gallon of pure maple syrup.

Maple sap runs best when daytime temps are in the high 30s to mid-40s and overnight temps are below freezing. This cycle of above-freezing days and below-freezing nights needs to continue for several days.

Maple sap runs best when daytime temps are in the high 30s to mid-40s and overnight temps are below freezing. This cycle of above-freezing days and below-freezing nights needs to continue for several days.

The maple syrup workshops are free, but a vehicle permit ($5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit) is required to enter the park. Registration is required by calling 651-583-2125, ext. 227. More information and activities can be found online at www.mndnr.gov/wildriver or by calling 651-583-2125.

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