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The Office of TourismOhio compiles news releases on a regular basis, including monthly events releases, releases on a theme and Ohio tourism trends.

Ohio’s Sweetest Season: Maple Sugaring

2/14/2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb. 14, 2013) – It’s almost time to tap those trees! Ohio’s maple sugaring season offers travelers tasty family fun as maple trees are tapped and the sap begins to flow. Ohio is the fifth largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, and March is the month when all the magic happens.

Surprisingly, the creation of maple syrup hasn’t changed all that much from the days of Native Americans. Some farms employ a bit more technology, but the process remains the same. Maple trees are tapped by boring holes through the bark to a depth to reach the sap, then sap is boiled down to remove the water leaving sweet syrup. Nothing else is added to pure maple syrup. According to the Ohio Maple Producers Association, it takes 35-45 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup, and Ohio produces approximately 125,000 gallons of syrup annually.

Over the course of the next several weekends, maple sugaring businesses are opening their doors and sharing their centuries-old methods of producing the tasty topping. Visitors can experience this process and enjoy a walk or wagon ride through the sugar bush. And when you’ve finished sampling Ohio’s maple sugaring fun, stop at one of Ohio’s historic working mills for some stone-ground pancake mix that will be a perfect pairing for your fresh maple syrup. At Historic Clifton Mill in Clifton visitors have plenty of pancake mix choices, including: whole wheat, blueberry, buck wheat, corn meal, apple cinnamon and buttermilk. Bear’s Mill in Greenville offers its own stone-ground meal and flour, along with a generous selection of handmade arts and locally made pottery.

Following is a sampling of festivals and events tied to Ohio’s maple sugaring fun:

Pancake Breakfast at Century Village, Burton – Feb. 24; March 3, 10, 17, 24
Enjoy the sweet taste of home-grown maple syrup at the Geauga County Historical Society’s annual pancake breakfast. It’s quite a feast with pancakes, sausage and omelets served hot off the griddle. Once you’re full of maple syrup-soaked pancakes, stick around to learn about the history of the Western Reserve at Century Village and the historically significant structures in the area.

37th Annual Maple Syrup Festival at Malabar Farm State Park, Lucas – March 2, 3, 9, 10
Take a horse-drawn wagon ride and see demonstrations of sugar making through history. Make sure you bring your appetite – maple syrup, fudge and maple products will be available for purchase.

Maple Syrup Festival at Hueston Woods State Park, College Corner – March 2, 3, 9, 10
Maple syrup wasn’t made just to be admired from a distance, so bring your fork and enjoy a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hueston Woods State Park. While you’re there, explore the state park with a tour of the sugar bush, offered from noon to 4 p.m.

March Maple Madness Driving Tour, Across Ohio – March 9, 10, 16, 17
For two weekends in March, sugarhouses across Ohio open their doors and invite visitors to see firsthand how pure maple syrup is made. The March Maple Madness Driving Tour is a statewide event sponsored by the Ohio Maple Producers Association and Ohio syrup makers. Experienced maple syrup makers will be on hand to answer questions during the free, drive-it-yourself tour across Ohio. Stops include small, backyard ventures and large, commercial operations.

Maple Sugaring in the Hills at Hocking Hills State Park, Logan – March 9,10
Come to the Naturalist's Cabin at Old Man's Cave in Hocking Hills to discover the many methods used to make this tasty treat from local maple sap. Samples will be available, and you can also enjoy a pancake breakfast at the dining lodge.

Maple Syrup Open House at Mapleberry Farms, Waverly – March 16
Mapleberry Farm began as a winter hobby, but now is a full-time family business. Visitors are welcome to stop by and learn about the maple sugaring process and enjoy the sweet taste of home-grown maple syrup.

About the Office of TourismOhio
The Office of TourismOhio is the premier source of information for travelers and media about Ohio’s vibrant tourism experiences, attractions and economy. Tourism marketing programs contributed to an estimated $40 billion in sales from visitor spending in 2011. A part of the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Office’s mission is to market and celebrate Ohio’s unique travel opportunities and promote the State’s outstanding quality of life.
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