You don’t have to go to Vermont to hike around maple trees and learn about that yummy syrup folks love to pour on their pancakes and French toast.
The Lake County Forest Preserves District holds Maple Syrup Hikes the second, third and fourth weekends in March.
The hikes are a chance to learn about the trees’ plumbing that makes late February and early March the best time in our area for collecting sap.
Actually, the sap is already running up Lake County’s sugar maple trees.
LCFPD Environmental Educator Jennifer Berlinghof has been out at Ryerson with her drill, hammer, spigot and pail to tap a few mature, sugar maples. She said the sap which is very watery has to be processed.
“It takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. It takes a lot of boiling,” Berlinghof said.
She pointed out that the resulting maple syrup becomes a tiny taste treat given to people on the March hikes.
Hikes are every half hour from noon to 2 p.m. starting at the Ryerson Woods Welcome Center, 21950 N. Riverwoods Rd., Deerfield, but preregistration is necessary.
Cost is $6. Children age 3 and under, free. To register and get more details call (847) 968-3113 or visit LCFPD.