Maple sugaring with Mass Audubon is something you may want to scribble onto your family calendar today. If you and your family have a natural curiosity about how we get delicious maple syrup and maple sugar and like being involved in an outdoors adventure, consider signing on for a Mass Audubon Maple Sugaring Tour at one of these Mass Audubon sites during the late winter. Maple sugaring will take you into natural surroundings, give you lots of fresh air, provide exercise and educate you about how nature provides us with delicious maple syrup. There is bound to be some part of the experience that will be enjoyed by every member of your family.
Massachusetts Audubon Society, or Mass Audubon as it is known locally, is an organization established to help save and maintain wilderness land within state borders primarily to support local wildlife but also to provide recreational options for residents of the state. Within the borders of Massachusetts, Mass Audubon directs the preservation of wildlife and their habitats in more than 40 designated areas. Each sanctuary is unique and each was established to manage a distinct type of environment. In terms of area, Massachusetts may well be a small state but it does have great diversity within its borders. There are coastal areas, mountainous regions, streams, rivers and woodlands and all offer their own unique recreational treats to human visitors.
During late February and throughout the month of March residents living or visiting in the Southeastern quadrant of the state will find that Moose HIll Wildlife Sanctuary , Sharon, MA is welcoming all comers to take part in its maple sugaring programs. Moose Hill is making a real effort to get you out into the great outdoors and discover the fun of maple sugaring by offering programs on weekday mornings and afternoons and adding extra programs, great for families, on weekends.
From Feb. 23- March 27 on weekdays visitors from K- adult can sign up for a 90 minute event that lays out the entire maple sugaring process. Visitors get introduced to the many kinds of maple trees and have the chance to see native American sites and colonial settings where maple sugaring was undertaken centuries ago. Participants also get a chance to visit and watch the operation of the Moose HIll sugar house and taste the difference between maple sap and maple syrup. As tours fill up quickly it is necessary to pre-register at 781-784-5691.
This same program is offered on three weekend days, March 15, 21 and 22 with tours going off every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Weekend visitors are invited in after their tour to sample some maple treats like maple popcorn and maple dogs at a small additional price. There is a $7 per person price for all organized tours.
MassAudubonn is well known for its child friendly/family observant programming. A good example of this awareness is found in the special February school vacation program scheduled to accomodate the down time that kids have in late February.
At the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield, MA young people in grades K-5 are invited to take part in a program that will help develop their observational skills and give them a fresh appreciation of the natural world around them. In addition to observing wildlife and their winter homes, young participants will have the chance to participate in maple sugaring from tapping the maple trees to learning how the syrup is made. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary is equipped with warm indoor facilities where young people will also participate in age appropriate games, stories and crafts. This special Maple Sugaring day will be held on February 17 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. You may want to check the Audubon site to learn what other specilized programs are being offered over the balance of the week at Ipswich River
If you really are most interested in the kind of maple syrup that is found on the pancakes your eating, then the maple sugaring event that may most grab your attention this maple sugaring season is probably the one being held at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA Not only can your family observe the entire sugaring process but at a reasonable fee you can enjoy the “Sap to Syrup Farmers Breakfast ” that will be offered on March 15-16 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Besides the great taste of pancakes and syrup you will also be served home grown roasted potatoes and sausage with breakfast beverages. This is a wonderful family event offered at $10 for kids and $13 for adults, kids 3 and under eat free.
Sanctuaries in South Natick, Milton, and Belmont Mass also have programs that may appeal to you or be closer to home. Maple sugaring is an annual natural phenomenon that families can enjoy sharing together through well organized programs presented thanks to MassAudubon.