Maple Syrup Season
Spring brings a number of outdoor activities to Northern Michigan but one with a culinary connection often ends up on pancakes: making maple syrup. Several weeks in March when the days warm to above freezing but the nights deep below freezing are perfect for making syrup. When Northern Michigan's many maple trees are adorned with taps and buckets, it is a sure sign of spring.
Tapping the trees typically means a snowshoe hike into the woods. The maple trees are drilled and a spout is placed in the hole with a bucket hanging from the spout. The sap is collected daily.
The sap is then boiled in either an outdoor shed called a sugar shack or over a fire or camp stove--yes, outside. It takes 10 gallons of sap to make one quart of syrup so there is a lot of evaporation. Once the liquid hits 212 degrees F, it can be filtered and then bottled.
The early season syrup, the first sap taken from the trees, is lighter in color and flavor and as the weeks pass, the syrup becomes darker. In the U.S. there are two grades of maple syrup, A and B with A being lighter while B is the darker syrup. Bakers, for example, might prefer Grade B because it adds a bit more sweetness.
Maple syrup "farms" are a part of Northern Michigan and have been for many years. Several date back three or four generations and farms in Charlevoix and Burt Lake are among the biggest in the state.
If you're in Northern Michigan in March, don't miss the maple syrup season. And if you are not Up North in March, visit one of our many farm markets to capture some of this golden liquid of spring.
Celebrate Spring in Northern Michigan...
The Great Outdoors Up North...
- Discover the Lighthouses of Northern Michigan
- Parks Aplenty in the Petoskey Area
- Petoskey State Park
- Petoskey's Bear River Valley Recreation Area
- Petoskey's Bear River Whitewater Park
- Explore the Dark Sky Park Discovery Trail Near Mackinaw City
- Kid's Fishing Pond in Petoskey
- Searching for Petoskey Stones in Northern Michigan
- Disc Golf Up North in Michigan
- Bike the Little Traverse Wheelway from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix
- The Oden State Fish Hatchery Provides Fish for Lakes & Streams
- Kayaking Up North Is The Best!
- Sailing in Northern Michigan for Adults & Kids
- Hike and Bike the North Country Trail
- Boyne City Outdoor Activities
- Thorne Swift Nature Preserve
- Ride the Breezeway Scenic Highway Between Atwood & Boyne Falls
- Up North Outdoor Activities--Hiking, Biking, Golfing, Boating, Sailing, Skiing--It's All Here!
- Visit Young State Park on Lake Charlevoix Near Boyne City
- Arch Rock - A Natural Wonder on Mackinac Island
For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in Northern Michigan:
Harbor Springs, Michigan -- Harbor Springs is the place to try new things! Rent a bike or a kayak, go snow tubing, attend a concert or an art fair, or play a round of golf with friends.
Petoskey -- There's so much to do in Petoskey from the Bear River Valley Recreation Area, to Petoskey State Park, to biking, golfing, hiking, and more.
Charlevoix, Michigan -- Visiting Charlevoix in Northern Michigan is a fun-filled vacation with great beaches, boating, skiing, fishing and year 'round family fun.
Things to Do in Boyne City, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like Boyne City in Northern Michigan with camping, boating, skiing, year 'round outdoor activities, and of course, the morel mushroom!
Lots of Activities in Mackinaw City, Michigan -- Explore Mackinaw City in Northern Michigan for history, the International Dark Sky Park, and outdoor activities.
Mackinac Island -- Take a step back in time and find lots of things to do when you visit Mackinac Island by horseback or bike--no cars allowed!
Northern Michigan Activities & Things to Do -- Northern Michigan offers many fun things to do for the entire family whatever the season, whatever the reason!