Middlefield - It’s hands-on, educational, inspirational and celebrational!
Bring your family and friends out to Geauga Park District’s Sap’s-A-Risin’ for a taste of how maple sugaring has evolved since the Native Americans, then a taste of the sticky stuff itself. Sap’s-A-Risin’ is held from Noon – 4 p.m. on March 9, 16 and 23 at Swine Creek Reservation, 16004 Hayes Road, Middlefield/Parkman Townships.
Guests are always excited for this free experience. Enjoy historical interactions with costumed interpreters, gather sap during a stroll through the sugar bush, see and learn how sap is boiled in the sugarhouse’s evaporator, enjoy a sample taste of syrup, then warm up in the lodge with live music, woodcarving demonstrations, maple stirs and maple popcorn.
Geauga Park District’s sugar house was built in 1983 on a 32-acre sugar bush thanks to the inspiration of former Park Board member Mark Sperry, a staunch believer in public education. This Genuine Geauga experience has become a memorable family tradition for many, drawing an average 400 people each day.
For others, Sap’s-A-Risin’ has been known to change their entire outlook on March. Naturalist Judy Bradt-Barnhart herself admits, “I really didn’t like the month of March because it was dreary and cold and I had spring on my mind. But once I started maple sugaring, it just got in my blood, and I just love sugaring season now – it gives me something to look forward to before spring arrives.”
Each day the lodge also features wood carving demonstrations and sales with Jim Stadtlander and Diane Harto, maple treats and live music: the New Real String Band (old-time country and string band music featuring hammered dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, guitar, etc.) on March 9; Al Bonnis & The Sugarhouse Serenaders (country, blues, contemporary folk music, etc., on guitars, bass, etc., with superb singing) on March 16; and Pure Quill featuring Dave and Barb Partington (Appalachian and British Isles songs and tunes on hammered dulcimer, guitar and banjo) on March 23.
Registration is not required for this program. The lodge, history trail and sugarhouse are fully wheelchair/stroller accessible, but sap gathering is off trail.
Call 440-286-9516 with questions about Sap’s-a-Risin’.
Swine Creek Reservation’s sugar house is also a featured stop on the statewide March Maple Madness Drive-It-Yourself Tour of local maple sugaring operations.
Those dates are Saturday and Sunday, March 8, 9, 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Maps will be available at www.ohiomapleproducers.com. Call 440-834-1415 for tour details.