Spring celebrations begin early at the sanctuary with the age-old tradition of maple sugaring. The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling, billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse. On our naturalist-guided tours, learn how to identify a sugar maple, observe tapping and sap collection methods, watch the sap being boiled down in the sugarhouse, and get a sweet taste of the final product.
Afterwards, warm up by the woodstove in the Barn, where hot dogs cooked in maple sap (aka sap dogs) and delicious soups and desserts made by our volunteers are available for purchase. Visit our gift shop to browse a selection of maple products, and be sure to bring home a bottle of our own freshly made maple syrup. Tours last about an hour and run in all weather.
More Opportunities for Sugaring Fun:
Complete information on our school sugaring tours can be found in our school brochure. Download it from our website or call our office to request a copy (978-887-9264).
Scout Sugaring Jamboree
Saturday, February 16, 1-4 pm
Bring your troop and the whole family to meet our maple trees, tour the sugarhouse, try a taste of our sweet syrup, and participate in winter games and activities. Try your hand at using real sugaring tools at the tree-tapping station, warm up and toast marshmallows by the campfire, and participate in a snow creature building contest where the winner gets a free bottle of syrup! Our dress-like-a-lumberjack photo booth can capture your sweet memories, and each scout will go home with a special maple sugaring jamboree badge.
For more information and to register for the Jamboree, call 978-887-9264.
Saturday, March 23
Enjoy a pancake breakfast served with Ipswich River's own maple syrup, followed by a sugaring tour. Please see the March 23 program listings for for details on our Spring Flapjack Fling & Sugaring Tours. You may sign up for breakfast and a tour, or just a tour.
Children under 3 are free and should be in a backpack baby carrier. Dress warmly and wear warm waterproof boots, since we will be outside for an hour, and the trails may be wet, muddy, or snow-covered.