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updated: 2/26/2014 1:12 PM

Maple syrup season set to begin in Lake County

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  • Lake County Forest Preserve Environmental Educator Jennifer Berlinghof taps a sugar maple tree at Ryerson Woods Monday, Feb. 24, in preparation of the upcoming annual Maple Syrup Hikes.

      Lake County Forest Preserve Environmental Educator Jennifer Berlinghof taps a sugar maple tree at Ryerson Woods Monday, Feb. 24, in preparation of the upcoming annual Maple Syrup Hikes.
    Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserve District

 
Lake County Forest Preserve District submission

A sure sign that spring is on the way is the annual tapping of sugar maple trees, which is set to begin at Ryerson Woods in Riverwoods.

Register now to take a Maple Syrup Hike with a Lake County Forest Preserve educator, and learn how sap from the sugar maple trees is turned into sweet syrup. Participants follow the process from sap to syrup and then taste the final product.

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The hikes are offered weekends only, Saturdays and Sundays, March 1-16. The one-hour hikes run every half-hour from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and are open to all ages.

Registration is required. Hikes fill fast, so register soon. Cost is $6 per person and free for kids ages 3 and younger. Special sessions designed for large parties or Scout groups are also available. For details or to register, call (847) 968-3321 or register online.

Ryerson Woods is one of the few local areas where climate conditions are right for maple syrup production, and where the trees grow to a diameter and height that allows for tapping. Syrup production only happens in late winter and very early spring.

The entrance to Ryerson Woods is on Riverwoods Road, between Half Day Road (Route 22) and Deerfield Road, just west of the Interstate 94 tollway. View on Google Maps.

For details on this or other Lake County Forest Preserve programs, call (847) 367-6640 and request a free copy of the Horizons quarterly newsletter. Download the free Lake County Forest Preserve mobile app in the Google Play or Apple app store to get program information directly on your mobile device -- search for "Lake County Forest Preserves."

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