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updated: 3/22/2014 5:51 PM

Season's last maple syrup hike at Ryerson

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  • Malia Stern of Vernon Hills leans sideways a little so her daughter, Ashley, 2, can see sap being collected during the Maple Syrup Hike Saturday at the Lake County Preserve Ryerson Woods Conservation Area near Lincolnshire.

       Malia Stern of Vernon Hills leans sideways a little so her daughter, Ashley, 2, can see sap being collected during the Maple Syrup Hike Saturday at the Lake County Preserve Ryerson Woods Conservation Area near Lincolnshire.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Hannah Stern, left, 4, of Vernon Hills, learns how to drill into a log with the help of volunteer Jamie Godshalk of Lincolnshire as Hannah Moustakis, also 4 and from Vernon Hills, watches during Saturday's Maple Syrup Hike at the Lake County Preserve Ryerson Woods Conservation Area near Lincolnshire.

       Hannah Stern, left, 4, of Vernon Hills, learns how to drill into a log with the help of volunteer Jamie Godshalk of Lincolnshire as Hannah Moustakis, also 4 and from Vernon Hills, watches during Saturday's Maple Syrup Hike at the Lake County Preserve Ryerson Woods Conservation Area near Lincolnshire.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Volunteer Jamie Godshalk of Lincolnshire shows guests how maple syrup is made with the use of an evaporator during Saturday's Maple Syrup Hike at the Lake County Preserve Ryerson Woods Conservation Area near Lincolnshire.

       Volunteer Jamie Godshalk of Lincolnshire shows guests how maple syrup is made with the use of an evaporator during Saturday's Maple Syrup Hike at the Lake County Preserve Ryerson Woods Conservation Area near Lincolnshire.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

A sure sign of spring is the annual tapping of sugar maple trees at Ryerson Woods in Riverwoods.

Saturday was the final weekend of the season for the Lake County Forest Preserve District's annual weekend maple syrup hikes. Participants learned how sap from the sugar maple trees is turned into sweet syrup, then tasted the final product during the one-hour hikes.

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Ryerson Woods is one of a 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 early spring.

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