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Sleeping Bear Dunes Kicks Off Maple Syrup Season with Maple Sugaring Days

March marks maple syrup season in Michigan, and on Sunday, people were able to go on a tour at the Port Oneida Rural Historic District during Maple Sugaring Days to see the process and learn the history behind making maple syrup.

“Everybody loves maple syrup, but how do we make it, where does it come from? The process is pretty involved,” Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park Ranger Emily Sunblade says.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes began Maple Sugaring Days after the community and the Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear showed interest. And it was a hit.


Hundreds of maple syrup lovers visited Port Oneida Rural Historic District to learn about maple syrup season. Folks went on a one-mile history hike to learn from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians on the traditional way of boiling sap into sugar.

“Folks are finding out why we tap maple trees at this time of year, some more about the chemistry at how the inside of a tree works, and why maple trees are the ones we tap,” Sunblade explains.

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After learning all about maple syrup, people were able to try different maple syrup treats. One local family says they enjoyed the new event and learning about one of Michigan’s great natural resources. They say they’re glad the park put on Maple Sugaring Days and hopes for many more to come.

“We come to the dunes frequently, but it’s really nice to have some additional programming especially for the kids to engage with,” they say.

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