Maple Fest returns to Ithaca on March 23 & 24

Come to the Cayuga Nature Center March 23 and 24 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to witness how sap becomes sweet maple syrup. This annual event starts with a delicious pancake feast from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm both days and helps showcase the taste of maple syrup by pouring it on pancakes, sausage, and apple crisp. Once you are full, work off your meal between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm by checking out the rotating live music, local vendors with homemade goods, hikes and syrup demonstrations along the Sugarbush Trail.This is one of the most popular events held at the Nature Center, a public education venue of the Paleontological Research Institution. Visitors come from all over New York State to partake in this annual event, which has grown from year to year. Maple syrup is produced nowhere else on Earth, except Northeast America and Canada. Trees can begin to be tapped as early as January, but the main sap flow occurs in March. Ideal sap flow conditions are when the days turn warmer (above 40 degrees) while the nights are still chilly and it can take about 30-50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.One of the first signs of spring is the tapping of maple trees to collect the sap to make the maple syrup. Celebrate this sign of spring by joining this family-friendly event! Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for children (3-12) and $35 for a family of 5. Member admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children (3-12), and $25 for a family of 5. Children under age 2 or free. All proceeds benefit the Cayuga Nature Center’s mission and programming.About the Cayuga Nature Center: The Cayuga Nature Center cultivates awareness, appreciation and responsibility for the natural world through outdoor and environmental education. Climb six stories into the tree branches with the TreeTops. See our live animal collection featuring reptiles, mammals, and birds in both indoor and outdoor enclosures. Enjoy our special toddler playroom. Relax in the WPA-era Lodge after hiking more than five miles of scenic trails traversing 120 acres of natural gorges and native wildlife. Enjoy the Nature Center year round: walk among the butterflies in our summer butterfly garden or take to the trails in winter with snowshoes or skis. The Nature Center overlooks Cayuga Lake on Route 89 in the Town of Ulysses, 15 minutes west of downtown Ithaca in New York. The grounds and trails are open to the public 365 days per year from dawn to dusk. The Cayuga Nature Center is a public education venue of the Paleontological Research Institution.

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