Demonstration is sweet to the wallet and tastebuds

Maple Sugar Weekends at Oregon Ridge Nature Center

Family

Events - Activities

February 17, 2005|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,SUN STAFF

Sweeten your weekend by visiting the Oregon Ridge Nature Center. This weekend and next, the center is presenting its sweetest event -- the annual Maple Sugaring Weekends.

Visitors will enjoy samples of sweet syrup direct from the center's maple trees, watch the trees being tapped and watch sap boil into syrup.

"Every hour we'll have a hike to the sugar bush and drill a hole," says Kirk Dreier, Oregon Ridge Nature Center director. "We'll show how it's done in New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Canada. And tell you how to do it at home."

Free demonstrations will begin at the sugar bush, where visitors will see how maple trees are tapped for sap. Afterward, folks will gather in the Sugar House and watch the sap boil down into sweet syrup for tasting.

Dreier says that if the weather cooperates, visitors can watch as demonstrators make maple taffy on the snow.

Inside the center's auditorium, a video on the maple sugaring process will be shown, and the gift shop will be selling fresh maple syrup each day.

Visitors can return to Oregon Ridge's Park Lodge on March 5 and 6 for the 20th Pancake Breakfast, marking the end of the maple sugar season.

"The Pancake Breakfast is our big community event," Dreier says. "It allows the entire community to come under one roof and meet each other, hear wholesome music and eat fattening food with pure maple syrup."

Also on the menu are sausage, orange juice, milk and coffee.

"It's a fun event," Dreier says. "We'll have music from a dulcimer band, who will sing American folk songs. We'll have raffles ... There will be face painting on the main stage."

The Maple Sugaring Weekends run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Feb. 26 and 27 at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center, 13555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville. Free. The Pancake Breakfast takes place from 8 a.m. to noon March 5 and 6 at Oregon Ridge Park Lodge, 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville. Tickets are $5; $2.50 for ages 2-8. Call 410-887- 1815, or www.oregonridge.org.

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