Does your mouth water as you watch maple syrup slowly drizzle over a stack of freshly made pancakes or waffles? Did you know that Ohio is the fifth largest maple sugar-producing state in the United States? Are you wondering where you might be able to find an Ohio maple syrup festival near you this spring?
You’re in luck! The state is not only a major maple sugar producer but also home to many places that offer maple sugar tours, opportunities for tapping maple sap, and festivals dedicated to maple syrup. When you’re in the Buckeye State, you don’t need to go far to see and taste real maple syrup.
The Ohio Maple Syrup Season
The maple tree tapping season begins each February. Across Ohio, small holes are drilled into the trunk of sugar maples, spouts are inserted, buckets are attached to the spouts, and maple syrup is collected.
How is this possible? The warm sunny days and cold freezing nights make the perfect tapping conditions. These temps allow the sap to thaw in the trees, and as pressure builds, it’s ready to be tapped.
Believe it or not, it takes somewhere between 40 to 50 gallons of sap to produce just 1 gallon of sweet maple syrup.
The Maple Madness Driving Tour in Ohio
Now that you know where sap and maple sugar come from, where in Ohio can you go to find them? The short answer is, you don’t have to go far.
If you want to create your own maple syrup adventure, consider doing a driving tour. You can go where you want to, and the good news is that all roads lead to quality maple products made by Ohio producers.
The Maple Madness Driving Tour, which takes place on the first two weekends in March, will take you around Northwest, Northeast, and Central Ohio. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites below.
Lucius Maple Syrup
In Northwest Ohio, you can check out Lucius Maple Syrup in Bucyrus. Here, you can watch second-generation maple producers create scores of delicious goodies with maple sugar, including maple icing and maple candy.
Butcher Family Maple Products
Afterward, turn the wheel toward Central Ohio, where you’ll find a region chock-full of maple producers.
One, in particular, is Butcher Family Maple Products in Mount Vernon. It offers guided tours of its production facility and samples of maple syrup and renowned maple products, such as cotton candy and maple cream spread.
Mowry Maple Farm
Next, head to Northeast Ohio to check out Mowry Maple Farm in Lexington. You can take a ride through the woods to see how sap is collected. Then, watch them boil down the sap. Before you leave, you can purchase different kinds of maple syrup, such as habanero-infused and bourbon barrel-aged syrups.
Dolce’s Sugar Shack
Not too far away from Mowry Maple Farm is Dolce’s Sugar Shack in Mansfield. You can fill up on a delicious pancake and sausage breakfast. Then, watch hourly sap tapping demonstrations. Also, you can watch horse-drawn sleds carry all that collected sap through the woods.
Fitch Pharm Farm
In Ashland, you’ll come upon Fitch Pharm Farm. Here, you can find all kinds of naturally-made products, including maple taffy, syrup, tea, and coffee.
Wakeman Maple Farms
Farther north, you can check out Wakeman Maple Farms in Wakeman. It gives you the opportunity to experience hands-on sap tapping, collecting, and bottling. While you’re here, you can check out local food trucks and vendors too.
IQ Maple Syrup
In Chagrin Falls on the other side of Cleveland, IQ Maple Syrup offers something for adults and kids alike. More than 500 sap buckets are put out for collecting, and you can see the whole process from start to finish.
Kids will delight in interacting with the animals on site, including goats and donkeys. Additionally, there’s plenty of great maple-flavored food!
Burton Log Cabin & Sugar Camp
The Burton Log Cabin and Sugar Camp in Burton offers a chance to watch syrup demonstrations in a 1930s log cabin. The cabin itself is a working sugarhouse that makes maple syrup every spring and produces maple candies throughout the year.
On top of that, Burton is an Amish town with a rich history and culture!
Swine Creek Sugarhouse
If you’re looking for a shot of history on your maple tour, check out the Swine Creek Sugarhouse in Middlefield. You can experience the tapping and boiling methods used throughout history back to old Native American traditions. Then, you can try the maple syrup for yourself.
These are just a few of the places you can visit along the Maple Madness Driving Tour, so check the tour map for other great Ohio maple syrup tour stops.
Maple Sweet Stops in Ohio
Of course, no tour of a maple syrup farm or a visit to an Ohio maple syrup festival is complete without picking up some sweet treats. There are a couple of places in Northeast Ohio that really stand out to us.
KC Maple Syrup & Candy
In Montville, make a stop at KC Maple Syrup & Candy. You can see how sap is gathered and processed, as well as sample some unique goodies — maple-flavored popcorn and bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. It even offers maple-flavored dog treats that you can take home to your furry family members.
Richards Sugarhouse Maple
While you’re on the hunt for sweet treats, check out Richards Sugarhouse Maple in Chardon. You’ll find some unique creations that are sure to delight your taste buds.
While you’re there to buy homemade maple syrup, you can also enjoy hot dogs cooked in maple sap and try maple samples, cotton candy, coated nuts, and maple candy. If you’re looking for a sweet taste of spring, this is one of the best places to find it.
Ohio Maple Syrup Festivals
If you’ve never been to an Ohio maple syrup festival, there’s never been a better time to go. You can not only sample some decadent goodies but can also learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about maple syrup.
If you go, dress warmly because some festival activities will be outside. You should wear shoes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty as well.
Camp Lazarus Maple Fest
The Camp Lazarus Maple Fest offers a lot for visitors for just $15. A preregistration package gives you the chance to get a commemorative patch and an all-you-can-eat pancake feast.
You can also visit the Adams Mullins Sugar Shack to learn how syrup is made and meet the syrup makers. In addition, there are lots of free activities — rope making, nail making, and pioneer games.
Malabar Farms Maple Festival
In Lucas, about one hour from Columbus, you can visit the Malabar Farms Maple Festival during the first two weekends in March. Visitors can experience sugar camp up close with historical demonstrations, wagon rides, and, of course, food and maple products.
More Maple Tapping Festivals
Hocking Hills and Charles Alley Nature Park host Maple Tapping Festivals in Ohio too. You can savor the taste of the season as you watch sap being boiled down and discover the many methods used to make syrup throughout history.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Ohio Maple Syrup Season
What maple trees are native to Ohio?
Three members of the family of maple trees are native to Ohio — red, sugar, and silver maple. All three appear in large numbers throughout the Buckeye State.
Can you make maple syrup in Ohio?
Yes, you can make maple syrup in Ohio. The best time to do it is in late winter or early spring when tree sap thaws and is ready to be tapped.
Are there sugar maple trees in Ohio?
Yes, there are a lot of sugar maple trees in Ohio. You can find them in meadows and forests throughout the state. In particular, these trees flourish in the cooler Northeast Ohio climate and are prized just as much for their wood as their sap.
Can you tap maple trees every year?
Yes, you can tap trees for Ohio maple syrup every year. In fact, if a maple tree is on a good growing site and treated well, it can be tapped for sap indefinitely.
When should I tap my maple trees in Ohio?
When you can tap maple trees for sap and syrup depends on the weather. Most years, tapping begins near the end of February and early March. During that time, the tree sap thaws and becomes clear and very watery, so it’s easier to tap.
Start Your Ohio Maple Syrup Adventure Today
If you want to see Ohio maple syrup made up close or you want to experience the thrills of an Ohio maple syrup festival, what are you waiting for? No matter where you travel in the Buckeye State in February and March, you’re never far from a maple syrup producer or a festival.
You can get all the delicious goodies that your heart and taste buds desire, and you can see how the sweetness is made right from the source. Round up the family, hop in the car, and hit the road.
There are myriad places to check out for the best Ohio maple syrup. The only limit on your adventure is just how far you’re willing to travel.