On March 9-10, the communities that make up The Big 400 – towns in the 400 square miles encompassing the Waterloo and Pinkney Recreation Areas – are teaming up to celebrate maple syruping in southern Michigan with a series of events.
Included in the festivities are pancake breakfasts, live demonstrations of maple syrup taping and a wine festival.
The festival includes pancake breakfasts, tours of tapping areas and the syruping process, the release of a local maple wine, and lots of good things to eat.
For starters, there are two pancake breakfasts on March 9.
• American Legion Post 31 in Sylvan Township from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Everyone is invited to bring their families to the post at 1700 Ridge Road on Cavanaugh Lake for a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, juice, milk, or coffee with real maple syrup.
The cost is $6 per person. For more information, call 475-3170.
• McLennan Maple Syrup in Manchester. People can stop by the farm beginning at 9 a.m. or anytime on Saturday for a pancake breakfast. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Sides of sausage are available for an additional charge. The farm is located at 10950 M-52. Call 734-428-7005 for more information.
Proceeds from both of the breakfasts go to support The Big 400 in guiding tourists to our region.
Maple tours and interpretation take place on March 9-10 at several locations.
• Eddy Discovery Center, 17030 Bush Road, Sylvan Township from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. People can watch the traditional rite of spring, tapping maple trees. There will be demonstrations of the process of making maple syrup from the collection of the sap to the evaporation process.
A film will show visitors the old-time methods used to make maple syrup, and maple products will be available for purchase.
The cost is $2 per person or $5 per family. For more information, call 475-3170
• McLennan Maple Syrup tours will take place every two hours beginning at 9 a.m. Visitors will get a look at the sugar shack process, handle tools and supplies, learn about tapping the trees, and take part in maple-related activities such as coloring and crafts.
Maple candy and ice cream with syrup are available for purchase at the farm at 10950 M-52. Call 734-428-7005.
• Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter Township at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon
See how to tap trees, collect sap and boil it into maple syrup.
All-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage, with real maple syrup, will be served at the Activity Center from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the days the tours are offered.
A guided tour is $3 per person. The pancake breakfast is $3.50 per child and $5.50 per adult. Reservations required for the guided tour.
For more information or reservations, call the Metropark at 734-426-8211 or 800-477-3191.
Plus, there will be a maple wine release at Sandhill Crane Vineyards on March 9-10.
A highlight of the Maple Festival is the release of the current vintage of “Sugar Snow,” Sandhill Crane Vineyards’ limited edition dessert wine made with local maple sap and syrup.
It’s described as light and not too sweet, and pairs beautifully with light desserts, sweet cheeses, and the winery’s famous Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.
On both days, the winery’s new café will feature sweet and savory dishes made with maple, including Sugar Snow Sorbet. The winery will feature live music on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Maple products, such as syrup and maple cream, will be for sale. There’s free admission.
The Big 400 is a tourist area featuring outdoor recreation, small town living, and a wide range of activities and events.
For more information about the Big 400, click here.
For more information about maple syruping, click here. For more information about maple syruping, click here.