Learn And Taste At Maplefest (Plus Bake Sale) In Sharon
Just because this isn’t much of a mud season doesn’t mean there won’t be a maple sugar harvest to enjoy this year. In our region, you don’t need to go far to find a sugaring operation, and this weekend, Sharon Audubon Center in Sharon, Conn. hosts its annual Maplefest — and, new this year, adds a maple bake sale to sweeten the deal.
“All of the products will be made with our own maple syrup harvested and produced right here,” says Sharon Audubon’s director Sean Grace. “Our employees and dedicated volunteers will be the bakers. It’s a real community effort.”
Visitors will be able to tour the Center’s sugaring operation by hiking along the trail appropriately called “Maple Way,” lined with beautiful, aged trees — some more than 300 years old. A setup displays the traditional methods of sap collecting used by Native Americans and methods used by early colonials.
The sugar shack (formerly a traditional ice house) that holds a large evaporative stove gives visitors the opportunity to witness the process that turns sap into the center’s 50 to 80 gallons of syrup each year. That fresh syrup will be available for purchase – as long as supplies last.
The hiking trails will be open, as will the raptor aviaries, which house bald eagles, hawks, falcons and other birds of prey that wouldn’t be able to survive on their own in the wild. Interesting fact: as an emergency bird care facility, Sharon Audubon cares for about 350 birds a year.
“We recommend visitors wear boots,” Grace says. “It’s not bad, but it’s still a little ooey-gooey in some places.”
Maplefest and Maple Bake Sale
Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sharon Audubon Center
325 Cornwall Bridge Rd. (Route 4), Sharon, CT
Admission: $6 Adults, $4 Children 12 and under