The Maple Tapping Festival in Ohio Is the Sweetest Event of the Year

The forested wonderland of Hocking Hills, Ohio, is known for its diverse flora! This includes the red and sugar maple trees that grow in the region’s moist, cool gorges. Many visitors appreciate our area’s plant life by exploring Hocking Hills State Park on foot. With the Maple Tapping Festival in Ohio, you can enjoy nature with your tastebuds! The maple trees that grow here have long been used to produce some of the best syrup and maple candy available. This festival allows guests to celebrate the sweet, sticky goodness of local maple syrup, learn all about the history and tapping process, and more! 

When you’re ready to start planning your trip, request a copy of our free Hocking Hills Vacation Guide! This resource is full of exciting (and tasty!) things to do in our area.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Maple Tapping Festival in Ohio 

Maple Tapping Festival 2023 

Ohio is the fifth largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, so a trip to the Hocking Hills is the perfect way to try natural maple syrup firsthand. The Maple Tapping Festival is typically takes place in the first two weekends of March with exact times TBD. The Festival is held at Charles Alley Nature Park, which is a short drive from the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. If you can’t make it to this event, simply swing by our gift shop where we sell Milligan’s Maple Syrup, a Columbus-based producer. We also serve this delicacy at our restaurant!

This event is free to the public, or you can indulge in a pancake breakfast for only $5! Eat pancakes topped with syrup made from locally sourced maple sap. Be warned: We promise you won’t go back to the store-bought stuff ever again! This fun-filled event is the perfect itinerary item for a family vacation in Ohio.

Learn a bit more about the process below, then start planning your trip to the Hocking Hills.

What Is Maple Tapping?

The maple sugaring process has been a tradition for hundreds of years. This process dates back to the early Native Americans and European settlers and was discovered almost by accident! When some of the natives cut wood for fires or dug their hatches into the trees, they noticed that liquid would begin to drip from the trunk. When they tasted it, it was sweet! They then began to collect it for cooking. The way we source and use maple syrup has changed over the years. Today, the sap is collected and boiled until it is a thick syrup suitable for a big stack of pancakes, fluffy waffles, or delicious French toast.

How to Make Pure Maple Syrup

Three species of maple trees are used to produce maple syrup: the sugar maple, the black maple, and the red maple. The red maple has a shorter season because it buds earlier than sugar and black maples, which alters the flavor of the sap. 

Maple tapping season begins in late winter and early spring when the temperatures are below freezing at night and rise to the upper 30s or 40s during the day. This causes the maple sugar inside of the trees to liquefy, and excess water is boiled off. The sweet sugar is left behind, which can be used to make candies and other confections. The maple sugaring process is a delicate one, but can be done with a few supplies:

  • Drill bit – Used to drill the tap hole in the tree.
  • Buckets or collection bags – Used to collect the sap that drips from the tree.
  • Spiles (tap) – Inserted into the drilled hole for collection.
  • Cheesecloth – Used to filter out any particles, like bark, from the liquid.

Plan a Sweet Stay at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls

Living room view of couch in a Hocking Hills lodge

Retreat to your accommodation at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls to relax after a day at the Maple Tapping Festival in Ohio! Surrounded by peaceful forests and breathtaking scenery, our Hocking Hills resort is the perfect place to recover from a sugar rush. Select from cabins, yurts, cottages, geodomes, and Hocking Hills lodges!

Check our availability and start planning your sweet escape to the Hocking Hills!