Friday, March 18, 2011

#150: Sugar Camp Days

As much as yesterday may have suggested, it's not quite spring here in South Bend.  It's on its way, however, and Sugar Camp Days at Bendix Woods County Park remind us that the end of winter is approaching.  This annual end-of-March event celebrates the tapping of maple trees and the syrup that's made from them. 
Fresh kettle corn
 Take a road trip out to New Carlisle to take part of the many festivities happening this weekend.
Take a free wagon ride!
There are carriage rides, old-time syrup cooking demonstrations (which smells wonderful!), ice- and wood-carving, a blacksmith, and my favorite activity, an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast that features the star product, the delicious maple syrup.  On Sunday, the Deep Fried Pickle Project (not a food related activity, surprisingly) performs folk classics using traditional instruments.
Trust me, the wait is worth it.  Second helpings are welcome --  just flag down one of the volunteers from the New Prairie baseball team to reload on pancakes or sausages.  

Where: Bendix Woods County Park
When: Saturday and Sunday, 8am - 3pm
Cost: $7/vehicle
Tip: Dress warmly (you'll be standing around outside a lot) and give yourself an extra hour or so to burn off the sugar rush exploring this 27-acre gorgeous woodland.  It features the second-highest point in Indiana!  
Inane info: The optimal time to tap trees for syrup is at this time of year when daily temperatures are above freezing but the low temps dip below.

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