Sweet! Maple sugaring is in full swing at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum
Maple sugaring is in full swing right now, but this year it's a little earlier than usual.
News 12's Nikita Ramos takes you to a place to learn the historic process on this Road Trip: Close to Home.
The deep-rooted tradition of maple sugaring has thrived for generations in the Hudson Valley.
At the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, there's a place called Maple Lane where you can learn the ins and outs of what goes into a bottle of maple syrup!
"We run our maple sugaring program from usually mid-February to the end of March. It's about five weeks, the sap really starts running around that time, this year the sap started running earlier," says Carl Heitmuller, program director at HHNM.
Heitmuller says maple sugaring is in full swing right now because of the warm winter this year.
There are two tours that you can sign up for where you'll also learn the entire process of maple sugaring — from identifying the trees to learning about the sap and how it all began.
"We go through all the different processes and how it's changed over the years, how the first people that were here, like the Lenape, the indigenous people, how they started collecting it, and then the early colonists show up," says Heitmuller.
Then it's a trip to the sugar shack, where the transformation starts, from sap to syrup. "We show you how you can cook the sap down and make it into syrup. A lot of people think syrup comes straight out of the tree, but that's sap, and they're very surprised it's actually 2% sugar and 98% water," explains Heitmuller.
To be clear, you're not going to be making maple syrup here, rather, it's deep dive into the past and present process of sugaring in the Hudson Valley.
However, you can buy your own after the tour. You really only have until March 19 before this season ends. But if you want to come any time afterward, there are more than 100 acres to explore.
For more information on how to book your maple sugaring tour, click here.