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Bray Family Homestead Park invites Hoosiers to get taste of Maple Madness

Maple Madness Tour in Hamilton County, Indiana

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The Bray Family Homestead Park is inviting maple syrup fans out to their free “Maple Madness” tour.

The event is happening Saturday, and it’s free and open to the public. It features live demonstrations on how maple syrup is made from scratch.

Visitors will be shown the process of capturing sap from the park’s sugar maple trees. Amanda Smith, the park’s superintendent of natural resources, says she has a special place in her heart for an event that highlights a tradition that was sparked by the Bray family after their arrival in Indiana in 1836. The family donated the land in 2007 to Hamilton County Parks and Recreation.

“We’re picking up the tradition of maple syrup making on their behalf and we’re really grateful,” Smith said. “I think it’s really nice to get people connected back to our trees and native trees and to really see how real maple syrup is made and to understand how they can provide us with some really great treats as well.”

The event’s coordinator, Chris Gullion, says over the last couple years they’ve added food trucks, wagon rides, musical entertainment and more for families to enjoy.

“It’s just really fun to come out here and be a part of nature and there’s free tastings,” Gullion said.

Dan “Nature Dan” Popiela, a seasoned naturalist, has been a part of the process since the beginning of Maple Madness more than a decade ago.

“It takes a lot of time to make that syrup and it’s more than just pancakes,” he said. “There’s so much you can do with maple syrup. You can make sugar out of it, cook with it and bake with it.”

Nature Dan says when people come to the park’s Sugar Shack and get the experience for themselves there’s only one goal.

“At the end of the day you have to get sugared up.”

Maple Madness Tour details

  • Address: 4528 State Road 38, Noblesville, IN 46062
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • No pre-registration required
  • Click HERE for more information