What's your idea of the perfect winter day? Does it start with a warm breakfast of pancakes topped with sweet syrup? Maybe it involves bundling up and taking a hayride with the family or breathing in the crisp winter air as you enjoy a guided tour through nature?
This doesn't have to be just the stuff of dreams. You'll be treated to all this and more at one of Oxford, Ohio's favorite winter events: the Maple Syrup Festival.
Now celebrating its 53rd year, the Maple Syrup Festival takes place the first two weekends in March at the Hueston Woods State Park. This year (2019) those dates are March 2nd & 3rd and March 9th & 10th. The schedule is as follows:
8:00 am - 1:00 pm, Hueston Woods Lodge
Each day begins with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at the Trailblazing Dining Room inside the Hueston Woods Lodge (5201 Lodge Road, College Corner). You can stop by and enjoy the deliciousness anytime between 8:00 am - 1:00 pm. Breakfast only costs $7.50/adults and $5.50/kids (ages 10 and under).
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Hueston Woods Beach
Hayrides and Maple Syrup Tours will run from noon - 4:00 pm. After you fill up on plenty of pancakes, make your way down to the Hueston Woods Beach parking lot. This will be where you board the hayride, which will then take you to the starting point for the guided tour through the park. (Both the hayride and tour are free.) It will probably be pretty darn cold once the hayride begins and that wind is hittin' ya, but it's definitely worth it! So just make sure to dress warmly in hats, jackets, and gloves.
The hayride will be followed by a short hike through the "Big Woods." Ever wonder what those metal buckets on the trees are for? After the tour, you'll wonder no more. It's going to be a fun learning experience as your guide explains the art of syrup production and how exactly those buckets factor in.
The tour will end at the Hueston Woods Sugar House, where you'll be able to sample more of that sweet, sweet syrup. If you love it (and how could you not?) there will be bottled syrup available to purchase so you can take some home and keep the sugar rush going. There will also be beverages, packaged goods like popcorn, and apparel for sale.
10:00 am - 4:30 pm, Hueston Woods Nature Center
Want to learn more about reptiles, birds, and more? Before or after your hayride and tour, stop by the Hueston Woods Nature Center where you'll be able to enjoy both indoor and outside nature exhibits. There will be professional naturalists on hand to answer all your nature-related questions!
Written January 22nd, 2019
By Taylor Meredith
Enjoy Oxford Communications & Content Specialist