Michigan Road Trip: Chippewa Nature Center - WNEM TV 5

Michigan Road Trip: Chippewa Nature Center

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A Michigan Road Trip offers friends and family a chance to get away to the great outdoors and learn just what it takes to make a delicious treat.

A tasteless drop of sap is transformed into one of the most popular toppings used to sweeten up your favorite breakfast foods at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland County.

“I’m going to ask for pancakes for lunch,” said Henry Marchel, a student at the Nature Preschool.

Marchel now has an appetite for pancakes after witnessing a long-time Michigan tradition, the process of making Maple Syrup.

“We take a sugar Maple tree which has a lot of sugar in its sap, we drill a little hole, hang a bucket on it and as the sap drips out on the warmer days we collect it and bring it to the Sugar House,” said Kyle Bagnall, Manager of Historical Programs at the center.

He makes it sound easy, but it’s a very tedious process to make the right concoction. The sap is cooked 7 degrees above the boiling point of water, which is about 219 degrees. One gallon of syrup can take 3-4 hours to make.

A spile is used to extract sap from a tree and it takes 40 gallons to make one gallon of syrup.

You can catch a Maple Syrup presentation on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30-4:30 p.m. until the end of March.

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