A field trip to "Mary's Sugar Shack" at Hawthorn Hollow.

Ten years of a sweet tradition at Hawthorn Hollow

Field trips and classes available in March for 'It's Maple Sugarin' Time!'


Hawthorn Hollow grew out of love for the land. As a nature sanctuary and arboretum, Hawthorn Hollow has been connecting people and nature through environmental education for more than 50 years. Hawthorn Hollow is owned and operated by the Hyslop Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501 c3 organization formed in 1964.

Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum has offered traditional maple syrup tapping and cooking for over 10 years with its popular “It’s Maple Sugarin’ Time!” field trips and family classes. 

This year marks 10 years since it has utilized “Mary’s Sugar Shack,” the iconic building used for the cooking and bottling process of their syrup. “Mary’s Sugar Shack” was made possible by a generous grant by the Mary Frost Ashley Charitable Trust, and has been utilized by participants of the Maple Sugarin’ program since its introduction in 2012.

Every spring, Hawthorn Hollow taps its sugar maples using the same techniques passed down for hundreds of years. The sap begins to flow when the daytime temperatures start to rise above freezing while nighttime temperatures stay below.   After it’s collected, the sap is boiled down using an evaporator, until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup.

Registration is required for the two-hour outdoor program.

The Maple Sugarin’ program provides a history of Native American traditions and techniques for capturing and cooking maple syrup, also known as sugaring. The sugar maple and history of maple sugaring is an important part of Wisconsin’s heritage. Participants experience the art and traditions of maple sugaring through hands-on activities, such as tree identification & tapping, sap cooking, and a crafting session.

Interested in getting involved? Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum will be holding its annual “It’s Maple Sugarin’ Time!” family classes during the first two Saturdays in March.  Classes will run on March 5 at 1 p.m. and March 12 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

A maple sap bucket.

The Maple Sugarin’ program is designed for families and adults. Registration is required for this two-hour outdoor program. Please come dressed for the weather. There may be snow or mud on the trails, so boots are recommended.

Cost: $15 per person (Children 3-and-under free).

For tickets, please visit https://hawthornhollow.ticketspice.com/its-maple-sugarin-time.

Hawthorn Hollow is also seeking volunteers for tapping trees, sap collection, and cooking during the month of March. Email Hawthorn Hollow’s Naturalist to learn more.

“Mary’s Sugar Shack” at night.