By Jessica Mathews /

Huron-Clinton Metroparks are celebrating Maple Sugaring Month with activities for all ages including self-guided tours and pancake breakfast events.

When March rolls around, the temperatures are in fluctuation and freezing nighttime temps are followed by daytime thaws, officials say the Metroparks offer a nature escape and an opportunity to learn the science behind why March is such a sweet month.

With March 1st being National Pancake Day and Maple Sugaring Month starting, officials say no two Metroparks are the same and they offer a variety of recreational activities to help park-goers reconnect with nature and history.

Parks and outdoor recreation are said to play a vital role in supporting and uplifting residents and visitors in local communities and re-connecting with nature helps with managing pandemic stressors.

The Metroparks are again offering their visitor favorite “Journey to the Sugar Bush” and other maple sugaring public programs at several parks to help visitors learn how to identify and tap maple trees for their sap and see how that sap turns into syrup. The unique experiences vary by park and may include a campfire experience and/or visits to the Sugar Shack to smell the sap being boiled down into maple sugar and to taste or purchase a maple-flavored treat.

For visitors with busy schedules where scheduled programs aren’t an option, the Metroparks are again offering self-guided maple sugar hikes. Hikers will follow the trail and interact with smartphone QR codes along the way displaying educational programming to learn about the history and science of maple sugaring. A Pancakes to Go breakfast will be offered each weekend during March at Hudson Mills and Kensington Metroparks. Many programs require pre-registration.

A calendar of events, recipes, blogs and more information is available through the link.