With the last of the freezing nights and the beginning of sap flow, maple trees are tapped for their sweet sap which is boiled into delicious maple syrup.
In the 1870s, Swedish immigrants Anders and Johanna “Kjellberg” bought 80 acres in Porter County, Indiana, to establish a modest family farm. They were the first of three generations of the Chellberg Family to make their living here. In the 1930s, the Chellbergs started to tap the many maple trees on their property for the production of maple syrup.
Maple Sugar Time in early March is one of the most popular seasons at the national lakeshore’s historic Chellberg Farm. Come and experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the sugarbush in spring.
The Annual Maple Sugar Time features the evolution of “maple sugaring” in Northwest Indiana from an early American Indian method, to the pioneer method of boiling sap in open iron kettles, to the relatively modern and commercial method of producing syrup much the way the Chellberg Family did.
The Maple Sugar Time Event is Saturdays and Sundays the first two weekends in March from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Self-guided interpreted tour route with uniformed rangers and volunteers stationed at stops along the way. All tours start behind the Bailly/Chellberg Visitor Center and end at the Chellberg Farmhouse.
Bottled syrup will be offered for sale at both the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Bailly/Chellberg visitor centers. There will be a pancake breakfast available for purchase onsite.
Admission to the Event is free.
The Bailly/Chellberg Area is located on Mineral Springs Road between Highways 20 and 12, about 2 miles west of Highway 49. For more information about this and other programs, contact the visitor center at 219-395-1882.