processing maple sap into syrup.jpg

people standing around fires with pots as they process maple sap into syrup
Visitors will discover how pioneers processed maple sap into syrup and sugar at the three-kettle station, part of the Rockwoods Maple Sugar Festival. The festival will be held at Rockwoods Reservation on Saturday, Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

MDC invites visitors to sample sweet treats of trees at Rockwoods Reservation’s Maple Sugar Festival Feb. 3

News from the region

St. Louis
Jan 16, 2018

WILDWOOD, Mo.— The Maple Sugar Festival at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Rockwoods Reservation offers visitors the chance to discover nature at its most delicious. 

The annual Rockwoods Maple Sugar Festival returns in 2018 on Saturday, Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is open to the whole family at no cost. 

What makes winter so special for maple lovers?  For about six weeks, from mid-January to the end of February, nature cooks up its own sweet delights within sugar maple trees as the sap begins to flow, ready to be tapped for making sugar and syrup.  

The Rockwoods Maple Sugar Festival is an excellent opportunity for families to break free of cabin fever and learn skills to collect, boil and, create their own maple syrup or sugar while they still have several weeks of the season to try it out. 

Visitors will see firsthand how Native Americans and early settlers harvested the sap—and boiled it down over an open fire to create sugar and syrup.  There will also be stations that explore more modern ways of processing maple sap, and show how to do backyard maple sugaring.  Guided hikes will demonstrate how to identify and tap sugar maple trees. 

One of the biggest draws of the Maple Sugar Festival is the chance to try out the finished products.  Tasting the sugar and syrup is always popular with attendees of all ages.  Kids will especially delight in trying a pioneer favorite—sugar on snow, a toffee-like treat created when warm maple sap mixes with the cold snow.

Participants can also “earn” treats by trying their hand at a number of historic pioneer skills at the “Trials of the Times” station, like starting fire with flint and steel or cutting logs with a traditional crosscut saw.  The event will also include kids’ crafts for younger children, a selfie photo booth with supplied props, food trucks, and live bluegrass music.

New this year, the festival will offer off-site parking exclusively with free shuttle service to and from the event.  Parking locations will be located at Pond Elementary, 17200 Manchester Road, and the St. Louis Community College Wildwood Campus, 2645 Generations Drive.  Onsite parking will be reserved only for those with disabilities.

MDC’s Rockwoods Reservation is located off Highway 109 in Wildwood. For additional information on the Maple Sugar Festival, call 636-458-2236. 

To learn more about backyard maple sugaring, including step-by-step instructions, go online at

maple tree tapping and sap collection.jpg

kids stand around looking at maple tree tapping and sap collection
maple tree tapping and sap collection
Seeing the maple tree tapping and sap collection process first hand is one of the many attractions at the Rockwoods Maple Sugar Festival.

tasting maple products.jpg

kids tasting maple products
tasting maple products
One of the Rockwoods Maple Sugar Festival’s most popular attractions is tasting maple products, like sugar, syrup and “sugar on snow”, a toffee-like candy created by pouring hot sap on snow.

sawing a log.jpg

person saws a log
sawing a log
Participants will get to not only taste treats, but also sample life as their 1800’s counterparts lived it at the Maple Sugar Festival’s “Trials of the Times” station.

Search the News

Stay in Touch with MDC

Stay in Touch with MDC news, newsletters, events, and manage your subscription

Sign up

Our Magazines

Conservationist Magazine

Our monthly publication about conservation in Missouri--free to all residents.

A merlin soars as it hunts for prey

Xplor Magazine for kids

Xplor helps kids find adventure in their own backyard. Free to residents of Missouri.


News Archives