Maple Magic

Posted on Jan 27 2024 in Travel

Hoosier sugar shacks open to the public in March for a behind-the-scenes look and taste of Indiana maple syrup. Photos courtesy of Indiana Maple Syrup Association 

By Natalie Derrickson

Breakfast enthusiasts, preservationists, and nature buffs all have something to love when it comes to maple syrup, and one magical weekend a year, they can see it up close and personal during Indiana Maple Syrup Weekend. In its 10th year, the statewide celebration provides a unique invitation to 14 of the state’s sugar shacks on March 9–10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors can experience each shack’s production process, sample maple products, and purchase their favorites. Some offer tours, hayrides, refreshments, pancakes, and even welcome exploration of their grounds. No two sugar shacks will offer the same experience, so it’s best to plot your visit strategically.

While maple syrup is the primary draw, syrup producers do more than transform sap into the versatile product we know and love. Syrup producers are also fierce stewards of the sugarbushes they manage, advocate for the industry, and the preservation of the process.

Rutherford’s Sugar Camp, located just north of New Castle, has been in operation by the same family since 1911. Visitors here have easy access to the camp and can marvel at the 1841 log cabin and former sugar shack that now serves as the camp’s sales room.

“For the adventurous hikers, I would recommend Maplewood Farms southwest of Richmond. A modern camp with some pretty good hills, remote hiking, and spectacular views,” suggested Kevin Hart of the Indiana Maple Syrup Association. Visit for maps, details, and everything you need to plot your route toward maple goodness.

If a visit to a sugar shack isn’t in the cards this year, the Parke County Maple Fair can get you your fix. Feb. 24–25 and March 2–3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, enjoy a pancake breakfast at the Parke County Fairgrounds and peruse maple offerings from local producers, plus arts and crafts. Learn more at

While maple syrup season has a short window, there’s no reason to be without this Hoosier-made essential at home. Look for Indiana maple syrup at your local farmers market or online at

Natalie Derrickson is a freelance writer from Indianapolis. 

Enter our monthly giveaway to win a maple syrup prize pack from Maplewood Farms in Brownsville, Indiana. The prize pack includes two maple sugar shakers and two pints of maple syrup. Visit here for more details.