Tap Into Marion’s Sweet Maple Syrup Tradition

After a hike through the Indian Creek Nature Center, go ahead and load up on the good stuff. Photo: Indian Creek Nature Center.

For the 40th annual Maple Syrup Festival in Marion, we don’t – repeat: do not – recommend eating a pancake for each year of the festival’s history. But we do encourage you to taste at least a spoonful of that sweet syrupy goodness during the weekend festival March 25-26.

This year, as in the past, visitors to the Indian Creek Nature Center on the woodsy east edge of greater Cedar Rapids can hike the property, hear maple sap drip-drip-drip into buckets and see (and smell!) the historic sugar shack where all that sap is distilled, the traditional way, in big steaming cauldrons. And then, of course, you can head to the main building to hear some live music and stuff yourself with syrup-slathered pancakes and sausage. Tickets go fast, so jump on it.

The eco-friendly, all-ages Indian Creek Nature Center was built as a result of a community-wide vision plan that prompted the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to designate the Cedar Wapsi Recreational Byway as an Iowa Great Place in 2014.

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