Maple Madness returns for Hamilton County Parks

  • CIN-COM-0221-HCPR maple madness01
    Hamilton County Parks Naturalist Amanda Smith leads a tour during a previous year of Maple Madness. (Current file photos)
  • CIN-COM-0221-HCPR maple madness02
    Hamilton County Parks Naturalist Dan Popiela taps a maple tree at Bray Family Homestead Park.
  • CIN-COM-0221-HCPR maple madness03
    Sap leaks from a maple tree’s spile (spout) at Bray Family Homestead Park.

By Sadie Hunter


Each year, staff from Hamilton Co. Parks & Recreation uses its skills in the outdoors to literally tap into nature for a maple syrup within properties and parks owned by the department.

This year is no different, as the department will again host its annual Maple Madness program at Bray Family Homestead Park, 4528 Sheridan Rd., Noblesville, on March 4.

In an area known as Sugar Grove within the park, guests will learn each step in the syrup-making process in rounds of free, guided tours that are open to the public.

The tour will show how to tap into the trees, then how the sap is boiled down to syrup inside the sugar shack. Traditional and modern equipment and methods used in processing maple syrup will be featured. In the final stops of the tour, guests will learn about the history of the Bray family on the homestead – who owned the land for 160 years and tapped its trees for their personal use – as well as Native American ties to tapping the trees in the Hamilton Co. area, with a final stop at the Sugar Shop, where maple products will be for sale.

Tours will be given approximately once each hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Guests are encouraged to wear warm clothes and boots and enter the park off of Hinkle Road, parking in the paved parking lot. Although the event is free, registration is required by calling 317-774-2500 or by emailing

For volunteer opportunities, call 317-774-2509, or email