As the snow begins to thaw in Northwest Indiana, and the calendar creeps into spring, Chellberg Farm located in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is getting ready for visitors. The beginning of March signals the beginning of “Maple Sugar Time.” Every March, people brave the chilly March weather and witness a tradition that is almost 200 years old, the harvesting of sap from the maple trees. People of all ages can come and see the traditional way of harvesting this delicious treat.
This unofficial start to spring signals to many in Northern Indiana that beach weather will soon be here. The maple syrup harvesting will take place two weekends in March, the 6th-7th and the 13th -14th. The farm is open from 10am. to 4pm. both weekends. The maple trees are located on the historic Chellberg Farm and tours of the farmstead will also be available. The farm is kept historically accurate for visitors to see how life would have been for the original settlers.
The best part of this festival is it’s free. There is not an admissions or parking charge. If you plan to go and see this historical event take place, make sure to bundle up, as the weather can be unpredictable. In some years, we have gone and there has been snow, other years we’ve only needed a light jacket. But it’s worth it to see how maple syrup is made!
While, visiting the Chelleberg Farm be sure to check out the National Lakeshore and surrounding parks. The nature in the area is beginning to show the earliest signs of spring, which can be quite educational for younger visitors. To cap off your visit, take a drive over to the lakeshore. The beaches are mostly abandoned during this time of year. If it is warm enough, it is excellent kite flying weather.
Don’t forget to buy some of the syrup made on site for breakfast the next day!