Touch of Nature plans Maple Syrup Festival

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center is planning to host its annual Maple Syrup Festival and pancake breakfast on Feb. 23-24.

Breakfast is scheduled to be served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The menu will feature homemade pancakes and maple syrup made from sugar maple sap harvested at Touch of Nature. 

Tickets are available online at Prices are $12 each for ages 13 and older and $6 for children ages 6 to 12. Kids age 5 or younger eat free.

Tickets will also be available at the door for $15 for ages 13 and older or $8 for children ages 6 to 12.

While tickets are required for the breakfast, the rest of the festival is free and open to all. 

The festivities are scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, which is located about 8 miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

The family friendly event features a wide variety of activities, including  maple syrup making demonstrations, a climbing wall and interpretive hikes around the center, which is set on a 3,200-acre plot adjacent to the Shawnee National Forest.  

Hands-on outdoor environmental educational activities for young people are planned throughout the day.

The day also will feature blacksmith and lumberjack demonstrations, vendors and artisans.

Displays will showcase natural woven baskets, beekeeping, alpaca yarn, silk embroidery, goat’s milk products, handmade textiles and jewelry, natural soaps and lotions, wood and pottery crafts and handmade ropes.

American Indian author/historian George Godfrey is scheduled to be on hand and visitors can also watch as hides are tanned and experience what it was like to employ survival skills in primitive times.

No registration is required just for the festival. For more information about the festival, or to get tickets for the pancake breakfast, visit, call 618-453-1121 or email

Community sponsors for this year’s Maple Syrup Festival and pancake breakfast are River Radio of Southern Illinois and Laborers Local 773. Event sponsors are the SIU Credit Union and Paul Melzer’s Country Financial in Murphysboro.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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