Along the traveled road of Historic Route 66 is Funks Grove, a quaint little town with picturesque streets in the Land of Lincoln region. In 1824, Funk brothers Issac and Absalom settled in the region, about six miles southwest of Bloomington. Issac Funk, along with help from his friend Abraham Lincoln, brought the Chicago & Alton Railroad through the region, helping to establish their tiny settlement into Funks Grove.
From the old-fashioned Funk Prairie Home to the historic Funks Grove Church, the town has stood the test of time, and boasts a reputation as a unique sweet spot.
The Funk family has been tapping syrup from the town’s towering native maple trees since 1891, and the absolute deliciousness of the sweet syrup says it all — the Funk’s are experts. Flowing from late February through mid March, the Maple Tree sap is transformed into the delicious syrup that Funks Grove residents and visitors alike have come to know and love.
You can witness the syrup making process firsthand through tours and tapping demonstrations. According to Debbie Funk, who runs the family operation, individuals and families are welcome anytime during the season, but it is always a good idea to call ahead.
The Nature Center in Funks Grove has an annual Maple Experience Day on the first Saturday of March, where you can see the process of making syrup from start to finish. The event is incredibly popular and the number of spots is limited, so it is recommended that you sign up early.
While you may already be salivating at the thought of pure maple syrup, the Funk’s also cook up other tantalizing treats. The Funk’s truffles are made of purple maple syrup covered in decadent dark chocolate. The all-natural maple cream offers a smooth finish to your favorite hot beverage or a new twist for your famous desert recipes. The goodies and syrup can be purchased online or at the Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup Store.
After you satisfy your sweet tooth, explore the area’s other attractions, including the Funks Grove Depot, Rock & Mineral Museum, Funk Prairie Home, Nature Center and Observatory, Timber Walk, Chapel in the Trees, Funks Grove Church and Irish Worker’s Memorial.
–The Illinois Office of Tourism