If you want to make maple syrup just for personal use, consider the turkey fryer-and-stovetop method over large equipment.
This video walks you through the process of making maple syrup at home using a turkey fryer and stovetop. It also includes a section on tapping trees, so jump to 5:20 if you just want to see the syrup-making process.
This fact sheet from Penn State and Cornell Universities walks you through every step of basic maple syrup production from tapping to bottling.
Once you have your syrup, you can do a lot more with it besides put it on pancakes. New York Maple provides suggested recipes for this delicious natural ingredient.
Maple syrup is the classic woodland crop in the northeastern US, and there are a host of resources, organizations, and maple producers available to help you get started.
You don’t need to tap hundreds of trees to make maple syrup. Even tapping one tree can net you enough syrup to last several months.
If you want to produce syrup commercially, you’ll need hands-on, in-woods advice.
Many existing syrup makers are happy to show off their setup. Get to know other syrup makers to learn how to start or expand your operation.