Saturday & Sunday, March 24-25—Maple Open House Weekend, March 24-25, is Vermont’s most anticipated spring event, bringing an estimated 30,000 visitors to tour the sugar houses and meet the sugar makers responsible for leading the nation in maple syrup production (nearly 1.8 million gallons averaged over the past three seasons).
The weekend celebrates the current season’s crop, and this year’s event has expanded the offerings and activities for visitors by partnering with local businesses who specialize in their own craft and support Vermont’s maple industry by including maple in their ingredients, on their menus, and for sale at their locations.
When visiting sugar houses over the weekend, visitors can expect warm welcomes from sugar maker hosts, eager to educate and share with the public the process of making maple syrup from sap — an inside look at the hard work that goes into producing each jug of syrup. Traditional open house activities include sampling syrup, tours of the woods, pancake breakfasts, horse-drawn sleigh rides, sugar-on-snow parties; and plenty of maple products to taste, including maple donuts, maple cotton candy and maple creemees.
Visitors can also expect to be impressed by the diversity of maple as an ingredient in Vermont adult beverages. Each partner capitalizes on the flavor qualities of maple as a key component of recipes and menu items appearing throughout the weekend.
A few of the stops include Citizen Cider’s Tasting Room, to try the new, limited release Tree Tapper made with maple syrup; Shacksbury Cider’s Tasting Room, featuring a cider that is barrel aged in old WhistlePig Whiskey barrels and finished with a kiss of maple syrup; Saxton’s River Distillery, featuring samples of Sapling Maple Liqueur, Maple Bourbon and Maple Rye, all made using local Vermont maple syrup; Switchback Brewing Co., featuring its signature Switchback Ale Maple Ice Cream Floats made with Lake Champlain Chocolate’s vanilla ice cream and a maple syrup drizzle; and 14th Star Brewing where visitors can always enjoy craft brews made with maple including Maple Breakfast Stout.
Visitors are encouraged to travel the state to see how widely maple is produced and discover how maple has expanded its traditional uses as a breakfast topper to become the natural sweetener and flavor of choice as demonstrated by partnering businesses. To ensure visitors make the most of the weekend, the event web page also provides a listing of lodging options that are uniquely Vermont: vermontmaple.org/mohw.
Local sugarhouses include:
- Baird Farm, 65 West Rd., North Chittenden
- Charron’s Family Maple, 180 Blanchard Ave., West Rutland
- Elm Grove Farm, 3488 Cloudland Road, Woodstock
- Green’s Sugarhouse, 1846 Finel Hollow Road, Poultney
- Merck Forest & Farmland Ctr, 3270 Route 315, Rupert
- Lockerby’s Sugarhouse, 666 Old Stage Road, Chester
- Mountain Valley Maple Farm, 1498 State Hwy Rt. 153, West Rupert
- Sugarbush Farm, 591 Sugarbush Farm Road, Woodstock
- Mahar Maple Farm, 9 Mountain Road, Middletown Springs
- McCarron’s Maple, 2438 Vtt. Rt. 140, Poultney
- Cuttin’ It Sweet, 4556 Monument Hill Road, Hubbardton
- Green Mountain Sugarhouse, 820 Route 100 N, Ludlow
- Mom & Pop’s Worlds Best Vt. Maple Syrup, 3425 Brandon Mountain Road [Rte 73], Rochester
- Smith Maple Crest Farm, 2450 Lincoln Hill Road, Shrewsbury
- Papa John’s Sugar Shack, 221 Healdville Road, Mount Holly
- Marshall’s Maples, 339 River St., Poultney
- Wood Family Sugarhouse, 552 Thrall Road, Poultney
- Havoc Hill Sugarhouse, 190 Havoc Hill, East Dorset
- Kevin Ruane Maple Farm, 128 Mountain View Road, Tinmouth
- Village Mapleworks, 505 Main St., Orwell
For more sugarhouses statewide, visit vermontmaple.org.
Photo courtesy Vt. Maple Sugar Makers’ Association
Visitors to a sugar shack enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride during the annual Maple Open House Weekend.