It may be hard to believe right now but, soon, warm days and cool nights will start the flow of sugar maple sap and it’ll be sugaring time in the Mad River Valley – not only that but Sugaring Festival time!
It probably goes without saying that Vermont is the nation’s leading producer of maple syrup – but did you know we produce 40% of the maple syrup in the country? With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why sugaring time is not just a time-honored tradition but also an important time of the year for Vermonters and maple fans alike.
Vermont’s maple sugaring season typically runs from late February to April, which is why the Sugaring Time Festival is usually scheduled smack dab in the middle of that window – so what exactly is a Sugaring Time Festival?
“Sugaring time” involves collecting the sap from sugar maple trees. The sap drips out the of taps driven right into the sugar maple trunks and directing the slow flow of the sap down into the buckets hanging from the taps. The buckets are collected by “sugarmakers,” as they’re called, and the sap is then taken to a “sugarhouse” where it is carefully cooked down into delicious, pure, Vermont maple syrup.
One of the best parts of this process is the smell. When it’s sugaring time in Vermont and you can see the clouds of steam rising up from the sugarhouses, well, the air fills with that incredible, delectable maple scent and: mmmmm – heaven!
Westhill Maple Syrup Special Weekends
We are delighted that our neighbor Glenn on West Hill Road is re-opening The Westhill Maple Sugar Orchard and Sugarhouse. He has been working hard the last few months, including running a successful Kickstarter campaign.
We are joining with Glenn to offer maple syrup weekends during the last half of March—see our Specials for more details. After a breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup at the B&B on the Saturday you will walk a few hundred yards down West Hill Road to the Westhill Maple Sugar Orchard where Glenn will tell you all about the maple sap collection process and how maple syrup is made. He may even have some of his new maple syrup for sale! You will then have dinner at The Common Man in the evening, and leave on Sunday morning with a Westhill Maple Sugar Orchard print and a pint of maple syrup. (It may not be from Glenn’s orchard depending on how the season progresses.)
Also Sugarbush is hosting this year’s Sugaring Time Festival once again and the schedule of events is up:
Mad River Valley Sugaring Time Festival
March 14th, 2015
9am to 8:30pm
2015 Sugaring Time Festival Schedule
10am to 11am – Doughnut Eating contest.
10am to 4pm – Maple Syrup Scavenger Hunt: Find the VT maple syrup nips hidden all over the mountain. Turn in the ones you find to be entered into a drawing to win prizes.
10am to 5pm – Maple inspired cuisine plus Sugaring Time treats like Maple Cotton Candy, Maple Kettle Corn, and Sugar on snow, served the Vermont way with a pickle and a doughnut hole.
3pm to 6pm – Live Après Music.
Vermont Sugaring Time Festival Lodging
When it comes to Mad River Valley lodging, look no further: West Hill House B&B is here for you; set amidst beautiful gardens on a quiet country lane, one mile from Sugarbush on the slopes of the Green Mountains of Vermont.