7 Sweet Maple Sugaring Experiences
It’s maple season! As winter melts into spring, the trees are tapped and the flowing sap is collected and turned into the sweet syrup we love. In the Bay State, more than 300 maple producers make more than 50,000 pounds of syrup every year. There are sugar shacks in every corner of the state, and many offer tours and demonstrations this time of year. You can find a sugarhouse near you at massmaple.org. For even more fun, check out these sweet maple experiences happening in March.
Maple Sugaring Saturdays
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield
On Saturdays, March 5, 12 and 19, experience the age-old tradition of maple sugaring on a guided walk through the forest and a visit to the sugarhouse. You’ll learn how to identify sugar maples, see sap collection methods, and watch the sap be boiled down. Finish it off with a taste of the final product. For ages 3 and up. Adults $12, children $10; Mass Audubon members $11/$9. Register at massaudubon.org.
Drumlin Farm, Lincoln
Help the farmer with Drumlin Farm’s first crop of the year. Visit the maple grove to check the taps and taste some sap as you learn how syrup is made, from past to present. Maple Magic is offered Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 13. Tickets $17; Mass Audubon Members $14. Register at massaudubon.org.
Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge
Weekends in March, the Village’s working sugar camp demonstrates maple sugaring as it was done in early 19th century New England. See the entire sugar-making process, from tapping the trees to “sugaring off.” Watch as costumed historians cook period foods made with maple products and the tinner and cooper make maple-related items. Included admission, adults $28, seniors $26, youth $14, children under 3 free. More at osv.org.
Maple Sugaring Weekend
Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharon
Experience the sugaring process from tree to table and learn how sugaring has evolved from Native American to colonial times to current day methods. In this 90-minute outdoor tour, offered March 12 and 13, you’ll meet people portraying characters from the past going about their daily tasks, including sugaring. Conclude your tour at the sugarhouse and enjoy a taste of the syrup. For ages 4 and up. Adults $14, children $13; Mass Audubon members $12/$11. Register at massaudubon.org.
Maple Harvest Day
Storrowton Village Museum, West Springfield
Celebrate all things maple on Saturday, March 12 at this annual event highlighting the history and tradition of maple sugaring in New England. The historic Gilbert Farmhouse will turn into a sugarhouse for the day. Visitors can learn how the “liquid gold” is made, from tree tapping to sap boiling, and watch 19th century open hearth cooking and crafting demonstrations. Finish it off with a plate of pancakes and pure maple syrup. Add even more fun to the day by booking a horse drawn carriage ride through the Big E Fairgrounds to the Eastern States Exposition Farmer's Market. Details at storrwotonvillage.com.
Sugaring Off Festival
Weston Middle School, Weston
Mark the transition from winter to spring at this annual festival put on by Land’s Sake Farm (date TBA). Small group tours of the Weston Middle School Sugar House offer a glimpse at the process from beginning to finished product of boiling maple sap into syrup. Forestry and education staff will be on hand to answer questions and show you behind the scenes. Find more at landssake.org.
Family Maple Syruping Workshop
Appleton Farms, Ipswich
This two-hour, hands-on workshop takes place each weekend in March. You’ll go through the whole process, from identifying maple sugar trees to boiling sap. Explore maple sugaring tools and use a hand drill to practice tapping a tree. Finish up with a story– and, of course, a maple syrup sample! Tickets $20; Trustees members $15. Sign up at thetrustees.org.