Sugaring Season ­– How Sweet It Is!

How many seasons are there in the Adirondacks? Ask around and you might be surprised at some of the answers you get! Most locals will name at least one or two more than the standard spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons, accounting for some notable extras such as mud season, black fly season, and of course, the sweetest season of all – maple sugaring season! 

Maple syrup in different sized containers sit on a table in a display
Photo courtesy of Meadow & Mountain Farm

Freeze, thaw, boil

When winter begins to loosen its grip and temperatures fluctuate from below freezing during the nighttime hours to above freezing during the day, the snow begins to melt, ice starts its break up, and tree sap begins to flow. For a span of about 6 weeks each year, sugaring operations across the Northeast collect sap from sugar maple trees and distill the sap down into maple syrup and granulated maple sugar. Did you know that New York state is the second largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, accounting for more than 820,000 gallons of syrup each year? With abundant sugar maples and the perfect late winter weather for sap collection, the Lake Champlain Region is one of the best spots in the state to enjoy this sweet season.

Maple steam rolls out of the vents in the roof of a sugarhouse during maple sugaring season in New York State

Support local

Many residents of the Lake Champlain Region and throughout the Northeast tap their own trees and boil sap in backyard operations this time of year. If you’ve ever made your own maple syrup at home, you know that while the process of boiling sap down into syrup is simple, it’s a ton of work and very time consuming. Fortunately, you don’t have to do the work yourself to enjoy the best of this sweet season — there are plenty of maple producers in the area and they’ve got you covered! Stop by one of the many local farms, markets, and shops throughout our beautiful region where you’ll find maple-icious products (and much, much more!).

Be sure you have plenty of maple syrup to pour over a tall stack of hot pancakes, drizzle over ice cream, or use as a key ingredient one of your maple recipes. Sweeten your day with other maple products like maple cream (also known as maple butter), maple candies, maple sugar, sauces, mustards, yogurt made with pure maple syrup, and prepared foods and restaurant offerings that are made with local maple! Here are some of our favorite spots in the region where you can select and purchase delicious locally-produced maple products: 

Stock up on maple syrup and other kitchen staples at Hub on the Hill’s self-serve market in Essex. Their comfortable and inviting community space offers free wifi and space to relax and enjoy a snack with a friend or a good book.

Stop by the Pink Pig Café in Essex to stock up on maple products, and settle in for a bite to eat. The cafe has a menu full of tasty offerings – be sure to look for the Miss Piggy breakfast sandwich on the menu, a farm egg scramble with NY cheddar and ham with local maple crème on a toasted croissant. 

Reber Rock Farm in Essex provides local, organic pasture-raised meats and maple syrup – shop online and pick up at the farm or have your order delivered to your door!

When you find yourself in Keeseville, stock up on maple products and local meats at Mace Chasm Farm.

If you haven't tried maple yogurt yet, you're in for a treat! Clover Mead Farm Store in Keeseville carries North Country Creamery’s delicious yogurt, available in maple and other varieties.

You'll find Spout Time Maple products and other seasonal goodies at Meadow & Mountain Farm in Moriah.

In Port Henry, look no further than the Mountain Weavers Farm Store, where you can create a gift basket filled with locally-sourced maple products and other great items like honey, chocolates, coffee, and more!

Next time you’re in Elizabethtown, be sure to stop in for a visit at the oldest tavern in the Adirondacks and enjoy a beverage made with maple! The Deer's Head Inn offers a tasty house-made maple lemonade and their drink menu includes some creative classics, like the Deer’s Head Margarita, made with – you guessed it – maple syrup!

Spirits anyone? Available at Homestead Spirits in Westport and other local liquor stores, you'll find brandy, whiskey, vodka and other spirits that that pair well with the sweet flavor of local maple, carefully crafted by NY distiller Murray's Fools Distilling Company. Try one of their maple-inspired cocktail recipes!

A table display of glass bottles full of maple syrup from Reber Rock Farm
Photo courtesy of Reber Rock Farm

Plan a trip today to experience all the Lake Champlain Region has to offer during this wonderfully sweet bonus season of maple sugaring! 


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