ADDISON COUNTY — Ten Addison County sugaring operations will open their doors to the public on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, in conjunction with the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association’s 12th annual Vermont Maple Open House Weekend. This weekend event, when Vermont’s sugarmakers invite the public to their sugarhouses, gives visitors an opportunity to see how maple syrup is made and experience a day in the life of the sugarmaker.
“Visitors can often see the entire process, from tapping the tree to pouring finished syrup in a bottle,” said Matt Gordon, VMSMA executive director, “and connecting all those points in between that takes sap and makes it become maple syrup, really resonates with folks.”
Each sugarhouse brings something unique to the event, with some offering full tours of their operations, sampling of different grades of maple syrup and other maple products, hikes through the sugarbush, and more. And of course, each sugarmaker brings their own personality and background, truly making each visit a unique experience.
Maple Open House Weekend is held rain, snow or shine and is free of charge for all visitors and is a great opportunity to learn about the history and the science behind maple syrup.
Local sugarhouses taking part include:
• Preston Family Sugarworks, 3190 Jersey St., Panton.
Directions: South from Vergennes on Route 22A, take a right onto Panton Road, go 4 miles to Panton Center, take a right onto Jersey Street, go 2 miles, sugarhouse on right.
• Solar Sweet Maple Farm, 3841 South Lincoln Road, Lincoln.
Directions: 116 north of Bristol village to River Road, turn right and drive 5 miles, take a right onto South Lincoln Road, drive 5 miles.
Directions: Route 7, north of Ferrisburgh center.
• Bread Loaf View Farm, 564 Cider Mill Road, Cornwall.
Directions: From Middlebury, west on Route 125 to flashing light. Left onto Cider Mill Road. Farm on left, look for the buckets.
• Shaker Hill Sugarworks, 780 Shaker Hill Road, Starksboro.
Directions: Eight-tenths of a mile east of junction of Big Hollow Road and Shaker Hill Road in Starksboro, Sugarhouse has a red roof and is located near the road.
• Heffernan Family Sugarworks, 409 Gore Road, Starksboro.
Directions: Route 17 East past Jerusalem Store, turn left on Gore Road at Huntington/Hanksville sign, approximately one mile on the left.
• Vermont Trade Winds Farm, 1639 Route 74, Shoreham.
Directions: From junction of Routes 74 and 22A, go 1.5 miles east on Route 74. From Middlebury, take Route 30 south to Route 74 west, travel 6 miles from the junction.
• Whitney Sweet Water Maple Farm, 2433 Boro Hill Road, Monkton.
Directions: From Route 7, take Route 17 east, left on Burpee Road, left on Bristol/Monkton Road, and left on the second Hardscrabble Road.
• Hillsboro Sugarworks, Mountainside Lane, Starksboro.
Directions: From Route 17 past Jerusalem Store, turn left onto Gore Road, drive 3 miles, turn left onto Beane Road, take first left onto Mountainside Lane.
• Red Rock Valley Maple Farm, 160 Sugarhouse Lane, Starksboro.
Directions: Route 115 to Hinesburg General Store, turn left onto Hinesburg Hollow Road, go 2 miles and on your left look for the Red Rock Valley Maple sign.
For more information on sugarhouses near you, visit www.vermontmaple.org/events/.
Vermont is the nation’s largest producer of maple syrup, tapping over 3 million trees in each of the past three years. Production has averaged over 900,000 gallons of maple syrup over the past three years.