2019 Maple Syrup Weekend is March 23-24 and March 30-31
March is officially Maple Syrup month in New York State, but there are ways to enjoy 100% pure New York maple syrup all year long! Besides buying it at the market, here are a few places we look forward to visiting during late-winter to early-spring.
1. Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn
Angelica. Open only during maple syrup season, it’s never too early to start planning a trip to Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn! After a beautiful 90 minute drive south to Angelica, you will be enjoying the most celebrated all-you-can-eat buckwheat pancakes, topped with maple syrup drawn from 8,000 of the family’s trees.
Because they are only open February 12 – April 14, 2019, Cartwright’s draws thousands of people from hundreds of miles around. Weekends get pretty busy, especially during Maple Syrup Weekend, and parking in the lot and along the road gets a little crazy, though it doesn’t usually take more than a 1/2 hour to get in. And it may be cold lining up outside, but it’s toasty warm (sometimes hot!) inside where they cook the pancakes on a very large griddle which can handle 700 pancakes an hour, so service is quick.
2. Kettle Ridge Farm
During Maple Syrup Weekend between 10am to 4pm, enjoy fresh maple syrup samples in the tasting room, tours of the sugarhouse/farm and pancakes in the barn (pancake truck open until 2pm)! There will be hourly group hikes in the sugarbush, including stops at their shiitake mushroom log yard, honeybee apiary, and chicken coop. Fun and educational for the entire family!
3. Moore’s Maple Shack
and Pancake House
Freedom. Like Cartwright’s, they are open for breakfast during the season only, roughly March 1-April 15 each year, except Mondays and Easter Sunday, but also open Sundays in January and February. No need to wait for Maple Syrup Weekend! They share a similar story with Cartwright’s with multi-generational sugarmakers, and all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancakes drawing crowds from across the state.
Head out to a few of
these other locations during
Maple Syrup Weekend
In March, local producers open their sugar bush and sugar shacks to the community to celebrate the innovative process of turning sap into syrup during Maple Syrup Weekend. The best way to fully appreciate fresh syrup is with a full stack of pancakes dripping with liquid gold!
Commercial farms, nature centers, and restaurants create a fun atmosphere offering maple-flavored cotton candy, ice cream, BBQ sauce, milkshakes, mustard, scones, cheesecake, popcorn, hot chocolate, baked beans, or sugar on snow. This is also a prime opportunity for them to sell products including maple syrup, candy, butter, and cream.
The places below (also shown in our Google map) have a similar agenda of activities that likely include:
- Walking through the sugar bush to see maple trees tapped with spiles, using buckets or bags for collection.
- Learn to identify maple trees suitable for tapping (species and age are significant!)
- Learn about the logistics for getting sap to the sugar shack.
- Watch the sap boil, and water evaporate. Learn what temperature it needs to be heated to.
- Learn about old-fashioned techniques and modern technological advances in food & tree safety and quality (reverse osmosis, vacuum pumps, UV lights, tubing systems).
4. Helmer Nature Center
Irondequoit. On Saturday, March 23, spend the day walking the trails as staff and volunteers take you through the sugaring process. Help collect sap, stop at the evaporator and watch it cook into syrup. Make & sample maple treats such as maple ice cream, sugar on snow, cornbread w/syrup, cookies & milkshakes!
Then, on Sunday, March 31, the annual All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast will be held at the Senior Center. Real maple syrup made on site!
5. Genesee Country Village
& Museum Nature Center
Mumford. Head out on the Maple History Trail to learn how various tapping methods evolved, and get hands-on with the tools of the trade. Visit our recently completed sugarhouse to see how sap is made into thick, amber maple syrup, and try a sample, then sit down to a hearty pancake breakfast to cap off the day! Enjoy breakfast from 9 am-1 pm. Sugar Shack, Nature Center and Historic Village are open 9:30am- 4 pm. Tickets for the festival and buffet are sold separately.
On Friday, March 29 there’s Maple Sugar Soiree at 6pm. Break the winter doldrums with this sweet night out, plus receive a complimentary ticket to the Maple Sugar Festival! Reservations are encouraged. Event is 21+.
6. Shadow Hill Maple Syrup
Ontario. Open House every weekend in March with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast available. Enjoy a half mile of gravel hiking trails through the sugar bush, including a three-acre pond, running waterfalls, and a pond with an arched bridge. We’ve been expanding! Come and see all of the new and exciting changes that are underway.
7. Buffalo Niagara
Amherst. Maple Weekend March 30 & 31. Featuring maple science demonstrations and a maple sugar tour covering the history of maple sugaring led by Maple Sugar experts and our oxen, Jack and Flynn. This tour features hands-on, interactive stops such as a 19th century sugar arch, a tree tapping station, maple cooking demonstrations in Elliott House, tasty maple sugar on snow treats, and more. Hay rides will also be provided (weather permitting). Admission fees for programs and breakfast are separate. Reservations recommended. Pancake Breakfast seatings sell out fast!
8. Cumming Nature Center
Naples. Take in the gorgeous landscape; enjoy a hearty, locally sourced meal; and wander the trails. On the trail, learn how a tree makes sap and discover the different processing techniques while enjoying the outdoors. Pancake Breakfast: 9–1 (Gluten-free pancakes available, a phone call in advance is greatly appreciated! 585.374.6160)
9. Humphrey Nature Center
Letchworth State Park. SAPturdays March 2, 9 and 16. Learn the entire history of maple sugaring, from sap to syrup. Programs cover history of maple sugaring, how maple syrup is made today, ample tree identification, and even some samples!
10. Schoff’s Sugar Shack
Victor. Open house both weekends, with a Pancake Breakfast at the Thirsty Turtle in Victor on Sunday, March 24 from 9-11.
11. Packard Valley Farms
Macedon. See how we harvest sap and create our own maple syrup. While you are here you can explore the sap house, sample some of our delicious syrup, and even see the sugar bush. Other activities include pony rides, petting zoo, kids activity zone, horse drawn wagon rides and so much more! The Log Cabin Restaurant will be featuring All You Can Eat Pancakes with Packard Valley Farm’s syrup. Parking is available at both locations and there will be free tractor/wagon rides to take you back and forth.
12. Wohlschlegel’s Naples
Naples. All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast from 8am-1pm. Guided walks to the sugar bush with great views from atop the Naples Hills, and a sugar house tour.
13. Gaeta Family Farm
Lockport. No pancake breakfast here, but the owners are excited to show you around the property and thrill you with the chemistry of syrup production–Tony Gaeta is a retired research scientist. There is a newly constructed sugar house to process maple tree sap collected from 200+ taps on this property and on Upper Mountain road. Even though we are a small producer, we utilize state of the art equipment to make maple syrup.
14. Wolf Maple Products
Middleport. See, smell, and taste your way through the maple sugaring process from 10am-4pm. Take a tram ride out to the sugar bush.
Did you know that Maple Syrup is entirely a North American product?
New York, Vermont, and Ontario, Canada are the prime commercial locations able to harvest maple tree sap to produce syrup, along with a few other locations around the Great Lakes and New England.
Where is your favorite spot during Maple Syrup Weekend?
Share with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!