You’re not the only one whose sap starts running when the hours of daylight grow longer and the angle of sunlight rises higher. Bright, clear days, with some snow still covering the frozen soil, air temperatures creeping above the freezing mark and dropping below it again at night: We’ve got optimal conditions right now for harvesting maple syrup.
With the largest resource of tappable maple trees within the US, and more than 2,000 maple sugarmakers, New York State is a powerhouse in the production of this sweet treat. Not only is maple sugar one of the purest sweeteners available – nothing is added, after all, only the water subtracted from the sap – but it’s also sustainably harvested. Being tapped doesn’t weaken the trees. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about ways to incorporate more maple syrup and sugar into your family’s diet in place of other, less health-friendly sweetening agents.
March 23-24 and 30-31 are the official New York State Maple Weekends for 2019. Sugaring operations all over the state are inviting visitors to come witness the process of tapping the sap, boiling it down into syrup and making the sugar into cakes in whimsical shapes. Tastings and pancake breakfasts can be found somewhere near you. Here are some mid-Hudson Valley sugarhouses offering sugarbush tours, demonstrations and community activities during the next two weekends:
Frost Valley YMCA, 1920 Frost Valley Road, Claryville; (845) 985-2291
Marty’s Maple Products Farm, 52 Bell Lane, West Shokan; (845) 417-844‑8
New Beginnings Farmstead, 2585 Route 209, Kingston; (845) 430-8521
Platte Creek Maple Farm, 808 Glasco Turnpike, Saugerties; (845) 853-4240
Sugar Brook Maple Farm, 351 Samsonville Road, Kerhonkson; (845) 594-2483
Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Road, Olivebridge; (845) 657-8333
Soukup Farm, 271 Hall’s Corners Road, Dover Plains; (845) 264-3137
Cronin’s Maple Farm, 2109 Route 52, Hopewell Junction; (845) 224-4620
Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Road, Wappingers Falls; (845) 298-4602
Sharpe Reservation, 436 Van Wyck Lake Road, Fishkill; (845) 897-4320
For more details about event schedules and additional locations, visit https://mapleweekend.nysmaple.com.