King of Syrup
Vermont is the nation’s undisputed King of Maple Syrup, accounting for more than 50 percent of the total U.S. output of over 4 million gallons. Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth’s, Log Cabin or Hungry Jack “maple syrup”, or rather “maple-flavored corn syrup”, will drain your wallet to the tune of $8 per gallon at your local Walmart; however, the same liquid measure of Vermont’s finest is nearly $60! The difference besides the quality and taste? The labor-intensive process of collecting and boiling down all that sap is the reason the price is so high.
Want to get up close, personal and learn more about how the warm days and cold nights of spring start the sap running in our state tree? Eager to smell the sweetness in the air as billowing white clouds of maple steam blanket the landscape? Looking to create cherished maple-inspired memories with friends and loved ones that will last a lifetime? Here’s how:
Trapp Family Lodge Sugarhouse
Stowe’s famous Trapp Family Lodge also has a well-kept secret tucked deep in the darkness of the woods of their nearly 3,000-acre mountain top estate–a maple sugaring operation! Take the Maple Sugar Tour, a one-mile “hike” via snowshoe or cross-country ski, up, over and through the rolling hills and majestic countryside to see the Trapp Family Lodge sugarhouse where sugaring is done the old-fashioned way using wooden buckets to collect sap and an antique sled and team of draft horses to haul Vermont’s sweetest natural resource. The sap is then boiled down in a large, wood-fired evaporator and the entire sugaring process is certified organic for your sampling pleasure.
Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm
The Coty family has tapped sugar maple trees in the foothills of Mount Mansfield for nearly 40 years on their mountainside sugarbush of Nebraska Knoll which slopes up from Nebraska Valley in Stowe, six miles from the village and part of the scenic view from Trapp Meadow. The retail room at Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm features maple products for sale at sugarhouse prices and a display of photos and artifacts for those looking for a deeper understanding of the history, processing, production and commerce of this centuries-old spring tradition in the rugged Green Mountain State. Visitors are warmly welcomed year-round (all-wheel drive recommended in winter and early spring).
Stowe Maple Products
Owners Robin & Stephen Pierson boil some of the finest syrup in all of Vermont at Stowe Maple Products. A family-run operation that produces syrup in the spring months of March and April, you will enjoy 100% pure Vermont maple syrup at farm prices–and they’ll even ship your syrup for you! Hours do vary seasonally, so it is best to call ahead to make sure Stowe Maple Products is open, or to check the next boil time. They are conveniently located on Route 100 between Highway 89 and the historic village of Stowe and offer visitors the quintessential New England experience of sourcing a local product purveyed just steps from where it was hand crafted.