Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sap is Running: Adirondack Maple Weekends

Cold nights and warm days are the perfect combination to make the maple sap flow. Though most commercial maple producers are already in full production, our family operation is a bit behind in collecting the sap.

Pancake breakfasts, wooded walks and maple tastings are all part of the menu for the two annual New York State Maple Producers Association’s Maple Weekends. In addition to these specially scheduled maple outings, some maple producers welcome drop-ins and individual tours.

Since the mid-1990s, an open house Maple Sunday has evolved across New York State into two celebrated Maple Weekends. Mark the calendar for March 17-18 and 24-25 for an opportunity to learn more about what is produced from the New York State tree, the sugar maple.

According to Country Dreams Farm owner Melissa Provost, her business transitions from Adirondack Sleigh Rides to Maple weekends once the month of March comes around. Depending on the weather she would host sleigh rides on March 3 at John Brown Farm Historic Site, but then her team of horses provides educational wagon rides through maple groves at Sacred Roots Maple.

“For us, we bring people into the woods to see the pipeline and how the sap is taken from the trees,” says Provost. “We want to educate while we entertain. It comes naturally while we are going through the sugar bush. How many taps? How old do the trees have to be? We are an extension of what is being learned at the sugar house.”

Nearby Parker Family Maple Farm will host its grand re-opening for the maple season this weekend with its first pancake breakfast. NY Assemblyman Jones will be on site for a tree tapping ceremony and to officially open maple season. Each Saturday and Sunday in March, Parker Farm will offer a hearty pancake breakfast from 8 am to 2 pm at the Parker’s Pancake House, located at the West Chazy farm. Other pancake breakfasts as well as maple tours, demonstrations, and activities are also listed on the Maple weekend website. Enjoy maple season!

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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