Across the North Country, the traditional sugar-making season is underway. Most northern New York maple syrup producers get busy tapping their trees in late February or early March, in preparation for the greatly-anticipated four to six weeks of sap flow generally expected to begin in mid- to late March and continue on into April.
The sugar-making season and the weeks that follow are an extremely important selling period for maple syrup-producing farm-families. Many of them participate in Maple Weekend, an annual event championed by the New York State Maple Producers Association (NYSMPA) and supported by Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Cornell Maple Program, as an opportunity for individuals and families to visit one or more of our family-run maple sugaring operations and see, first-hand, how sugar maple trees are tapped and sap is collected and boiled into pure, delicious maple syrup.
For many producers, Maple Weekend marks the start of their annual retail sales. Unfortunately, it appears that, once again, the COVID-19 pandemic will be seriously impacting those sales. Maple Weekend has been canceled again this year.
For the first time in its 105 year history, the Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake is cancelling its summer season.
Tony Kostecki and Darren K. Woods, the General and Artistic Directors of the Seagle Music Colony, made the decision for the health and safety of their artists, staff, patrons, and audience members. Seagle leadership did not make this decision lightly and had the following to say about it in an announcement sent this week:
As we move closer to summer, many attractions that were closed last summer are looking ahead to reopening this year. Same goes with the many annual events that people have come to expect throughout the summer and fall months.
For example, The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. While they have been open, visitors have been limited to outdoor attractions such as the Wild Walk. The facility will close for maintenance in April and reopening in May. The museum will remain an outdoor experience through June and reopen on July 1.
“The summer is going to be chock-a-block full with outdoor activities, fishing experiences. We’ll have some surprises for people, but it will be another wonderful get-outside experience,” said Hillarie Logan-Dechene, deputy director. For now, the Wild Center will continue to use its ticket reservation system for people to schedule their visits in advance, and masks will still be required.
Here’s a look at what’s in store for some other attractions and events around the region.
Great Escape Water Park/Lodge (Queensbury) https://www.sixflagsgreatescapelodge.com/ – The lazy river, Tak-It-Eesi-Creek & children’s activity pool, Tip-A-Kanu-Beach are now open Friday through Sunday. The remaining attractions in the indoor lodge opened up March 26, Monday through Friday from 9am to 9pm.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announces the start of spring turkey hunting season on May 1. This applies to all Upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester county line.
Remember this season to follow the DEC’s safety tips in order to prevent injury and the spread of COVID – 19. The DEC’s annual youth turkey hunting weekend, for junior hunters aged 12 to 15, will take place as well this season on April 25-26.
During the 2019 spring season, Turkey hunters took around 17,000 birds. Spring harvest success is measured relative to two years prior, as hunters focus primarily on “gobblers” (2-year-old birds). The 2019 breeding season started off slow due to inclement weather, but conditions in summer of 2018, as well as good over winter survival due to abundant food in the fall has contributed to a population gain that may offset the slow start to 2019’s breeding season.
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