The sweetest time of year is finally here: Vermont Maple Open House Weekend! Actually, this annual opportunity to peek inside sugarshacks to see how maple syrup is made unfolds over multiple weekends. The official dates are March 25 & 26, April 1 & 2, but some local sugarmakers are getting the party started early.
Bread Loaf View Farm in Cornwall, for example, kicks off the festivities this weekend, March 18 & 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with hands-on historical displays in its maple museum, food from So-Full Sisters food truck and a Sugarwoods trail system to explore. Hot tip: This place also has a very Vermont-y swing set (featuring a repurposed chair lift) and other fun outdoor play structures for kids. (The open house continues the following weekend, too.)
Douglas Orchards in Shoreham is hosting a free pancake breakfast with fresh maple syrup, plus tours of the sugarbush, on March 18, and again on March 25 & 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At Werner Tree Farm in Middlebury, folks can taste the sweet stuff while their kids make beads from recycled maple tubing at a DIY beading table on Saturday, March 25, 1-4 p.m.
Vermont Trade Winds Farm in Shoreham is doing a pancake breakfast and sugarbush maze on Saturday, March 25, 9 a.m. to noon. There is also a super-cool tube slide built into the side of a hill at this place.
Red Rock Valley Maple Farm in Starksboro will be cooking up maple hot dogs, and offering cotton candy, each day of the official open house weekends, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Other Addison County sugarmakers opening their operations to visitors over the next few weekends are: Foxglove Farm in Leicester, Sunset Sugar Shack and Village Mapleworks in Orwell, Irish Hill in Bridport, Rainbow Ridge Sugarmakers in Bristol and Twin Maple Sugarworks in Lincoln.
Find more sugarmakers to visit all over the state here.