Spring’s arrival marks the start of maple sugaring season. From February through late-March, billowing white clouds of maple steam, rolling off the evaporators of nearby sugar houses, fill the air with a faint trace of sweetness. Stowe offers a few options for visitors hoping to watch the sugaring process. Local sugar farms will open their business for viewing and offer tours throughout the season. Take in Vermont’s sweetest season during the statewide Maple Open House Weekend, typically held in late-March, organized by the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association, one of the oldest agricultural organizations in the United States.
Sugar houses in Stowe
Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm
Each spring since 1980, the Coty family has tapped sugar maple trees in the foothills of Mt. Mansfield. The mountainside sugarbush slopes up from Nebraska Valley in Stowe, six miles from the village and part of the scenic view from Trapp Meadow. Visitors are welcome year-round (all-wheel drive recommended in winter). Their retail room features maple products for sale at sugarhouse prices and a display of photos and artifacts.
Stowe Maple Products
Owners Robin & Stephen Pierson boil some of the finest syrup in Vermont. Located at 2616 Waterbury Road (Route 100, just across from the Fly Rod Shop), this family-run operation produces syrup in the spring months, but is open year-round for retail. You’ll enjoy 100% pure Vermont maple syrup at farm prices, and they’ll even ship your syrup for you! Hours do vary seasonally, so it’s best to call ahead to make sure Stowe Maple Products is open, or to check the next boil time: (802) 253-2508.
Trapp Family Lodge
Join the Trapp Family Lodge at their sugarhouse. Every March, when the days become longer and warmer, they start the process of maple sugaring. They still “sugar” the old-fashioned way, using buckets to collect sap and a sled and a team of draft horses to gather sap. Then, the sap is boiled down to syrup in a very large, wood-fired evaporator. The sap and the sugaring process are completely organic; no chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides.
The Maple Sugar Tour is a casual, 1-mile hike around the property where you learn about the process and enjoy a tasty maple treat. Meet at the Outdoor Center 15 minutes prior to your tour time.