Maple Sugaring: the Sweetest Season in Vermont

March 6, 2018


The warm days and cold nights of spring start the sap running in maple trees, kicking off Vermont’s renowned maple sugaring season. You’ll smell a faint trace of sweetness in the air as billowing white clouds of maple steam evaporate out of a local sugar house. It’s a festive time of year when pure Vermont maple syrup is made. Maple is a favorite flavor and is used in a variety of products, from maple creemees to maple-flavored liqueur by local craft beverage makers. Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States. A total of 4,271,000 million gallons of maple syrup was produced in the U.S. last year. Vermont produced 1.98 million gallons (46% of the total).

Members of the Stowe community have deep ties to maple sugaring. David Jamieson, a realtor broker with Pall Spera Company, is a seventh generation Vermonter whose family has played a large role in the maple sugaring business in Vermont. David’s maternal grandfather, Edward H. Jones, was Vermont’s Commissioner of Agriculture from 1924 to 1944, working under eight Vermont Governors. Ed steered the way for progress in the direction of producing higher quality farm syrup. He also was a leader in developing maple cream (aka maple butter) as a commercial product.

Experience the aroma of boiling sap and sample this traditional Vermont maple treat for yourself at one of the sugaring operations in Stowe. Take a maple tour and see first-hand how sap is boiled off to make Vermont’s best-known local product. Tours are available throughout the regular sugaring season (March and April) as well as during the statewide Maple Open House Weekend, March 24-25. Many sugar houses hold seasonal hours. Call ahead or check websites for updates on boiling times.

Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm
The Coty family has tapped sugar maple trees in the foothills of Mt. Mansfield since 1980. The mountainside sugarbush of Nebraska Knoll 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. Visitors are welcome year-round (all-wheel drive recommended in winter).

Stowe Maple Products
Stowe Maple Products is a family-run operation that produces syrup in the spring months. The sugar house is open year-round for retail at farm prices and is conveniently located on Route 100 between Waterbury and the historic Stowe village. Shipping is available.

Trapp Family Lodge sugarhouse
Stowe’s famous Trapp Family Lodge also has a maple sugaring operation. Take the Maple Sugar Tour, a one-mile hike or snowshoe around the property, to see the Trapp Family Lodge sugarhouse where sugaring is done the old-fashioned way using buckets to collect sap and a sled and team of draft horses to gather sap. The sap is boiled down in a large wood-fired evaporator. The sap and sugaring process are organic.

Take in Vermont’s sweetest season during the Vermont Maple Open House Weekend.

Photo courtesies: Trapp Family Lodge and David Jamieson, realtor broker, Pall Spera Company