In NH, white steam billowing from the vents of maple sugar houses is the tell tale sign that a “Sweet Spring” is just around the corner. This year, the NH Maple Producers Association is holding its 21st Annual Maple Weekend Open House event. Travelers are encouraged to visit one or many of the nearly ninety sugar houses all across the state to learn about the maple syrup making process (from tree collection to boiling to end product), learn about the grading system, and of course sample lots of sweet treats and stock up on “the good stuff”.
Big or small, many of the sugar houses roll out the red carpet and do something extra special like offering maple donuts and maple ice cream sundaes or offering hay rides and live music.
Some of the more unique offerings include:
- Charmingfare Farm in Candia offers their “Maple Express” (for a fee) where you get a horse drawn sleigh ride to the maple sap boiling house, learn about the maple syrup making process and get pancakes. They also have a petting farm.
- In addition to maple syrup, Crescendo Farm in Surry also raises alpacas and miniature horses that you can visit with when learning about the maple syrup process.
- When you visit the Fieldstone Farm Sugarhouse in Rindge, you can meet Abe the buffalo (we think it’s the beard) and his son Syd.
- Heritage Farm Pancake House in Sanbornton serves breakfast and has a petting farm and hay rides.
- Kids will love the “Cow Train” at Kaison’s Sugarhouse in Weare where kids get to sit in small barrels painted like cows and get a short trip being pulled by an ATV (going slow).
- Stonewall Farm in Keene holds a “sap gathering contest” where teams of horses from around the state compete by pulling a sap sled, navigating a wooded course, collecting maple sap buckets from tree taps and racing the sap back to the boiler house.
The official weekend is March 25-26 but many of the sugar houses are open every weekend between March 11 and April 2. Check the NH Maple Producers Association to see which maple sugarhouses are open and participating on which weekends.
Have a sweet month,
Your innkeepers of the New Hampshire B&B Association