Whether or not the old adage “In like a lion, out like a lamb” remains true, one thing can be counted on, March brings the beginning of Maple Sugaring season in New England. In 2013, the Northeastern United States produced 2.7 million gallons of maple syrup – Vermont alone was responsible for nearly half of that amount.
Considering those incredible numbers, and all the sugar houses offering demonstrations, tastings, and activities for children, New England makes a great escape during the spring months. The Maple Syrup region in the Northeast is like the kid-friendly version of Napa Valley. So here’s a “sampling” of just a few Maple Madness activities and lodging incentives, for a delicious weekend getaway.
Native Americans living in the Northeast were processing maple tree sap as early as 1609, over a decade before Europeans landed on these shores. Leading up to and during the Civil War, abolitionist’s boycotted cane sugar and molasses (which were produced from slave labor) in favor of maple syrup and maple sugar. During World War II, New Englanders were encouraged to stretch their sugar rations by substituting in maple sugar and maple syrup, and maple recipe books were printed in abundance.
New Hampshire Maple Sugar Madness
The Bed & Breakfasts Inn Mount Washington Valley in New Hampshire will once again host their annual March Maple Madness Tour on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 10:30am – 5pm. A self-guided tour includes the sampling of maple treats, a visit to several “sugaring” locations to experience the maple syrup process firsthand, and shopping at local boutiques and vendors along the way. “The Maddening Scavenger Hunt” gives guests the opportunity to win prizes by answering questions and uncovering objects and artifacts. The participant who scores the most points will win a $200 certificate toward a two-night stay at any participating member of Bed Breakfasts Inn Mount Washington Valley, as well as a dinner certificate for The Notchland Inn, a horse-drawn carriage ride for two at the Farm by the River B&B Stable, and a Maple Madness themed gift basket.
Vermont Maple Sugar Madness
For those who like their pancakes sugar-coated and their maple syrup pure, March is the peak season to sample Vermont’s sweetest export. From early March to mid-April, sugarhouses are working overtime, frantically boiling down sap the same day it is gathered. The Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association will hold its annual Open House Weekend on March 22 & 23 – this is a unique opportunity to visit sugarhouses and restaurants across the state, and watch (and taste) as maple syrup is made.
Maine Maple Sugar Madness
Hilltop Boilers in Newfield, ME started hosting Maine Maple Sunday back in the late 1980’s. What started as a handful of people visiting the sugarhouse has now morphed into an event that attracts over 6,000 people (in a town with a population of roughly 1,400) over the course of the weekend. Maine Maple Sunday, held on March 22 & 23, has become an important tradition not only for Newfield, but for the entire state. Enjoy two delicious days of fun activities, great music, and savory tastings all in the name of “Maple.”
About The Author: Jennifer DiBlasi is the Director of PR & Marketing for BnBFinder.com, one of the world’s most comprehensive B&B directories. You can read more about B&Bs and travel at the BnBFinder blog. Follow along on Twitter at @BnBFinder, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
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