NEW YORK (WWTI) — Maple Weekend gives the public a chance to visit farms throughout New York to learn about maple sugarmaking processes and traditions.

Maple Weekend visitors have the opportunity to taste maple products, learn how maple syrup and other confections are made and experience unique family traditions of making maple syrup in New York State.

Visitors will also be able to meet the producers who make New York the second largest maple producing state in the country.

Maple Weekend began in New York State in 1995 as a single “Maple Sunday.” This year’s events will mark the 27th year of Maple Weekend, which now spans four days over two weekends.

This year’s events will take place March 18-19 and March 25-26, regardless of the weather. Most participating locations will be open for visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours and product samples at most sites are available free of charge, with the exception of museums.

Visitors are advised to dress in layers and wear closed-toe or insulated shoes as many of the locations are muddy.

Sites participating in Maple Weekend throughout the North Country are listed below. Visitors should call participating locations to confirm their hours prior to planning a visit.

Jefferson County

  • Maplewood Sweets, 20322 County Road 63, Watertown, 315-222-6796
  • Massey Ranch, 20605 Combs Road, Watertown, 315-783-5939
  • Widrick Maple, 21243 Staplin Road, Black River, 315-775-4964

Lewis County

  • International Maple Museum Centre, 9748 Main Street, Croghan, 315-346-1107
  • Pierce’s Sugar Spigot, 11603 Route 812, Croghan, 315-543-2980
  • Snyder’s Sugar Shack, 9640 Number Three Road, Copenhagen, 315-778-3322
  • Sterling Valley Maple, 9610 Croghan Reservoir Road, Croghan, 315-586-2599
  • Yancey’s Sugarbush, 7981 Long Pond Road, Croghan, 315-346-6356

St. Lawrence County

  • Brick Chapel Maple, 5355 County Road 27, Canton, 315-323-6859
  • Finen Maple Products, 529 Austin Ridge Road, Norwood, 315-353-2015
  • Orebed Sugar Shack, 503 Orebed Road, De Kalb Junction, 315-347-3415
  • Southville Maples, 56 West Stockholm Southville Road, Potsdam, 315-244-1355
  • Sweeter Creations Sugar House, 3345 State Highway 345, Waddington, 315-322-5535
  • Trout Lake Maple, 676 CR 19, Hermon, 315-562-8288
  • Woody’s Maple, 418 Underwood Road, Hermon, 315-528-3020

What makes maple syrup and products so special?

Pure maple syrup is 100% natural and unrefined, retaining the nutritional value of the sap obtained from the maple tree. Native North Americans were the first to recognize pure maple syrup as a source of nutrition and energy, according to the New York State Maple website.

How many maple species are there?

There are 13 maple species native to North America, including:

  • Sugar Maple,
  • Black Maple,
  • Red Maple,
  • Silver Maple,
  • Boxelder,
  • Mountain Maple,
  • Striped Maple,
  • Bigleaf Maple,
  • Chalk or White-bark Maple,
  • Canyon or bigtooth Maple,
  • Rocky Mountain Maple,
  • Vine Maple, and
  • Florida Maple.

Interested in producing maple syrup?

Information on producing maple syrup is available through organizations like The New York State Maple Producer’s Association or through your local Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Anyone with a passion for maple, a little knowledge and proper equipment can try to make their own maple syrup if they live in a maple syrup-producing region.

Tree-tapping season is short, approximately four to six weeks, so you’ll want to plan ahead.