Vermont Sugarhouses – See How they Turn 20 Million Gallons of Sap into the World’s Finest Maple Syrup

Vermont Sugarhouses are very active during the early spring when the sap is running and maple is produced. But most of the sugarhouses are also open to the public year-round.

Vermont is the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States, churning out a half a million gallons annually. Seeing as it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup, Vermont sugarhouses need about… now let me see…

500,000 times 40 means… heck, a darn lot of sap!

The sap comes from a special type of maple called a… sugar maple – you probably guessed that already right?

Maple syrup production goes on all over New England and Canada in the spring, and not just in Vermont. But for whatever the reason Vermont sets the standard and produces the finest in the world – Maple Syrup is only produced in the small Northeast corridor of North America, and nowhere else in the world.

More than 200 years ago Native Americans showed early Vermonters the secrets of the sugar maple, and how to extract the sap and boil it to make syrup. Except for some equipment modernization the process hasn’t changed that much since those first lessons.

Briefly, here’s how the whole process works…

How Vermont Maple Syrup Gets to Your Table…

Just about sometime in March when winter in Vermont is loosening its vice-like grip, and when the days get up in the 40’s but the night still freezes and the wind is from the west, the sap in the sugar maples begins to run. If the day stays too cold or gets too warm and the wind is from the south then the sugar makers know its wasted effort to try and tap. It used to be the sap was collected in buckets, and when full, emptied into a large tank and horse drawn to the sugarhouse. Today most sugarhouses use the more modern plastic tubing in the tap holes rather than buckets. This allows a more elaborate network of tubing to be inter-connected and makes collection of the sap to large tanks easy and cost effective. The tendency for Maple producers today is to reduce the amount of sap they take from each tree each season. A number of years ago the Maples begun to show signs of distress due to over tapping, and rather than run the risk of destroying the golden goose, farmers have cut back. This is pretty typical in conservation conscious Vermont. The sap once collected in the large tanks is dispersed to the tanks in the Sugarhouse. There’s just no time to delay in getting the sap to the house – it’s best turned to syrup within the first 24 hours. The sap is flowed into large trays with different compartments where the water is boiled off and eventually the syrup moves down the trays to the final tray where it’s syrup. The expert Maple producers can tell by just scooping up a ladle of the syrup and letting it flow back in whether the consistency is ready for it to be bottled. On a recent visit I bought a bottle while it was still warm and you bet I had pancakes within a few hours of purchasing it – can’t get much fresher than that! It’s no accident that the sugar maple is the official State Tree of Vermont. Maple sugarmaking is a Vermont heritage and the state has led the nation in the production of maple syrup for more than two centuries. The Vermont Legislature was also the first in the Union to pass a Maple Grade Law. The grade must be labeled on each container and consists of: Grade A: Golden Color & Delicate Taste – a delicate maple flavor and light in color, preferred as a gourmet choice for candies and other maple specialties. Grade A: Amber Color and Rich Flavor is the most popular choice for all around use especially pancakes. Grade A: Dark Color & Robust Flavor has a heartier flavor, but still a popular choice for the table. Grade A: Very Dark & Strong Flavor has the darkest color and strongest maple flavor, and mostly used for cooking. The grade of Vermont maple syrup reflects the stage in the season it was tapped. So “Grade A: Golden Color & Delicate Taste” grade is made from sap early in the season, and “Grade A: Very Dark & Strong Flavor” towards the end. So if you’re traveling in Vermont during early spring and smell the scent of maple sugar, and see the smoke rising from a sugarhouse then it’s time to take a break, and see maple syrup being made in a way that hasn’t changed much in over 200 years. Okay let’s get going with our list of Vermont sugarhouses for you to see on your Vermont vacation. Here you’ll find a list by region of Vermont sugarhouses open to the public. It’s always wise to call ahead or check out the web site for days and times just to be sure.

Southern Vermont Sugarhouses:

While many Vermont sugarhouses still collect the spring sap in conventional buckets, lots of sugar farms now use plastic tubing networked from the trees to large collecting tanks. I’m glad to say either collecting method yields wondeful pure Vermont maple syrup.

Southern Vermont sugarhouses you can visit…

Southern Vermont Sugarhouses
Name
Town
Phone Number
Web Site
Sugar Shack on Roaring Branch
Arlington
802-375-6747
Paradise Farm Sugarhouse
Brattleboro
802-258-2026
The Robb Family Farm
Brattleboro
802-257-0163
Dutton Berry Farm
Brookline
802-362-3083
none
Scribner Family Sugaring
Dorset
802-867-2251
none
Havoc Hill Sugarhouse
East Dorset
802-362-4136
none
Plummer’s Sugarhouse
Grafton
802-843-2207
Dutton Berry Farm & Farm Stand
Manchester
802-365-4168
none
Bob’s Maple Shop
Manchester
802-362-4556
Harlow’s Sugarhouse
Putney
802-387-5852
Merck Forest and Farmland Center
Rupert
802-394-2519
Sweet Maple Alpacas
Westminster
802-376-9846
Adams Family Farm
Wilmington
802-464-3762

Central Vermont Sugarhouses:

Morse Farm Sugar Works is located just a few miles north of Montpelier. The steam from the chimney outlet is a sure sign this Vermont maple sugarhouse is making syrup. The openness and space between shack boards is deliberate and designed to let steam escape quickly and easily. Now if only you were inside and could inhale the smells right now…

Central Vermont sugarhouses you can visit throughout the year…

Central Vermont Maple Sugarhouses
Name
Town
Phone Number
Web Site
Slack’s Maple Farm
Bradford
802-439-5473
none
Thunder Mountain Maple
Braintree
802-728-5132
none
Thelma’s Maple Sugarhouse
Brandon
802-247-6430
none
Goodrich’s Maple Farm
Cabot
800-639-1854
Olde Carriage Sugarwoods
Charlotte
802-425-4928
Mitch’s Maples
Chester
802-875-1271
none
Baird Farm
Chittenden
802-483-2963
Williams Farms
Cornwall
802-462-2470
Bragg farm Sugar House
East Montpelier
802-223-5757
Dakin Farm
Ferrisburgh
802-425-3971
Dana Brothers
Hartland
802-436-2068
none
The Gebbie’s Maplehurst Farm
Greensboro
802-533-2984
Mt. Pleasant Sugarworks
Leicester
802-439-3117
Twin Maple Sugar Works
Lincoln
802-453-2785
none
Green Mountain Sugarhouse
Ludlow
800-943-6338
Maple Sugar & Vermont Spice
Mendon
802-773-7832
none
Morse Farm Sugar Works
Montpelier
802-223-2740
Sweet Retreat Sugarworks
Northfield
802-485-8525
Laduc Acres
Orwell
802-948-2767
none
Ledge Haven Farm
Orwell
888-534-4286
none
Green’s Sugarhouse
Poultney
802-287-5745
Wood Family Sugarhouse
Poultney
802-287-9249
none
Mom & Pop’s Maple Syrup
Rochester
802-767-3731
Maple Crest Farm
Shrewsbury
802-492-3367
none
Top Acres Farm
South Royalton
802-457-3779
none
Orchard Hill Farm
South Woodstock
802-457-1543
Red Rock Valley Maple Farm
Starksboro
802-434-2858
none
Two Old Saps Sugar Works
Starksboro
802-453-3081
none
Steven’s Sugarhouse
Strafford
802-333-9362
none
Fifield’s Sugar House
Thetford
802-333-9576
none
Palmer’s Maple Products
Waitsfield
802-496-3696
none
Wood’s Sugarhouse
Weathersfield
802-263-5547
Sugarbush Farm
Woodstock
800-281-1757

Northern Vermont Sugarhouses:

The device that turns sap into maple syrup is called an evaporator. Here you can see the different tray compartments where the rapidly boiling sap passes through, until all that's left is pure maple syrup, then it's bottled and ready for you to purchase when you visit a Vermont sugarhouse while on your vacation.

Northern Vermont sugarhouses you can visit during your vacations…

Northern Vermont Maple Sugarhouses
Name
Town
Phone Number
Web Site
Center Hill Maples
Barnet
802-633-4491
none
Goss’ Sugarhouse
Barnet
802-633-4743
none
The Green Mountain Maple Sugar Refining Company
Belvidere
802-644-2625
Putnam Family Farm
Cambridge
802-644-2267
Poor Farm Sugarworks
Colchester
802-879-4860
none
Branon Family Maple Orchards
Colchester
8028273914
Branon’s West View Maples
Colchester
802-527-2430
none
Howmars Farm
Franklin
802-286-2272
none
Sugarwoods Farm
Glover
800-245-3718
none
Green Mountain Audubon Nature Center
Huntington
802-434-3068
none
Vermont Maple Outlet
Jeffersonville
802-644-5482
End-O-Road Maple
Jericho
802-899-4126
Butternut Mountain Farm
Johnson
802-999-3491
none
Mansion House Maple Syrup
Johnson
802-635-7600
none
Godfrey’s Sugarhouse
Montgomery
802-326-4775
none
Boulder Ridge Maple
Newport
802-334-6698
none
Black Sheep Sugarhouse
Orleans
802-754-6693
Fleary’s Maple Hill Farm
Richford
802-848-3681
none
Nebraska Knoll Sugarhouse
Stowe
802-253-4655
Carman Brook Maple Farm
Swanton
888-846-2753
Rowell Sugarhouse
West Danville
802-563-2756
none
Couture’s Maple Shop
Westfield
802-744-2733
Jed’s Maple Products
Westfield
866-478-7388
Adam’s Maple Products
Westford
802-878-4726
none
Smith’s Sugar Shack
Westford
802-879-0760
none
Comeau Family Sugarhouse
Williston
802-872-0709
none
Sugartree Maple Farm
Williston
802-872-2664

Vermont Lodging Resources:

Whether you take your trip to the sugarhouses of Vermont in the spring when the sap is running and see the equipment operating, or during the summer and fall to visit the farm and maybe sample and purchase some maple syrup products, plenty of famous Vermont lodging is always close.

To discover where to stay deals, and compare rates and amenities with a trusted and professional travel organization then check out Vermont lodging and accommodations.

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