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Trip Report Maple Sugaring in Vermont Trip Report

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this is a copy from my trip report posted on my blog.
sorry all the links don't copy over!!!!

Seems people around here harvest the sap from the “sugarbushes” and make the maple syrup right out in the open in front of you. They open the doors to their farms and invite you to come watch. Plus they do insane things like have huge pancake breakfasts and something called sugar on snow!! what is just so crazy is that each tap will yield an average of 10 gallons of sap per season, producing about one quart of maple syrup. Or, to put it another way, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. amazing! here are some other facts about maple syrup

Sugar on Snow info -
http://www.massmaple.org/sos.html
http://www.boston.com/travel/blog/2008/04/ever_had_sugar.html

great website listing Sugar Houses participating in the open house for Vermont
http://vermontmaple.org/open-house-weekend.php

where we stayed – Green Mountain Inn – 18 Main Street, Stowe, Vermont
we had a gorgeous luxury room. huge king size canopy bed. huge jacuzzi right near the bed. fireplace. large bathroom with large shower. very clean. nicely decorated. desk area. large closet. fridge. everything you could need. a bit far from the highway. but easy to get to. staff was friendly. never used housekeeping or any of their other amenities. the restaurant – the whip – is supposed to be good. it was $189 per night plus a ridiculous amount of taxes/fees. loved it. perfect for a new england long weekend. would love to stay again but for this kind of trip and where we went would have been better to stay closer to an entrance for 89, and/or in burlington.

Friday March 26, 2010

Maple Sugar & Vermont Spice – 43 US Route 4, Mendon, Vermont
restaurant and sugarhouse, yummy pumpkin pancakes and omelet with maple sausage and vermont cheddar! good coffee. friendly servers. cute little shop downstairs. our first stop for maple syrup. would love to go back and try all the different pancakes!

Morse Farm Sugar Works – 1168 County Road, Montpelier
went into the sugar house saw the machine in action. some cute displays with info about sugaring. cute little shop as well. taste testing. maple trail looked nice but we were too cold for a walk!

Bragg Farm – 1005 Vt Route 14 South, East Montpelier
this is where we had our first ever Sugar on Snow. cute little shop. taste testing. nice ice cream parlor/sit down area.

Cabot Annex Store – 2657 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury Center
free samples of all the cabot cheeses, like a million different kinds. some cheese spreads, salsas and other items. tasting for $6 at the Snow Farm Winery tasting corner. Lake Champlain Chocolates is also in the same complex. some yummy chocolate samples.

Magic Hat Brewery – 5 Bartlett Bay Road, South Burlington. free tour and tasting of most of their beers. standard beer tour. great beers! had most of them before. lucky kat is a fav. the vinyl and notion are newer and awesome.

Drink – 135 St Paul St, Burlington
we stopped in here waiting for our table at flatbread. had a cosmo, cause it was the special and discounted $4. it was standard. it was early in the night. bet the place livens up a bit after.

American Flatbread – 115 Saint Paul Street, Burlington. pizza with pulled lamb shoulder, vermont cheddar and bacon bbq sauce. yum! had some great beers too. long wait for a table on a friday night!

Saturday March 27, 2010

Vermont Trade Winds Farm – 1639 Route 74, Shoreham
we went here and had their pancake breakfast. really tiny place in comparison to other sugarhouses we visited. it was really a small family operation. super nice people. a little in the middle of no where. so it took us a bit to get there. the syrup was great. as well as the pancakes! but the maple sausage was the best thing. like how the use wood, already on hand, that would be used for other purposes, to burn for the syrup machine. (rather that the ton of oil other places use). the had samples of their maple walnuts, candy, donuts and other things. everything tasted great!

Robert Frost Interpretive Trail – From Middlebury, travel south on Route 7 to where it intersects with Route 125. Travel east on Route 125 for 5.8 miles. The parking area is on the right. we finally found it, started walking and just a few minutes in found out the trail is closed! and has been closed since aug 2008 when there was a huge flood. still hasn’t been repaired. we tried to go past the fence where it was closed off but had to stop because there was water and a bridge and the bridge did not look safe to cross. too bad! I love Robert Frost and was looking forward to reading excerpts while walking.

otter creek – 793 Exchange Street, Middlebury
stopped in to the tasting bar at otter creek. tasted a good amount of their beers. totally free. loved the oatmeal stout and spring ale. love the wolavers organic line as well. they’ve been brewing organic for like forever. which is awesome.

Shelburne Farms – 1611 Harbor Rd, Shelburne. huge place. great activities. watched a tree tapping. large sugar house for viewing boiling. farm animals! the baby lambs had recently been born. they said there was about 100 of them. also chickens roaming near the barn, I got to hold one. some goats and llamas were around too. really liked this place. they have family events all the time. would love to stay at their Inn at some point. their store had lots of cheeses and things to sample. loved the 3 year cheddar, bought the tractor cheddar home!

Ben & Jerry’s – 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury. we stopped in but the tour ($3) was sold out and we couldn’t wait 30+ minutes for the next one. the ice cream line was super long, so we skipped that too. we can get B&J’s at home so we figured it was OK to skip this. we did browse the info in the long hallway which was a good self guided tour in itself.

Cold Hollow Cider Mill, 3600 Waterbury-Stowe Road, (Route 100), Waterbury Center. stopped by for some cider donuts, featured in Gourmet Magazine as one of the top four donuts in the country. 50 cents each. yummy! free apple cider samples, also yummy. cute shop with lots of different maple and apple items, as well as jams, jellies, sauces, etc.

Rock Art Brewery – 254 Wilkins Street, Morrisville
Tasting with purchase of a $3 souvenir glass with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity. tasted a good amount of their beers. nice people. small brewery. had out some great locally made jalapeno chips for munching.

Trattoria Delia – 152 Saint Paul Street, Burlington. calamari, antipasti misti, gnocchi with braised wild boar and gnocchi with sweet sausage and cream. yummy!!!!!!! awesome meal. great place. we went on Fri hoping to eat, but they were totally packed. so we made reservations for the following night. sat at the wine bar to eat. which was nice.

Nectars – 188 Main Street, Burlington
we went to nectars just to see the place, since this is where phish got its start. had a few beers. oddly enough their was a country band playing. not so fun.

Sunday March 28, 2010
Dakin Farm – 5797 Route 7, Ferrisburgh
we went here for their pancake breakfast. bigger place but super packed! great huge pancakes, sausage (links and patties), bacon and fruit. coffee too. delicious! so many locals where there. almost everyone in line seemed like they had been there before. samples of syrup, smoked meats, cheese, jams/jellies, etc. large store.

Sugarbush Farm – 591 Sugarbush Farm Road, Woodstock
this place was a bit in the middle of no where. down a long unpaved drive. sloshy with mud. felt like I was driving in snow! beautiful sleigh horses out back. interesting sugar house. great guy working in there, willing to talk and really educate you. inside the store they gave you samples of the different grades of syrup & maple products, 15 kinds of cheese. Maple trail to walk. cute Farmhouse store. we bought some aged cheddar. my one grip is for such a farm like place, with all homemade things, we bought two sodas in glass bottles with a sugarbush label on it thinking if was made there and not full of nasty stuff. well when we got to the car and read the label we realized it was imported from somewhere else and was full of high fructose corn syrup. disappointing.

King Arthur Flour – 135 US Route 5 South, Norwich. awesome store! bought semolina and buttermilk pancake mix. so many different baking items, ingredients and flours. walked around looking at everything. they have cooking classes too. glad this is very south in vermont near NH so I can definitely make a trip again soon! I wanted everything.

in case you want to go maple sugaring in other states:

for New Hampshire
http://www.nhmapleproducers.com/house.html
Parker’s Maple Barn – Mason, NH

for Western Mass
http://www.massmaple.org/info.html
Hay Bale cafe – Westhampton, MA
Davenport’s – MA

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