With daytime temperatures climbing but nighttime temperatures still dropping below freezing, the sap is flowing in maple trees across Pennsylvania. The maple sugaring season has arrived, and with it, the maple sugar tourism season.
Many of the Pennsylvania maple sugaring events that skipped 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic are returning this year, some with special safety precautions in response to the still-raging pandemic.
On the tours of maple farms and sugar shacks, some sites will provide curb-side ordering and pick up for their wide-ranging products – maple-based and other. Some will offer drive-through tours of their operations.
Despite whatever other changes have been made, the maple farmers again will be offering a startling range of maple-based and maple-related products.
Those will include sap dogs, bourbon maple syrup, maple milkshakes, bucket brownies, maple cotton candy, maple mustard, maple barbecue sloppy Joes, maple raspberry syrup and much more.
Here’s a look at the maple sugaring events across Pennsylvania this year:
Many of the maple-sugaring programs at state parks are part of the overall cancellation on in-person events by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Parker Dam State Park at Penfield is the exception, opening the maple sugaring webinar it has been doing with schools for the past four years to the public on March 13, 20 and 27. For more information: dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/ParkerDamStatePark/Pages/default.aspx
Somerset County Maple Weekend Taste and Tour takes place March 13 and 14 at nearly two dozen maple farms and camps offering tours, demonstrations, activities, samples of a wide variety of maple products and products for sale. More information: somersetcountymaple.org/maple-weekend.html
The Northwest Pennsylvania Maple Association 18th annual Taste & Tour Weekend on March 13 and 14 takes place at about 20 maple sugaring operations, including a high school-based sugarhouse, throughout the region. The maple farms and camps will offer tours, demonstrations of traditional and modern maple sugaring techniques and equipment, activities for kids, wagon rides, samples of products, and products for sale. More information: pamaple.org/2021-taste-tour
The annual Maple Weekend of the Potter-Tioga Maple Producers Association on March 20 and 21 happens at 22 participating farms across Potter and Tioga Counties. The farms offer tours, demonstrations and the finest in pure maple products, and visitors learn about the interesting story of each farm and the unique processes developed by individual producers. More information: pamaple.com/2021-maple-weekend.html
The 74th annual Pennsylvania Maple Festival, Meyersdale, which has dubbed itself “Maple City USA,” takes place April 24 and 25 and April 28 to Mary 2 and includes a Maple Queen, parade, pancake shack, demonstrations, product samples and sales, quilt show, truck and motorcycle show, car show, Maple Race run and walk, horse-pulling contest and more. More information: pamaplefestival.com
— MARCUS SCHNECK/PENNLIVE VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS