Maple Sugaring in the Litchfield Hills Last Updated 3/21

Maple syrup was cultivated by Native Americans in Connecticut as far back as the 1600s, becoming the New World’s first natural sweetener. Loyal maple syrup and maple sugar lovers eagerly await this annual rite of spring, when the still-freezing nights and warmer, sunny days towards the end of March create the ideal conditions for robust maple syrup yields. So if you want to enjoy the fruits of this year’s labors of sugary love (and are looking for some sweet family fun), plan a visit to maple sugar makers in the Litchfield Hills and learn firsthand how everybody’s favorite pancake topping is made!

Be sure to check with each location before venturing out, as hours may change due to COVID-19.

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Maple Weekend in Connecticut!

This March 20-21 is Maple Weekend in Connecticut. Visit local sugarhouses and taste locally-made products during the two-day celebration of all things maple. Many sugarhouses across the state will be open for tours and will be selling their products. It’s a great opportunity to learn how maple sap is collected and turned into delicious syrup, candy, fudge, confections, and more!

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Indian Rock Nature Preserve, Bristol

Don’t miss the 11th Annual Maple Sugaring Demonstration & Pancake Breakfast at Indian Rock Nature Preserve in Bristol on Saturday, March 20. (This year’s festivities will look a little different – guests will still be able to enjoy a hardy pancake breakfast, but as take-out). Pre-registration is required. Bottles of homemade maple syrup and maple sugar candies will be available for sale during the Maple Sugaring Demonstration.

 

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Lamothe’s Sugar House, Burlington

Family-owned Lamothe’s Sugar House in Burlington is Connecticut’s largest maple sugar house, with an incredible 6,000 taps and 26 miles of tubing to collect the sap. Learn how maple syrup is made and then pick some up from their country store that also sells maple sugar, jams, honey and more. And don't forget to visit with the rabbits!

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Sweet Wind Farm, East Hartland

“Let the Good Times Boil” at Sweet Wind Farm in East Hartland, as they tap trees and collect sap in time to celebrate the gift of maple during their 15th Annual Maple Festival on Saturday, March 13 and Connecticut Maple Weekend on March 20-21. Pancakes and maple syrup, sausage, maple baked beans, coffee and more will be served OUTSIDE in take-out fashion; and dependent on the weather, there will be distanced seating available outside as well. Jack will be back with his guitar, singing classic tunes everybody loves. There will also be an outdoor farmers market-style tent set up for farm product sales, plus educational programming and demonstrations.

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Brookside Farm II, Litchfield

Brookside Farm II in Litchfield is a relatively small but very high-quality maple syrup operation. Each year, the farm produces about 250 gallons of maple syrup, with a production process that yields 100% pure and basically 100% organic maple syrup. Visitors are welcome (just call ahead). The owners enjoy teaching folks of all ages how maple syrup is made and the differences in the four grades of syrup. A tour includes a tasting and recipe suggestions.

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Flanders Nature Center, Woodbury

Nestled in the woods, just 100 yards from the entrance to the Fleming Preserve at the Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust in Woodbury stands The Old Sap House, where the Flanders maple syrup tradition began, today drawing about 1,000 visitors each spring. As the demands on the Sap House grew and the aging equipment sagged under the weight of time and use, a new Sugar House was built on the Van Vleck Farm and Nature Sanctuary and this is where all current maple syrup making takes place. Flanders welcomes small groups to reserve a time to visit the Sugar House as staff and volunteers demonstrate turning sap into syrup with an entertaining mix of science, stories and humor. The entire family will be fascinated by the maple sugar-making process. Saturdays, March 6 & 13; Sundays, March 7 & 14.

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Sullivan Farm, New Milford

Forty-one years ago, the Great Brook Sugar House at Sullivan Farm in New Milford tapped ten trees on the front lawn of the East Street School. That first year, the mammoth (not really) amount of sap collected was boiled on a Coleman stove. Today, 1,600 trees are tapped on properties donated by residents in Kent. Their maple sugaring operation is one of the largest in the area, still utilizing many of the old fashion methods for collecting and producing maple syrup. If you get a chance, drop by in March to see the operation in full swing. Just look for the steam floating up from the Sugar House. This year’s syrup and maple products can be purchased at the Sullivan Farm stand.

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Audubon Sharon, Sharon

Come to MapleFest at the Audubon Sharon on Saturday, March 20 for a fun-filled day of Maple-ishiousness! Enjoy guided, 45-minute tours of the center’s sugaring operation, including a working sugarhouse and a re-creation of Native American and early Colonial sugaring methods. Watch as pure sugar maple sap is collected from the trees and turned into delicious maple syrup. Wear warm clothes and boots, as much of the tour is outdoors. Sharon Audubon Center's maple syrup will be available for purchase after the tour, while supplies last. Pre-registration is required for up to eight individuals plus one guide.

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Hilljack Sugar Shack, Litchfield

In 1994, Jesse Nivolo tapped his first maple tree at eight years old. That very first drop of sap inspired a life-long interest in maple sugaring and farming, ultimately leading to the creation of Hilljack Sugar Shack in Litchfield. Today, they proudly cultivate and sell high-quality, Connecticut-grown products including maple syrup, honey, fudge and farm fresh eggs. Visitors are welcome!

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Woodbury Sugar Shed, Woodbury

“Making the world a sweeter place, one drip at a time,” the Woodbury Sugar Shed started up in 1982 as a backyard maple syrup-making hobby. Since then, they have grown to produce hundreds of gallons of fine quality maple syrup every year, in addition to many other NON-GMO agricultural products cultivated using old fashioned values and cutting-edge technology, providing a new farm experience like no other. Let their young farming family provide your family with the very same products they grow and serve in their own homes.