March is almost here and you know what that means – it’s Maple Month in New Hampshire and Vermont! New Hampshire has over 350 maple syrup producers across the state with many based in the North Country. Many of the North Country sugar houses will open to the public during the 24th Annual NH Maple Weekend on March 23-24, 2019. You’ll be able to meet the maple producers who make all your favorite syrups, maple candies, doughnuts, and more.
Where to Go for Maple Syrup
April’s Maple produces delicious maple syrup products throughout the year on their 800-acre farm just over the border in Vermont. Their café is open daily (except for Tuesday) for lunch and dessert. The café menu features maple in every item so bring your sweet tooth! The Maple Creemee, which is soft serve maple ice cream, is an incredible treat that you don’t want to miss. Alternatively, the Maple Ice Cream Sandwich, made with their Maple Snickerdoodle cookies, are delicious. Everything at the café is homemade and fresh to order. If you left your sweet tooth at home, the sliders are a great savory treat.
Can’t wait for Maple Weekend? You can take a tour of April’s Maple anytime during open hours to see how the sweet sugary goodness is made. It’s quite the process so you’ll leave with a new appreciation for maple syrup producers.
Meet the Local: Gloria Jackson and Mark Leveillee are fortunate to be able to enjoy everything that maple sugaring season has to offer. Gloria’s niece owns April’s Maple, just two miles down the road. As the owner of Jackson’s Lodge, a three season resort in Canaan, Vermont, Gloria and her partner Mark have plenty of time to get together with their family and pitch in at the sugar house. When they aren’t lending a hand at the sugar house, they enjoy grabbing a bite for lunch and enjoying a sweet maple treat. Mark’s favorite thing at April’s Maple is the Maple Cremee, topped with maple crunch and a splash of maple syrup – Yum!
During Maple Weekend, snowmobilers with New Hampshire registrations are permitted to ride to April’s Maple using the state-approved “Commerce Trail.” If the trails are still open for Maple Weekend, make sure to make a stop at April’s Maple for lunch. It’s the best of the North Country in one day- local maple syrup and snowmobiling!
During Maple Weekend in March, April’s Maple offers complimentary sugar-on-snow, sugarhouse tours, kid-friendly activities, and maple recipe and maple product tasting. The café will be serving plenty of maple creemees, maple donuts, maple bread pudding, and more throughout the weekend. Many of the other local maple sugar houses across New Hampshire and Vermont will be open for a weekend of pancake breakfasts, sugarhouse tours, and more.
Where to Find Maple Food and Drinks
Maple syrup doesn’t just pair with a stack of pancakes or waffles. Many of the local restaurants and pubs in the North Country offer creative dishes and maple drinks on their menus to celebrate this sweet, locally-produced product.
Hankering for a dish made with local maple syrup? The Black Bear Tavern in Colebrook offers a variety of menu choices that fit the bill! New to their lunch menu is the “Maple Bacon Burger”, a ½ lb. burger topped with maple bacon seasoning, cheddar cheese, bacon, a drizzle of maple syrup, lettuce & tomato. And, definitely one of the tavern’s dinner favorites is the 8 oz. maple-glazed, pan-seared salmon filet! For something on the lighter side, they offer two delicious appetizers: the “Honey Pot” (maple and honey glazed sea scallops captured in crisp bacon) and Honey Maple Wild Wings. Indulge!
The Buck Rub Pub and Lodge has a spicy maple wings dish on special. The wings are rolled in a delectable light spice flavor with real maple syrup adding a sweet fine flavor that will leave your mouth-watering. For the caffeine addicts, the Moose Muck Coffee House has a Maple Latte, which is made with real maple syrup, steamed milk, and espresso.
If you’re in the mood for a drink, head to Parsons Street and try their “Parsons Street Old Fashioned.” It’s muddled orange & cherry, local maple syrup, splash of soda, walnut bitters and Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey… it’s a guest favorite and a real “warm-up” on a cold March day!
The Tillotson Center has a calendar full of events scheduled to kick off Maple Weekend on Saturday, March 23. Make sure to try their signature cookie called a “Tilly Center,” a chocolate spice cookies made with real maple syrup.
As an added bonus, all these wonderful places can be accessed by snowmobile. If you’re looking for things to do in March, look no further! Since the North Country has some of the best snowmobile trails in New England, you can combine maple syrup tasting with a weekend of snowmobiling in the Great North Woods!