The Sweetest Season
- Visit North Central
- Posted on March 16, 2022
The transition of winter into spring is — literally — one of the sweetest times in North Central Massachusetts! With snow still on the ground, nippy nights and sunny days set the sap running in the region’s maple trees…and that precious liquid is eagerly gathered by the owners of sugar houses.
Turning that non-descript sap into golden, sweet, luscious syrup is a long, steamy process — but worth every minute! Consider this: It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of syrup, so those evaporators run full tilt during this oh-so-short season.
Get ready: It’s time to cook up a stack of pancakes or plateful of waffles, and revel in the flavor of this north county delicacy. Stop by a sugarhouse, and after watching the clouds of steam rise, you may be treated to a spoonful of hot syrup ladled onto a bowl of sparkling snow.
And this treat doesn’t stop with the bottle or jug you plan to take home for breakfasts to come!
Get your tastebuds ready for some heavenly maple candy — you’ll be savoring that memory for a long, long time.
Where can you find this magical product? Sugarhouses are sprinkled throughout the region, and many of their products can be found on the shelves of local farmstands and shops.
You can learn more about the process, and the details about the producers who create this taste treat, by visiting the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association online at Massmaple.org.
Here’s a sampling of sugar houses in the region:
Hollis Hills Farm
340 Marshall Road
Offers sugar shack open houses, homemade breakfast alongside a full bar and live music, and plenty of maple treats during the month of March.
56 Brown Road Royalston
You will be able to see them boiling sap in their 15×20 sugar shack. Take a stroll through the woods and see the gravity-fed tubing lines, and purchase syrup in jugs.
27 Gates Road
Generally we are open weekends in mid to late March, weather permitting.
Sunset View Farm
165 Gardner Road Winchendon
This family farm, protected with a conservation restriction by the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, includes a small sugarhouse and a walking trail that connects to the North Central Pathway.
50 Woods Road Westminster
41B Bacon Street Westminster
20 Shattuck Street Pepperell
Dave’s Sugar House
1033 Jones Hill Road, Ashby
Big Head Fred’s
417 Flat Hill Road Lunenburg