Canandaigua, N.Y. – This weekend marks the beginning of Maple Weekend throughout New York State, and the maple farms in Ontario County are getting ready to welcome visitors to their sugar houses.
Maple Weekend, which is March 17 & 18 and March 24 & 25, is sponsored by the NYS Maple Producers Association. During Maple Weekend, maple farms will welcome visitors to their farms to educate people first-hand about how maple syrup and other related products are made. Many farms also have pancake breakfasts and other tastings throughout the weekend as well.
“So many people are interested in farm-to-table and agriculture in our area, and Maple Weekend is the perfect way to showcase our assets as a county,” said Finger Lakes Visitors Connection President Valerie Knoblauch. “We are fortunate to have multiple maple farms in our area, and Maple Weekend is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy all Ontario County has to offer.”
In Ontario County, five maple farms will be participating in Maple Weekend activities:
Cumming Nature Center: 6472 Gulick Rd, Naples, NY 14512
http://www.rmsc.org/cumming-nature-center (585) 374-6160
Pancake Breakfast: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Open House 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Celebrate 40 years of maple sugaring by visiting Cumming Nature Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 17 & 18, and 24 & 25 to have a freshly prepared pancake breakfast with pure maple syrup. Gluten free options will be available. After, take a walk on one of Cumming Nature Center’s many trails and learn how a tree makes sap. Learn the processing techniques used to turn sap into syrup from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $11 for adults or $9 for kids.
Kettle Ridge Farm, 515 Log Cabin Road, Victor, NY 14564
http://www.kettleridgefarm.com (585) 683-7506 or (585) 217-7108
Open House & Pancake Breakfast: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Joe and Chris Hurley are the father-son team behind Kettle Ridge Farm, which produces maple syrup and honey on over 70 acres in Victor, NY. Joe turned to farming in 2010 after a 25-year career as accountant and author, while Chris joined the business in 2015 with a background in marketing. Together they have built a growing agri-tourism enterprise known for its quality products and innovative programs, including the “Adopt-A-Maple” program. In addition to maple syrup and honey, Kettle Ridge Farm operates a pancake food truck, stages a popular fall festival called KettleFest, and hosts a series of farm-to-table dinners. Maple Weekend offers the public an opportunity to come out to see and hear about the farm’s maple operation and enjoy a pancake breakfast.
Tour a lively “local trees, local bees” farm producing maple syrup, honey, and log grown shiitake mushrooms. Visit Kettle Ridge Farm between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on March 17 & 18 and 24 & 25 for a tasting of fresh maple syrup, pancake samples, and a tour of the sugarhouse and farm. Every hour a group will depart for a hike through the maple stand, including stops at the shiitake mushroom log yard, honeybee apiary, and the chicken coop, so bring your hiking boots.
Schoff’s Sugar Shack, 1064 Willis Hill Road, Victor, NY 14564
http://www.schoffssugarshack.com (585) 924-3769
Open House: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Pancake Breakfast at Thirsty Turtle on March 25
Owner Chris Schoff started sugaring when he was about 2 – check out the photo of him and his dad in the attached picture from March 1976. Chris officially started his own small business is 2000. The Schoff’s have expanded their shack over the years and now make about 250 gallons of syrup annually. Schoff’s 3 sons help him gather, process and bottle the syrup. Visit Schoff’s Sugar Shack for Maple Weekend on March 17 & 18 and 24 & 25, where there will be an open house each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Thirsty Turtle on March 25.
Stoney Ridge, 625 Country Rd 28 14522, Palmyra, NY 14522
Open House: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Pancake Breakfast: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Stoney Ridge Farms is a 77-acre farm in the town of Farmington, NY. Chris and Melinda met in 2004, and started selling sap from a small sugar bush of 400 taps while managing a black Angus cow/calf operation. Over the years they grew to over 6500 tap operation and started making maple syrup in 2010. On 2013 they expanded the maple operation, built a new sugar house, installed state of the art equipment, parts of which including the evaporator engineered and built by Chris.
During their Maple Weekend event, they feature an all you can eat pancake breakfast with both Buckwheat and buttermilk pancakes. There are several activities for families to enjoy. Sugar house tours including an explanation of sap to make syrup process, history of making maple syrup and our farm history. They have a demo area where kids have the chance to drill and hammer a tap in a tree with assistance. The sugar house tour includes cooking demos with samples and tasting the different grades of maple syrup. They will also have a petting zoo, monster truck and 4WD tractor on display from Barnyard Boggers.
Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm, 8064 Coates Rd, Naples, NY 14512
www.fingerlakesbulkmaplesyrup.com (585) 775-7770
Open House: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Pancake Breakfast: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
A sense of generational family customs is conjured up that triggers the emotions and the traditions of pure natural maple syrup. Maple syrup with its varying hues of color and distinctive country kitchen aroma is still the same product it has always been. It is a symbol of simpler times, simple pleasures, family participation and hard work bringing to mind “days of old.”
A woods walk takes one back to the era of the Seneca Indians and early colonists who roamed these scenic forests and introduced the simplest methods of transforming one of the greatest wonders of the world, sap to maple syrup. Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm’s retail shop, along with their sparkling production area blends a nostalgic ambiance with the spirit of our premium quality maple syrup and products.
Stop by the Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 17 & 18, and 24 & 25 for a pancake breakfast. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., walk through the woods to see the sap gathering process and tour the sugarhouse where the magic of making maple syrup happens. Tours and wood walks are free, and breakfast prices range from $3 to $7.
For more Maple Weekend information, visit the Maple Weekend section of Finger Lakes Visitors Connection’s website at www.visitfingerlakes.com/events-festivals/maple-weekends.
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection is the official tourism promotion agency for Ontario County. It is located at 25 Gorham St., Canandaigua, NY 14424. They recently launched the ROC/FLX Craft Beverage Trail. For more information on FLVC, call (585) 394-3915 or go to www.VisitFingerLakes.com.
Photo: Maple Weekend at Cumming Nature Center