By Deb Everts
If all things maple are your thing, these next two weekends plan to be the “sweetest” of the year.
About 150 maple producers from around the state — including a handful in our neck of the woods — will host open houses as part of the 23rd annual Maple Weekend on March 17 and 18 and March 24 and 25.
“We enjoy doing the Maple Weekend — it’s nice to see people come back year after year, and to also see new faces,” said Paul Lesefske, who along with his brother, Dana, operate Maple Glen Sugar House in Gowanda. “Everybody has a little something different to offer, and it’s a great time for families to get out and go to the different places.”
The New York State Maple Producers Association, which organizes the weekends, claims Maple Weekend is “agri-tourism at it’s best — come right down to the farm to see the process, smell the delicious smell of maple sap cooking down to syrup and taste many of the maple products made right there on the farm.”
Participating farms are expected to be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each of the four days.
The following participating maple producers in the Ellicottville area are open both weekends:
Arcade Center Farm Pancake House, 7298 Route 98, Arcade. Call (585) 492-3821.
Benz’s Sugar Shanty, 12939 Van Slyke Road in East Concord. Call 432-2377 or 725-5741 or visit facebook.com/benzssugarshanty.
Boberg’s Maple, 2298 Edmunds Road, Delevan. Call 378-8736.
Bray Farms, 1597 Bray Road, Arcade. Call (571) 230-4812 or (703) 887-4727;
Gabel’s Maple Syrup, 3843 Lenox Road in Lawtons. Call 592-5247 or 949-9110 or visit gabelsmaplesyrup.com;
Maple Glen Sugar House, 2266 Gowanda Zoar Road, Gowanda. Call 532-5483 or visit mapleglensyrup.com;
Moore’s Maple Shack and Pancake House, 1044 Galen Hill Road, Freedom. Call 492-2714 or 492-3067 or visit facebook.com/mooresmaple;
Ploetz’s Maple Syrup, 12955 Dowd Road in Springville. Call 597-7945 or visit facebook.com/ploetzmaplesyrup;
Smith’s Maple Farm, 5257 Mayer Road, Hamburg. Call 649-9465 or search “Smith’s Maple Farm” on Facebook;
Weber’s Maple, 1241 Davis Road/Route 240, West Falls. Call 652-2420 or visit webersgardencenter.net.
Wendel’s Maple & More, 12502 Vaughn St. in East Concord. Call 592-2299 or 954-3019 or search “Wendel’s Maple and More” on Facebook;
For a complete map and directions to participating maple producers, visit mapleweekend.com.