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Get Your Maple Fix This Weekend

By Alicia Dziak

If you like maple, you’re in luck! This weekend is the second of two Maple Weekends going on across the state.

Every spring, the members of the New York State Maple Producers Association invite families and friends into their sugarhouses to experience the world of pure NY maple syrup. Located at approximately 160 farms and museums across New York State, Maple Weekend offers a delicious, fun-filled outing that has a little something for all maple lovers to taste and experience.

Join area maple farms March 24-25 for sugarhouse tours, samples, activities and much more.

Maple Weekend is a chance for the public to come to the farm to learn about New York’s maple sugarmaking processes and traditions and to provide a chance to taste pure maple syrup in its many forms right from the source.

This is also a great opportunity to meet the producers who annually make New York the second largest maple producing state in the U.S., share in the many ways to cook and bake with maple syrup, maple sap and other maple drinks and products and witness sustainable agriculture at its best.

The following are some of the maple farms around Springville who will be participating in this weekend’s festivities:

Gabel’s Maple, 3843 Lenox Road, Lawtons; (716) 592-5247; www.gabelsmaplesyrup.com. This weekend, Gabel’s will be demonstrating making syrup at an old-fashioned sugarhouse nestled 700 feet into the woods. Highlights include scenic hayrides, a wood-fired evaporator boiling sap from a 3,700-tap operation gathered by wetline-dryline vacuum system and hiking trails through the sugarbush. Try maple syrup and confections.

Maple Glen Sugar House, 2266 Gowanda Zoar Road, Gowanda; (716) 532-5483 or pl2266@yahoo.com; www.mapleglensyrup.com. Brothers Paul and Dana Lesefske welcome you to visit their state-of-the-art sugarhouse this weekend. Tours are offered daily that start at ground level and continue to the top floor, where equipment such as the oil fired evaporator, reverse osmosis machine, filter press and stainless tanks can be viewed from a beautifully-designed sugarhouse with a large cathedral ceiling. The daily demonstrations include how maple syrup is made along with maple cream, maple sugar candy, maple popcorn and maple cotton candy. Guests can also enjoy a wagon ride through the sugarbush, partaking in the delicious selection of food and treats at the snack bar including hot dogs boiled in pure maple sap and visiting the maple store.

Sprague’s Maple Farms, 1048 Portville-Obi Road, Portville; (716) 933-6637.

Year-round, full service restaurant, featuring breakfast all day and many other menu selections which include their own 100 percent pure maple syrup. Maple weekend activities include maple production tours and demonstrations in both their authentic old-fashioned sugar house and their state-of-the-art production facility. Other highlights include wagon rides to the sugarhouse for tastings, maple cake donuts, maple cotton candy and sugar on snow. Guests will also enjoy the gift shop featuring maple products, a large variety of country gift items, and Sprague’s Maple Farm gift cards for use in the restaurant and gift shop.

Wendel’s Maple & More, 12502 Vaughn Street, East Concord; (716) 592-2299 or (716) 954-3016; wendelpoultry@aol.com. Come visit Wendel’s all-new state-of-the-art sugarhouse. Experience how maple syrup is produced with today’s modern technology, sample many sweet treats and take a hayride through a working sugarbush. Maple products available for sampling and purchasing include maple syrup, candy, cream, jelly, coated nuts, cotton candy and much more! The maple supply store will be open, serving professional producers as well as someone looking to pick up a book and some supplies to make syrup yourself at home.

Other local maple farms participating include:

Benz’s Sugar Shanty & Maple Products, 12939 Van Slyke Road, East Concord; (716) 432-2377.

Boberg’s Maple, 298 Edmunds Road, Delevan; (716) 378-8736.

Moore’s Maple Shack & Pancake House, 10444 Galen Hill Road, Freedom; (716) 492-2714.

Ploetz’s Maple Syrup, 12955 Dowd Road, Springville;  (716) 597-7945 or hula230@yahoo.com.

Weber’s Maple, 1241 Davis Road (Route 240), West Falls; (716) 652-2420.

For a complete listing of all participating farms, and additional details of what each farm will be offering, visit www.mapleweekend.nysmaple.com.

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