“Sweet” adventures await in Wyoming County
The annual New York State Maple Weekend (March 19-20 & 26-27, 2022) is an event, but it can almost be compared to a state of mind. It’s two weekends in March, where life seems to slow down a little and people can celebrate the gifts that nature (and farmers) provide. Participants can feed off the energy and simplicity of the rural locations by meeting first hand, the people who harvest and make products derived from the maple tree.
During Maple Weekend, farms and shops are open to the public to see…and taste…the sugermaking process. At many locations, hosts will be on hand to showcase how they collect sap from maple trees and transform it into delicious maple syrup and treats. The farmers will gladly answer questions and show visitors the process or the outcomes of making maple products.
A wonderful and logical place to enjoy New York State Maple Weekend is in Wyoming County, NY – which is where Maple Weekend started 25 years ago as a one-day event. Since then, the celebration has blossomed into two weekends worth of activities, spread out to over 180 locations across New York State. Wyoming County, NY is one of the largest maple producers in New York State, so you know you’ve come to the right place.
Wyoming County features a dozen farms and creators that are hosting maple weekend activities.
Families would love a stop at Merle Maple Farm in Attica. For over a hundred years – and six generations – the Merle family continues to be the local leaders in the maple industry. The farm has a sugar shack, offer wagon rides, a store and even have lunch options during Maple Weekends. All are good components for a nice visit.
Attica is definitely a hotspot, as there are four other places in town celebrating the weekend: A&A Maple, Maple Moon Farms, MB Maple Farms and Zimpfer’s Maple Products.
Just down the road from Attica, is Over the Hill Maple in Varysburg. The farm has a sugarhouse you can visit where they transform the maple sap. They also have a shop area where you can purchase several varieties of syrup and maple candies. Also nearby, is Sweet Time Maple farm in the town of Wyoming. This place not only offers tours, but they have a beautiful shop area where you can bring home some tasty treats.
Visitors can add a scenic drive component to the weekend, by visiting Narrow Path Farm & Market in Castile – just 3.5 miles away from spectacular Letchworth State Park. The farm will have their wood-fire evaporator running – which boils the sap, in order to make maple products. After your visit, enjoy one of Narrow Path’s yummy maple products as you slowly drive through Letchworth State Park. Make sure you stop at one of the gorge overlooks and soak in the incredible views of the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Also at brand new at the Letchworth State Park is the Autism Nature Trail (The ANT), which is a first-of-its-kind experience in nature designed for visitors on the autism spectrum and with a range of abilities—appropriate and enjoyable for all abilities and ages. The ANT is a flat, one-mile looped main Trail with eight stations at various intervals, offering a range of experiences from quiet engagement to active exploration and adventure. The trail has been receiving rave reviews by visitors since its summer 2021 opening.
While in Castile – and across the county – look out for barn quilts affixed to barns and structures from the Wyoming County Barn Quilt Trail. The county features over 80 barn quilts, which are a unique piece of artwork that reflects the owners of the property. They are a fun thing to spot when traveling through the rolling countryside.
The Town of Arcade is known for the Arcade & Attica Railroad. The steam engine train will be running twice daily on both Maple Weekends. Before you climb aboard the train, visit the Arcade Center Farm Produce Stand for their pancake breakfast and maple, apple and honey culinary treats.
For more information on New York State Maple Weekends, visit the Fresh Air Adventures events calendar here.