The Virginia Maple Syrup Trail highlights pure maple syrup in the central Appalachia area where the delicacy can be consistently made. Maple syrup starts by collecting sugar water, or “sap”, from maple trees in late winter and early spring during the freezing and thawing cycle. That sugar water is then boiled down to make a delicious syrup. The syrup producers’ sugar camps remain up year-round even outside of their busy processing season, and you can hear their stories, view their equipment, and enjoy their tasty syrup.
Your passport begins in Highland County, home to the official maple festival of Virginia. You’re invited to visit seven sugar camps in Highland County throughout the year to learn the techniques of how maple syrup is uniquely produced at each one. Call ahead to the sugar camps, schedule a visit for a tour, taste their syrup and get a stamp on your physical passport. Passports are available at the sugar camps themselves upon arrival, at local businesses or at select Virginia Welcome Centers throughout 2023. After all seven camps are visited, there will be a prize, but the real incentive is to have more one-on-one interaction with the farmers who run the camps. Discover all that happens even beyond maple syrup on these these farms and in the scenic, unspoiled mountains of Highland County. If you want to know where your food comes from, this a great family agritourism opportunity!
*** Please note that the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail Passport Program is ending on March 31, 2024! Passports must be received by March 31, 2024 to be honored. No giveaways will be supplied after March 31, 2024. Physical passports will not be distributed after December 31, 2023.
*** In order for visitors to complete their passports, the 7 participating sugar camps will be stamping passports for the first and last time at the 2024 Highland County Maple Festival. During the festival, Bruce’s Syrup & Candies will be located at 68 West Main Street in downtown Monterey for stamping of passports. Get your passport before December 31, 2023 for your chance to get your passport completed by March 31, 2024!
*** Calling All Interested in Producing Maple and Other Tree Syrups! ***
Virginia Tech is trying to locate all producers of maple and other tree syrups, no matter the size or scale of their production (from hobbyists to full-scale commercial producers) in the region. One goal of this project supported by VDACS is to start a syrup producers association to help those interested in maple and other syrups like yourself find assistance, equipment, and markets for your syrup. If you want to learn more about producing syrups from maple and other tree species and the new association, please contact Guinevere Unterbrink at email@example.com.