Are you ready to experience something sweet?
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 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 eight sugar camps in Highland County throughout the year, excluding the busy Maple Festival weeks and weekends in March, 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. After all eight 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!
Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard
Laurel Fork Sapsuckers
Laurel Fork Sapsuckers is a family-run sugar camp that you can join for high elevation views of western Highland County and a tour of the maple syrup making process. They have used materials from their farm, as well as equipment from the county that folks used over 100 years ago. –Read More–
Mill Gap Farms
Back Creek Farms
Sugar Tree Country Store & Sugar House
Bruce’s Syrup and Candies
Advancing beyond just old-fashioned buckets and kettles in the early days, they now utilize a vacuum system, reverse osmosis, state-of-the-art evaporator, filtration and bottling equipment. –Read More–
Held annually during the second weekend of October. Celebrate the beauty and bounty of fall with the annual Hands & Harvest Festival in Highland County, Virginia! In 2020, there will be a hybrid event of both virtual and in-person offerings from Thursday, October 8th through Sunday, October 11th. Experience activities for the entire family from rocket launches to climbing a fire tower to cider pressing! Get the full details by clicking now.
Held annually during the first Saturday of December. Slow your pace, and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the season during this special time of year in Highland County. Experience a winter market, arts & crafts, tree lighting ceremony and more. Click now for further details.
Held annually during the second and third weekends in March. For over 60 years, visitors have been drawn to Highland County to tour real maple sugar camps for a cultural and culinary adventure! In 1999, The Library of Congress designated The Highland County Maple Festival a “Local Legacy.” In 2014, the Governor of Virginia signed a bill into law designating the festival as the “official maple festival of Virginia.” Each year, tens of thousands of visitors are drawn to this unspoiled, rural region of Virginia to celebrate the “opening” of the trees and observe the process of maple syrup-making. Sugar camp tours provide a unique and educational experience that portrays a rapidly vanishing way of American life. Please click now for further details.
The Inn at Gristmill Square is a boutique 18 room inn located in the quaint village of Warm Springs in Bath County (Highland’s neighbor just a short drive southwest). We feature an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant that, coupled with the inn, provide the perfect retreat for rest and relaxation. Guests are pampered with breakfast in bed each morning of their stay with a basket filled with freshly baked goodies!
DISCOUNT OFFER! Show your passport with at least 2 completed stamps, and we will offer mid-week guests 20% off lodging and a bottle of Highland County Apple Cider in their room (may not be consumed at the restaurant during dinner service).
The Inn at Gristmill Square and Waterwheel Restaurant
Address: 118 Old Germantown Road, Warm Springs, VA 24484
Phone #: 540-839-2231
Contact: Kate Loeffler: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Potomac River headwaters run through this gorgeous location, set on seven-plus acres. Catch and release rainbow and brook trout, or watch and listen to the water flow over the rocks while the wonderful woodland birds sing. The farmhouse dates from the early 1800s and offers the following amenities: three bedrooms with queen beds, 1½ baths, fully equipped kitchen and two gas fireplaces. Front and back porches enjoy spectacular daytime views of Highland County’s beautiful mountains and evening views of the Milky Way galaxy as it fills the night sky.
Hizzoner’s Highland Haven
Address: 1017 Blue Grass Valley Rd., Blue Grass, VA 24413
Phone #: 202-302-2268
Contact: Angela McNamara: email@example.com
Enjoy the beauty of the mountains in this charming 5 bedroom farmhouse situated on a 250 acre working farm near Monterey. The sprawling lawn is perfect for games, as well as lounging or taking in the sunset. Hike farm trails or relax around the campfire under a blanket of stars.
DISCOUNT OFFER! The Farm House offers a 10% discount for anyone who books through our website and shows at least one completed stamp on their passport.
The Farm House at Lucky Loop Hollow Farm
Address: 6423 Mill Gap Road, Monterey, VA 24465
Phone #: 540-499-2618 OR 540-414-2873
Contact: Marty & Rodney Leech: firstname.lastname@example.org
When I visited a sugar camp with my family, I witnessed breathtaking scenery, amazing people, and awesome maple syrup.
My family loves the outdoors, and Highland County checks all the boxes for us. We love to visit and explore new things so when we heard about the VA Maple Syrup Trail we were pumped!