- Arts & Crafts Show
- Highland History Museum
- Lodging Availability
- Maple Sugar Facts
- Maple Sugar Tours
- Weather Forecast
|Second & third weekends in March
Visit Maple sugar camps throughout the county welcome visitors to view the process of syrup making. The region’s higher elevations contribute to a late-winter and early-spring weather pattern of warm, sunny afternoons and crisp, freezing nights – a perfect combination for maple sugar production!
The process begins with tapping maple trees to collect the clear, almost tasteless, sugar water. Gathered in buckets or by plastic tubing, the sap is boiled in kettles, pans, or evaporators until a barrel is finally reduced to a gallon of pure maple syrup.
|Pick up a map of the tour at your first stop. Directions to the sugar camps and all other Maple Festival activities and events are clearly marked. Watch for “Maple Sugar Tour” signs to point you in the right direction! Warm clothing and boots are advisable for visiting the maple sugar camps.|
|::: Sugar Camps –|
|Laurel Fork Sapsuckers
Do you know what a “sapsucker” is? If not, we suggest making a trip to the Laurel Fork Sapsuckers sugar camp to ask the Sapsuckers crew yourself! Laurel Fork Sapsuckers has the highest elevation of any sugar camp within Highland County and is located 10 miles west of Monterey off of Rt. 250 west, left onto Clay Hise Lane. They are a small, family-run sugar camp that is always welcoming hands-on participation. (By the way, the family, including family patriarch Ronnie Moyers, holds a goal to give hand-shakes to as many visitors as they can!) While you’re there, enjoy seeing the traditional, wood-fired way maple syrup has been made for centuries as they use one-hundred-year-old, locally-made open pans in their production process. Enjoy the ¾ mile loop trail through the sugar bush with various outdoor kids activities available. And don’t forget to stop in their home-cooking kitchen to try homemade soup, cornbread, and other goodies as well as shop their local crafts! Tree-tapping demonstrations and guided tours of the sugar camp begin at 11 am both Saturdays of the festival. Maple tours all day.
|Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard
On Route 637 (Maple Sugar Road), southwest of Blue Grass is Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard – one of Highland County’s most state-of-the-art facilities. Puffenbarger’s Sugar Camp is truly a pheonix that rose from the ashes and is the perfect example of community spirit and comradery. In 2008, the original Puffenbarger’s Sugar Camp was lost to a devastating fire. The whole county was in shock. However, that didn’t stop the Puffenbargers from re-building, and the Puffenbarger family’s drive to rebuild only spurred on their friends and neighbors. Inspirationally, the Puffenbargers rebuilt their sugar camp and they haven’t slowed down since. A vacuum pump is still used to increase the flow of sugar water and miles of plastic tubing makes it easier to gather the water. At Puffenbarger’s, the process of maple syrup-making is started by reverse osmosis and finished by oil-fired evaporators. If you want a little bit of schooling in maple-syrup making just go in, sit down, and have a talk with Mr. Ivan, the patriarch of the Puffenbarger clan. (You can try to talk to Sis, but you have to be quick! She’s a busy lady as she’s up and moving around the camp!) Maple doughnuts and other foods are available. Maple tours all day. WEBSITE
|Duff’s Sugar House
Located southwest of Monterey (3 mi. south on U.S. 220 and 3 mi. west on Route 84), Duff’s Sugar House is a small, family-run sugar house where the trees are still “opened” by hand and the sugar water is still collected in buckets. Owners Tim and Terry Duff pride themselves on making their visitors trip a homecoming experience. Their motto is “You come as guests and leave as friends,” and that is surely evident by their warm, Highland County hospitality. In addition to Duff’s Sugar House, guests (or new friends!) can also tour Fair Lawn Farm, where the sugar house is located. Farm animals, an apple orchard, and a pond are just some of the things to experience while you’re there. As for the main attraction, syrup is made over a wood-fired open pan and finished in an iron kettle. Also, make sure to fill your tummy with pulled pork, fries, and coffee, which will be served on-site. Hands-on participation is encouraged. Maple tours all day. WEBSITE