Thank you to everyone for an amazing 2022 Highland County Maple Festival!
We look forward to next year's festival, set for March 11 - 12 and 18 - 19, 2023.
Do you have a unique, handmade craft or specialty food you want to get in front of a captive audience next year? The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is seeking one-of-a-kind vendors for the juried arts and crafts show at the 63rd Annual Highland County Maple Festival on March 11 – 12 and 18 – 19, 2023!
Tier 1 application deadline is October 31, 2022.
Contact the Chamber at email@example.com or 540-468-2550 for a print copy of the application. Be a part of the tradition – apply today!
Below, you'll find information about the 2022 festival. We'll update the page closer to the 2023 one. Thank you!
Take a step back in time to Highland County, “Virginia’s Sweet Spot.” Travel scenic back roads and majestic mountain byways to the annual Highland County Maple Festival. Since 1959, 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. In 2022, there will be 10 open sugar camps with unique techniques and stories for you to explore for free. In addition to pancake and buckwheat cake meals, famous Maple Doughnuts and live entertainment, over 100 high-quality juried arts and crafts vendors take part in the festival each year. We’re glad to have you share the experience!
Hours: Saturdays 9 am - 5 pm and Sundays 9 am - 4 pm for the majority of the festival, including the Arts & Crafts/Food Vendors. Get an early start, beginning at 7:00 am for all-you-can eat pancake and buckwheat cake meals at certain areas on Saturdays and Sundays, or stay later on Saturdays for a 7:00 pm show!
Weather: Regardless of snow or rain or cold temperatures, Highland County welcomes visitors to enjoy the festival! March weather can be unpredictable, with snow on one day and sunshine the next. Highland County's mountain elevation means the temperature is often several degrees cooler than in the surrounding areas, so layers of warm clothing are recommended. Much of the festival activities and sugar camp experiences are outdoors, so boots or comfortable shoes are highly recommended.
GPS Addresses: The festival is a COUNTY-WIDE event, with each rural town having something unique to explore. Three main areas of interest are “165 W. Main Street, Monterey," "161 Mansion House, McDowell," and "2558 Blue Grass Valley Road, Blue Grass."
Traffic Tips: Our rural mountain community has two main roads of Rt. 220 and Rt. 250. No matter which way you enter, you can experience something new! The center of Highland County is Monterey, and traffic often gets backed up and can cause long wait times. Though we feel it is worth the wait, know that you are never more than 30 minutes away from the edge of Highland in any direction from Monterey using Rt. 250 or 220, so feel free to leave Monterey, visit a new sugar camp or other attraction, and come back in. If you’re coming from McDowell to Monterey along Rt. 250, you can also take Rt. 629 (Strait Creek Road) to bypass Monterey and head toward Rt. 220 North to head to Blue Grass. Rt. 629 is a rural road, so watch speeds. We recommend viewing a map beforehand to plan your best route. We also recommend an early start to your cultural and culinary adventure! Safe travels! (*** Please note: Rt. 624, also known as Jack Mountain Road, is blocked off beyond Eagle’s Sugar Camp in the Doe Hill area for safety concerns).
Communication and Cell Phone Coverage: Verizon, T-Mobile (Sprint), AT&T, and U.S. Cellular carriers offer limited cell phone service. Payphones in McDowell and Headwaters dial 911 in case of an emergency. The Highland County Department of Emergency Medical Services is located at 92 East Main Street in Monterey.
Lodging: Highland County lodging facilities fill up quickly, so we encourage you to book your stay early. Check out our Chamber Member lodging page by clicking here. Look for the "Maple Festival No Vacancy" icon to quickly see if space is available. For lodging opportunities close by, Hot Springs, Virginia is approximately 45 minutes south of Monterey, Staunton, Virginia is approximately one hour east, Franklin, West Virginia is approximately 30 minutes north, and Marlinton, West Virginia is approximately an hour west.
Dog Policy: Leashed dogs are permitted in outside, public spaces during the festival.
COVID-19: Additional hand sanitizer units will be placed throughout populated areas in Monterey and McDowell. Disposable masks will be provided at the entrance to the Arts & Crafts Show at Highland County Public Schools for those who need them. Nonprofit organizations that are usually located in the High School Hallway will be found in the Elementary School Gym, allowing for more social distancing room for visitors in the hallway. Please stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and follow recommended guidelines for isolation/quarantine if you recently had COVID-19 or were exposed to COVID-19. Full current guidance for COVID-19 can be found with the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health.
2022 Brochure with Sugar Trail Map: Click here to view and download a PDF file of the brochure. You can find a physical copy at various Visitor Centers and locations within and without the county starting in January, including the Highland County Visitor Center at The Highland Center at 61 Highland Center Drive just off Spruce Street in Monterey. (Please be sure to “scale to fit” if you want to print your own on a standard sheet of paper).
2022 Official Maple Festival Map: Click here to view and download a PDF file of the map. Pick up your official map at locations around Highland County during the festival to guide you!
Awards: The Highland County Maple Festival has been announced as 2022's first-place place winner for best Festival of the Shenandoah Valley Region in Virginia Living’s eleventh annual Best of Virginia issue! The Highland County Maple Festival was previously awarded the best Food or Drink Festival distinction in 2020 and 2021. The 176-page statewide guide to all that is “best” in Virginia dining, shopping, and doing, Best of Virginia 2022 lists the more than 1,500 winners from their January Readers’ Survey. More than 56,000 ballots were cast in 103 categories, covering the best in Living & Recreation, Food & Drink, Shopping, and Services across the Commonwealth’s five regions. This special issue hit newsstands in May of 2022. Check out page 131 on the digital version by clicking here, or order physical copies at www.virginialiving.com. The Highland County Maple Festival has also been awarded the top spot in the Best Family Entertainment category in the 2021 Best of the Valley by readers of the Daily News-Record based out of Harrisonburg and finalist in the Best Festival category in the 2022 Best of the Valley! This original readers’ choice award in the Shenandoah Valley provides a platform to honor those the public chooses year over year. The votes in 2021's final round totaled more than 94,000. See the full list, and learn more at www.dnronline.com/bov. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine's annual readers’ choice awards highlights your picks for the top trails, towns, events, craft beverages, outfitters, and more in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. The Highland County Maple Festival is runner up in the Unique Festival category of the Best of the Blue Ridge: 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards! Thank you to everyone for your support!
2022 Maple Festival Information
2022 Maple Festival Sponsors
Interested in being a sponsor? Check out our 2022 options by clicking here! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-468-2550 to secure your sponsorship.
Arts & Crafts Show
The Highland County Maple Festival Juried Arts & Crafts Show features over 100 contemporary and country artisans and crafters from around the region. Meet our artists in their booths, and learn about the process of creating these handcrafted, unique, high-quality treasures such as jewelry, glassware, hand-tooled leather, photography, pottery, wood furnishings, and much more. Thank you for supporting local and supporting small businesses!
The Juried Arts & Crafts Show is open from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and 9 am to 4 pm on Sundays during the festival. Locations include:
- Highland High School and Elementary School Gyms (240 Myers-Moon Road, Monterey) ***
- Courthouse Lawn (165 W. Main Street, Monterey)
- Ernie’s Market Lot (27 W. Main Street, Monterey)
- North Water Street Food Court (31 N. Water Street, Monterey)
- Stonewall Ruritan Building (Inside and Outside at 67 Bullpasture River Road, McDowell)
*** There is a $3 admission charge for entrance to the gyms. (Ages 12 and under are free!) $3 gets you a collectible keychain that also allows entrance to noon shows at The Highland Center in Monterey. In 2022, we will be giving out special 2020 keychains that are sure to be a unique reminder and talking point of these interesting times. Proceeds assist the Highland County Chamber of Commerce with general operations and festival planning and expenses.
Looking to be a vendor for the 2022 Maple Festival? Vendor registration ended January 17, 2022, but you never know if a space may open up. Please email email@example.com or call 540-468-2550 to be put on a prospective vendor list. Thank you for your interest!
The 57th Annual Maple Queen Contest will be held on Saturday, February 26, 2022 in the Highland High School gymnasium at 7 pm. Adults: $5 • Students: $3 • Children under 6: Free
Following the crowning of the Maple Queen & Court, the Maple Queen Ball will be held at the Blue Grass Ruritan Building from 9 pm – 1 am with live music from the energetic band Jerry Wimmer Trio and Your Best Shot with special guest Hank Williams IV. Refreshments available for purchase onsite. Adults: $10 • Children (12 and under): $5
Southern Rail Express (Bluegrass)
The Highland Center Auditorium
61 Highland Center Drive, Monterey, VA 24465
Admission: $3 or Maple Festival Keychain
Southern Rail Express is a popular bluegrass band based out of Hot Springs, Virginia. DJ Willie Smith is the leader on main vocals and guitar, with Kenny Lowry on banjo, David Cannaday on guitar, Jim Almarode on mandolin and Jerry Wood on fiddle.
Scuffletown (Acoustic High Energy Duo)
The Highland Center Auditorium
61 Highland Center Drive, Monterey, VA 24465
Scuffletown is an acoustic high energy duo consisting of John Whitlow on harmonica, accordion, flute and vocals and Marc Carraway on guitar and vocals. The band has performed their unique blend of roots, jazz, world, bluegrass and original music since the mid-1990’s at wineries, marinas, concert shows, pubs and boat docks from the mid-Atlantic region to Ireland and the Mediterranean. Scuffletown's recordings include Live at the Speakeasy, Roads, Another Sundown, and Wine, Women and Wind. Most recently, the band released a compilation of favorite recordings from all four CD’s titled “Vintage Scuffletown.”
Delta Junction (Acoustic High Energy Duo)
Hull's Hideaway Restaurant & Tavern
37 Potomac River Road, Monterey, VA 24465
8 pm - Midnight
Admission: $10 *** 21 and older show *** (Appetizers only served during concert)
Delta Junction is an acoustic blues group out of the Crozet, VA area with roots in Highland County, VA as well. Along with our original tunes we like to breathe new life into the old delta blues style of music adding our own style and a dash of rowdy jam.
Live bluegrass music also starts at noon on Maple Festival Saturdays at Southernmost Maple at 7738 Big Valley Road in Bolar.
All entertainment at The Highland Center is brought to you with the assistance and sponsorship of the Highland County Arts Council.
A visit to the Highland County Maple Festival is a culinary experience! All-you-can-eat regular and buckwheat pancakes smothered in Highland County maple syrup and famous Maple Doughnuts are “musts” on your Maple Festival to-do list! Delicious food of all kinds can be found throughout the county. Enjoy!
The following foods are available throughout the four days of the festival:
Pancake Meals - All-you-can-eat Regular & Buckwheat Pancakes with Sides:
Indoor seated service. Prices usually range from $10 - $15 a person with sides extra unless noted below. The Ruritan Clubs and the Monterey Lions Club are nonprofits that donate most earnings right back into the community. The school's proceeds serve students.
- BLUE GRASS: Blue Grass Ruritan Building. Located on Blue Grass Valley Road, 7 miles north of Monterey (2724 Blue Grass Valley Road) • To-go options available • 7:30 am – 3 pm
- BOLAR: Bolar Ruritan Club. Located 15 miles south of Monterey at intersection of Routes 220 & 607 (23635 Sam Snead Highway) • To-go options available • 7 am – 2 pm
- MCDOWELL: Stonewall Ruritan Building. Intersection of Rt. 250 and Rt. 678 in McDowell (67 Bullpasture River Road) - The Stonewall Ruritan Club will charge $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 12 and under for their pancake, sausage, and ham meal during the 2022 Maple Festival. • To-go options available • 7 am – 4 pm
- MONTEREY: Highland County Public Schools on Myers-Moon Road, off Rt. 250 in Monterey (240 Myers-Moon Road) •
8 am – 4 pm
- Stonewall Ruritan Building: Baked goods, maple products, kettle corn, pork rinds • Rt. 678
- McDowell Volunteer Fire Department: Trout, BBQ chicken, country ham dinners, cotton candy, candied apples, funnel cakes • Rt.
678, across from the Stonewall Ruritan building.
- Food trucks and vendors • N. Water Street Food Court
- Mill Gap Ruritans' famous Maple Doughnuts ($12 per dozen, $7 per half dozen, and $2 for singles) • Located directly north of the Highland Medical Center and behind Ernie’s Market off Rt. 220 South (6 am - 1pm)
- Monterey Lions Club Pork Rinds, Monterey United Methodist Church funnel cakes, kettle corn, and more • Main Street Monterey
- Food options are also available at the Highland County Volunteer Fire Department Monterey Firehouse, Highland County Public Schools (The Cheer and Dance Team will have Homemade Brunswick Stew, homemade Maple cornbread, coffee and maple lattes, maple donuts, & frozen stew for purchase to the left of the High School hallway), most sugar camps, and other locations throughout the county
Restaurants and Bakeries
- Claire’s Cake Co - Hot chocolate flights, wood-fired pizza, breakfast and lunch, baked goods, coffee • 125 W. Mill Alley, Monterey VA - 540-324-4112
- The Curly Maple - Restored general store with local goods and food of maple BBQ brisket nachos, country ham croissant with maple mustard, loaded fries with candied bacon, fried pickles, maple BBQ rib dinners with broccoli slaw, potato salad, and reunion focaccia, and maple cinnamon rolls • 174 W. Main Street, Monterey – 540-468-1250
- Highs Restaurant - All-you-can-eat meals of maple chicken, western ham, country-fried steak, BBQ pork sandwiches, fried trout sandwiches, buckwheat and regular pancakes, sides of diced peaches, apple sauce, coleslaw, salads, and desserts of strawberry shortcake and more • 73 W. Main Street, Monterey – 540-468-1700
- Hull’s Hideaway Restaurant & Tavern Maple pork BBQ and tenderloin, pancakes and buckwheat cakes, trout • 37 Potomac River Road, Monterey – 540-468-3463
GPS Addresses: The festival is a COUNTY-WIDE event, with each rural town having something unique to explore. The three main town GPS Addresses are:
- 165 W. Main Street, Monterey
- 161 Mansion House Road, McDowell
- 2558 Blue Grass Valley Road, Blue Grass
Traffic Tips: Our rural mountain community has two main roads of Rt. 220 and Rt. 250. No matter which way you enter, you can experience something new. The center of Highland County is Monterey, and traffic often gets backed up and can cause long wait times. Though we feel it is worth the wait, know that you are never more than 30 minutes away from the edge of Highland in any direction from Monterey using Rt. 250 or Rt. 220, so feel free to leave Monterey, visit a new sugar camp or other attraction, and come back in. If you’re coming from McDowell to Monterey along Rt. 250, you can also take Rt. 629 (Strait Creek Road) to bypass Monterey and head toward Rt. 220 North to head to Blue Grass. Rt. 629 is a rural road, so watch speeds. We recommend viewing a map beforehand to plan your best route. We also recommend an early start to your cultural and culinary adventure! Safe travels! (*** Please note: Rt. 624, also known as Jack Mountain Road, is blocked off beyond Eagle’s Sugar Camp in the Doe Hill area for safety concerns).
FROM THE NORTH: Travel south on I-81 to exit #225 (Monterey exit). Follow Rt. 262 southwest to junction with US 250 (Churchville Ave.). Turn right at the bottom of the exit ramp and follow US 250 west into Highland County. Travel west on US 250 to McDowell (35 miles) and Monterey (45 miles). From I-81: allow approximately 1 hour’s driving time to McDowell and 1 hour and 15 minutes to Monterey (more, if you are driving or hauling an over-sized vehicle).
FROM THE EAST: Follow I-64 west to I-81. Travel south on I-81/I-64 in the direction of Lexington. Take first exit (#220 to Staunton) onto Rt. 262. Follow Rt. 262 northwest to the junction with Route US 250 (Churchville Ave.). Turn left at the end of the exit ramp and follow US 250 west into Highland County to McDowell (35 miles) and Monterey (45 miles). From I-81: allow approximately 1 hour driving time to McDowell and 1 hour and 15 minutes driving time to Monterey (more, if you are driving or hauling an over-sized vehicle).
FROM THE SOUTH: Travel north on I-81 to exit #220 (Staunton exit) onto Rt. 262. Follow Rt. 262 northwest to the junction with Route US 250 (Churchville Ave.). Turn left at the end of the exit ramp and follow US 250 west into Highland County to McDowell (35 miles) and Monterey (45 miles). Or, if you are traveling from southwest Virginia, the Carolinas, or Tennessee, take exit #150 (just north of Roanoke) and follow US 220 north into Monterey (125 miles). From I-81, exit #150: allow approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes driving time to Monterey (more, if you are driving or hauling an over-sized vehicle). This is the shorter route for those traveling from southwestern Virginia.
FROM THE WEST: Travel east on US 250 or US 84 to Monterey. Allow approximately 1 hour driving time from Elkins or 2 hours from White Sulphur Springs (more, if you are driving or hauling an over-sized vehicle).
* Rt. 250 is an excellent 2-lane road; however, there are a number of tight curves and steep grades as it crosses the mountains. Use extra caution if you are pulling a trailer or RV. Use lower gears on downhill grades.
Maple Sugar Facts
- Pure maple syrup contains no preservatives, capsule artificial flavoring or color.
- Pure maple syrup is FAT FREE!
- Maple syrup is 33.5% water and 66.5% sugar.
- Store opened containers of syrup in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Pure Maple Syrup is sold by shades of “amber.”
- Light Amber has a fine, delicate flavor.
- Medium Amber has a richer flavor and is most frequently used as table syrup.
- Dark Amber is used for cooking, or as a table syrup by those who prefer a strong maple flavor.
- A good tree will produce 20 quarts of “sugar water” in 12 hours.
- It takes approximately 40 quarts of sugar water to make one quart of maple syrup.
- Sugar water collected from maple trees is made up of approximately 98% water and 2% sugar.
- Unopened containers of maple syrup should be stored in a cool, dry place.
- Maple syrup can also be frozen.
- Maple Syrup only has 40 calories per tablespoon. Honey has 45, white sugar has 55, and corn sugar has 60.
- Maple Syrup contains iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also has a higher calcium content than milk. It also contains small amounts of amino acids, proteins, and vitamins B2, B5, and niacin.
- Correct tapping methods cause no permanent damage to the maple sugar tree.
- Freezing nights and warm, sunny days make ideal weather conditions for harvesting sugar water.
Maple Sugar Tours
Visit local maple sugar camps throughout Highland County as they welcome visitors to view the process of syrup-making. The region’s higher elevations contribute to late-winter and early-spring weather patterns 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.
Highland County is home to the southernmost commercial maple syrup producing industry in the United States. Our unique climate and elevation makes Highland County the prime location for maple syrup production in Virginia. Families in this area have been producing maple syrup for hundreds of years with some families even continuing the tradition into the sixth and seventh generations. The Highland County Maple Festival is the second largest Maple Festival in the country and definitely the largest south of the Mason Dixon line! At the sugar camps, you'll not only discover pure maple syrup but you'll also find barrel-aged and infused syrups, hickory syrup, birch syrup, black walnut syrup, and certified-organic syrup. There's always something new to taste!
Pick up an official map or brochure of the Maple Festival (digital versions available to the right) at your first destination in the county, and watch for "Maple Tour" signs to point you in the right direction. Warm clothing and boots are advisable for visiting the maple sugar camps.
If you find yourself in Highland County outside of our “Maple Season,” which can run from mid January through the end of March, we hope you’ll still stop in at one of our camps to learn about one of Highland County’s signature products – maple syrup!
Back Creek Farms
7781 Upper Back Creek Road, Monterey
New for 2022 - moved from the Monterey Courthouse to their sugar camp on Back in the Western part of Highland County! Back Creek Farms is a 5th generation maple syrup business which has maintained traditions but added a modern twist! Using both traditional and newer methods, they not only produce pure maple syrup, but they also create infusions and barrel-aged varieties. Tastings are always available. Enjoy watching sugar water flow through tubing and into buckets around the sugar house, browse their gift shop, and walk along beautiful Back Creek. Food and craft vendors are available onsite with ample parking. FOOD: Brisket tacos with maple crema, Virginia Cuban, vegetable stew, Brothers Craft Brewing Daylight Cravings Coffee, Maple, Bacon Stout for consumption on site. Tour buses welcome. Wheelchair accessible.
Duff’s Sugar House
3118 Mill Gap Road, Monterey
Located at Fair Lawn Farm southwest of Monterey (4 miles south on Rt. 220, then 3 miles west on Rt. 84), Duff’s Sugar House is a small, family-run old-time sugarhouse where the trees are still “opened” by hand and the sugar water collected in buckets. Cooking is done in a wood-fired open pan and finished in an iron kettle. Hands-on participation is encouraged. Tours are held all day. FOOD: Applewood-smoked cheese, maple products. Tour buses welcome. Wheelchair accessible.
Eagle's Sugar Camp
5503 Jack Mountain Road, Doe Hill
Follow signs to Eagle’s Sugar Camp, located north of McDowell (off Rt. 654 on Jack Mountain Road) in Doe Hill. Syrup producers for more than 200 years, the Eagles still use open-pan, wood-fired evaporators, as well as the latest advanced computerized oil-fired evaporators. Observe sugar water collected in buckets. Browse local arts & crafts, local honey, maple products, buckwheat, cornmeal, and baked goods. Enjoy Home-cooked food, as well as Maple-glazed and Maple Bavarian Doughnuts. Tour buses welcome. Wheelchair accessible.
Laurel Fork Sapsuckers
10677 Mountain Turnpike, Hightown
Located 10 miles west of Monterey on Rt. 250 off Clay Hise Lane, Laurel Fork Sapsuckers is a family-run sugar camp and Virginia's 2019 Tree Farm of the Year recipient. Enjoy a 3/4 mile loop trail with interpretative signs explaining maple syrup research projects and forest management practices used to increase syrup yields. View various wood-fired methods of evaporating sugar water into maple syrup, including traditional and modern. Food is available with vegetarian options, as well as maple syrup, infused syrups, maple vinegar, honey, ramp salt, and apple butter. Free samples are available. Informational tours are held all day. FOOD: Maple BLT, vegetarian chili, pinto beans, cornbread, hot dogs, mac & cheese.
Mill Gap Farms
2760 Mill Gap Road, Monterey
Located within sight of Duff’s Sugar house, Mill Gap Farms is the first and only producer in Virginia certified organic by the USDA. Anything but old fashioned, they utilize the latest technology from Vermont and Quebec to produce excellent syrup. At the farm, you can visit Merino, Finn, and Suffolk sheep along with chickens and alpacas. Enjoy maple cotton candy and a view of the southern Blue Grass Valley. Also, catch their booth at the Highland Elementary School. FOOD: Maple cotton candy, syrup tastings, coffee, soft drinks. Tours are held all day. Tour buses welcome. Wheelchair accessible.
Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard
17 Maple Syrup Lane, Blue Grass
On Rt. 637 (Maple Sugar Road) southwest of Blue Grass is Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard. A vacuum pump is used to increase the flow of sugar water, and miles of plastic tubing make it easier to gather. The process of maple syrup-making is started by reverse osmosis and finished by oil-fired evaporators. Food offerings include BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, maple candy, fudge, and syrup. Tour buses welcome. Wheelchair accessible.
Rexrode's Sugar Orchard
1564 Maple Sugar Road, Monterey
Located north of Hightown on Rt. 637 (Maple Sugar Road), Rexrode’s Sugar Orchard features large maple trees over 200-years-old. The Rexrodes use the wood-fired “open pan” system of evaporation with miles of plastic tubing to gather the sugar water for their maple products. FOOD: Maple cotton candy & more. Tour buses welcome. Wheelchair accessible.
7738 Big Valley Road, Bolar
Located 15 miles south of Monterey on Rt. 607 (off Rt. 220 on Big Valley Road,) sugar water is gathered with hundreds of buckets and miles of plastic tubing that funnel the sugar water into a piggyback evaporator. A rustic country store carries maple products, flour, honey, jellies, and baked goods. Food includes maple pit-cooked BBQ, Maple Doughnuts, and pork skins. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner with inside seating, vendors and crafts, free fishing pond for kids, and bluegrass music at noon on Saturdays. Food options are available Fridays. There are indoor restrooms. *Closed Sundays. Tour buses welcome. Wheelchair accessible.
Sugar Tree Country Store & Sugar House
185 Mansion House Road, McDowell
Located near the center of McDowell, this operation employs a modern reverse osmosis concentrator and oil-fired evaporator. Informational tours are given all day, with antique maple-producing tools on display. This country store features gifts, maple products, apple butter, birch syrup, pottery, jams, cookbooks, old-fashioned homemade bar soap, handmade rugs, and much more. FOOD: Stew, Maple Doughnuts & more. *Closed Sundays. Tour buses welcome. Wheelchair accessible.
9943 Highland Turnpike, McDowell
Located on the steep slopes of Bullpasture Mountain, Tonoloway Farm is famous for tapping black walnut trees in addition to producing hickory syrup and classic maple syrup for a diverse taste of our Appalachian forests. Tonoloway's unique new sugaring workshop is constructed of heavy timbers from the surrounding forests, and visitors are welcome to hike on the farm and enjoy panoramic mountain views over McDowell. Limited parking is available on-site, with plenty of additional parking along Rt. 250 for those ready to enjoy a short hike to the sugarhouse.
Additional Sugar Stops:
Bruce’s Syrup and Candies
Set up on Main Street in Monterey across from High's Restaurant and Hiner's Auto Garge
Additional Points of Interest
At the Highland County Maple Festival, the entire community gets involved. It takes a village! Support local and check out Chamber Member business and nonprofits in Highland County and the surrounding areas by category at our searchable Membership Directory at members.highlandcounty.org/member-directory.
Our “Things to Do” page has more fun activities during your travels in Highland County at highlandcounty.org/things-to-do.
In addition to Arts & Crafts, sugar camp tours, and pancake meals, here are just a few more local points of interest set up for the 2022 Highland County Maple Festival.
Blue Grass Mercantile - Brunswick stew, hot food, maple products
Grant’s Grocery - Homemade chicken salad, country ham, goodies
Highland County Museum - All new Battle of McDowell Orientation Center, Living History Camp on the front lawn, Highland County history exhibits
Mountain Oasis - Maple-cinnamon buns, deli, fuel • Closed Sundays
Big Fish Cider, Co. - Award-winning local cider & tasting room
Fantastic Finds - Thrift store filled with local wonders
Fast Break - 24-hour fuel, fresh fried chicken, pizza
Gutshall’s Exxon - 24-hour fuel, propane
Heart and Soul Massage School - Kids’ Corner with gem stone mining, games & more • 12 - 3 pm
Jenny Wren Gatherings - Eclectic treasures
Rockingham Cooperative - Farm store • Saturdays only, 7:30 am - noon
The Blanchard Gallery - Treasures & local art
The Gallery of Highland - Selling local art & books all year (Saturdays, March 12 & 19 - 10-4 and 7-9; Sundays, March 13 & 20 - 10-4)
The Highland Center - Entertainment, local art, Visitor Center
The Highland Inn - Learn about the historic Highland Inn renovation from the nonprofit Blue Grass Resource Center • 10 am - 3 pm
Twice is Nice - Gently-used clothing for the whole family
RT. 220 NORTH
Ginseng Mountain Store - “New time” country store, gifts
Hiner Town Trout Fishing - Kids’ fun days Fridays - Sundays
Rexrode’s Country Store - Fuel, breads, deli, pizza, maple products
Virginia Trout Company - Live, frozen, & smoked trout - trout fish sandwiches
RT. 220 SOUTH
Valley AeroSpace Team - March 12 model rocket launch • 11 am - 5 pm
*** All events and information subject to change ***