Tucked away in the mountains of the Lake George Area are pockets of ancient practice of an almost sacred tradition. Generations of family members who inhabit the maple quarters will tell you they live in a place “where nature is a way of life, and sugaring is second nature.” Join them in celebrating the start of spring, as days warm and nights are still bitter…when the sap of the maple trees begins to flow and the sugaring process transforms this simple liquid into the sweetest treat found in the Adirondacks – maple syrup!

The Legend of Maple Syrup

Early European settlers learned the process of producing maple syrup from the Native Americans. The legend unfolds on a late-winter morning when the wife of an Iroquois tribal chief went to remove her husband’s tomahawk from a maple tree he had struck the night before. On pulling the blade from the bark, she observed a clear liquid flowing from the wound, which she collected to use in her cooking. It didn’t take long for this thoughtful native woman to realize what she had just discovered – a sweet new concoction that would serve to enhance the rudimentary diet of her tribe, as well as that of an entire population and eventually a civilization!

The Industry of Maple Syrup

Taps with buckets attached to the tree would serve to collect sap for many generations, but today the sugar bush is strung with plastic tubing carrying the sap directly to the sugar house. It takes about 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of syrup. So, it takes about 10 gallons of maple sap to fill your household bottle with REAL maple syrup!

In the years since the Iroquois maiden stumbled upon the basics of maple syrup, this uniquely Adirondack industry has evolved to create some of the most amazing maple products on the market. These items make wonderful, if you can keep them long enough without giving in to the temptation! The best part is, you don’t have to travel into the recesses of the mountains or brave the cold to do your shopping. Check out this list of great maple producers in the Lake George Area – with the click of a mouse, your order will be on its way!

Valley Road Maple Farm

The Hill and Senecal families have been running the 30-acre Valley Road Maple Farm for several decades, and their experience shows in their maple products. Fed from the yield of two sugar bushes and 3,400 vacuum-fed taps, their sugar house is top-notch and state-of-the-art, using a reverse osmosis technique to produce abundant amounts of maple syrup, maple sugar, maple cream, maple candy, maple roasted peanuts, maple peanut brittle, maple cotton candy, and other delectable maple treats. Valley Road Maple Farm has been recognized for its goods including a win in the Vermont International Maple Syrup Contest for light amber syrup and a three-time New York State Fair winner for their maple candy. All of these products are available for sale at the farm, as well as Oscar’s Smoke House maple bacon, of which Valley Road is the exclusive maple syrup provider.

Click on their Facebook page or call (518) 623-9783 to place your order.

Another Sweet Spring - Thurman Maple Days

Toad Hill Maple Farm

Toad Hill Maple Farm, an 853-acre swathe of Adirondack forest, has been in the Galusha family for over 30 years. About 100 of those acres are used to make maple products, which amounts to over 3,700 maple trees. Toad Hill also uses the reverse osmosis technique, which is a highly efficient method to remove water from sap. If the system is running well, they can turn 1,000 gallons of sap into 25 gallons of syrup per hour. Toad Hill also opened a state-of-the-art timber frame sugar house in 2011 to help improve the maple process. They demonstrate the old way to make syrup with a large cast iron kettle hanging over a blazing fire. But, it is in their maple kitchen where Toad Hill accomplishes so much of the magic of maple goods.

Sort through the huge variety of maple treats on the Toad Hill Maple Farm website.

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Hidden Hollow Maple Farm

With over 40 years of syrup experience, Hidden Hollow Maple Farm knows their stuff. They’re a huge producer of Lake George Area syrup with over 5,000 trees tapped. They hold on to the old ways of syrup production, using a wood-fired evaporator to boil the sap. They watch the sap temperatures manually and then hand-draw the syrup when it’s at the perfect temperature. Their mastery of all things maple comes from years of experience and a healthy gut-feeling. Owner Charles Wallace says, “old traditions help us let nature be its most delicious.” The syrup is tasty, so we can’t say we disagree! Along with excellent maple syrup, which is sold in glass maple leaf-shaped bottles, they make a tree-load of maple products such as maple candy and maple cream. They also sell some unique items such as maple jelly, cinnamon maple sugar, maple pepper, and more. Hidden Hollow Maple Farm is quite successful, and the proof is in the syrup that can be found in the dining halls of SUNY Oswego and at food expos across New York State.

Meander through the aisles of the Hidden Hollow Maple Farm website. Again, a click of the mouse and your maple treasures are on their way to your doorstep!

Another Sweet Spring - Thurman Maple Days

Mud Street Maple

Another great local maple producer of the Lake George Area is Mud Street Maple. With more than 10 years of experience in sugaring, this maple-passionate family operation has gained distinction for their delicious bourbon maple syrup, maple-glazed walnuts, raspberry maple cream, and several infused maple syrups. This 27-acre sugar bush produces masterpieces of maple with which to fill your shopping cart!

Click on Mud Street Maple’s online shop and have your special items packed up and shipped in no time!

Another Sweet Spring - Thurman Maple Days

Candy Mountain Maple

Proprietors Mike and Ingrid Richter bring over 80 years of professional environmental experience to the maple game. At Candy Mountain Maple Farm, they use sustainable and family-friendly sap collection techniques to ensure a healthy and successful sugar bush that will join the ranks of the other well-established stops along the tour in the years to come. Candy Mountain also encourages STEM students to visit and tour their “learning line” – the process of how sap becomes the maple syrup on your table.

Shop their maple syrup and pint n’ pancake mix packages on their website.