Sure, the sweet scent of maple syrup is enough to make any pancake lover's mouth water. But what happens when they find themselves smelling it all day? Is it possible to hold out until supper time for a taste from one’s favorite stack of flapjacks? If one is posing those questions, here’s the answer. And it's one heck of an answer.
Take a tour of maple syrup production in Pennsylvania. But, of course, there are other ways to enjoy maple syrup than just eating it on pancakes. The white goop has many health benefits aside from that. But for this treat, let us focus solely on those tasty pancakes.
Pennsylvania's Maple Syrup Tour
The Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Tour is the visitor’s chance to experience the entire process of making maple syrup. The tour consists of 64 miles along back roads in Centre County, includes eight privately owned sugar shacks where tourists can watch sap being boiled down into syrup, and a hot meal.
The tour begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m., with the price of $25 per person or $20 per child (ages 6 to 12). To reserve a spot on the tour, check here.
The tour takes place on a day of March, the maple season, on weekends only and includes several stops familiar to central Pennsylvanians:
- The Nittany Mall
- The Angus Barn
- The Ag Arena
- Penn State University
The itinerary is as follows:
- 8 a.m.: Meet at the Nittany Mall (Parking Lot #7 off of College Ave.). Drive to Sugar Camp Woodshed on Route 550 in Milesburg via Lickdale and Huntsdale Road.
- 9:30 a.m.: Drive to Pioneer Campground and Sugar Shack on Route 550 in Lamar Valley via Lickdale Road, Duffield Road, Trout Run Road, Mt Nittany Rd., Upland Game Trail, and Gaffney Run Road.
- 11:30 a.m.: Drive to the Sugar Camp Woodshed on Route 550 in Milesburg via Huntsdale Road, Lickdale Road, Mt. Nittany Road, and Upland Game Trail.
- 12:30 p.m.: Drive to Pioneer Campground and Sugar Shack on Route 550 in Lamar Valley via Mt. Nittany Road, Trout Run Road, Duffield Road, Lickdale Road, and Upland Game Trail.
- 2 p.m.: Drive to the Sugar Camp Woodshed on Route 550 in Milesburg via Mt Nittany Rd., Huntsdale Road, Lickdale Road, and Upland Game Trail.
- 2:30 p.m.: Drive to the Sugar Camp Woodshed on Route 550 in Milesburg via Mt Nittany Road, Trout Run Road, Duffield Road, Lickdale Road, and Upland Game Trail.
- 4 p.m.: Arrive at Pioneer Campground and Sugar Shack on Route 550 in Lamar Valley via Mt Nittany Road, Trout Run Road, Duffield Road, and Upland Game Trail.
- 4:30 p.m.: Arrive at Sugar Camp Woodshed on Route 550 in Milesburg via Huntsdale Rd., Lickdale Rd., Mt Nittany Rd., Upland Game Trail, and Gaffney Run Road.
- 5 p.m.: Return to the Nittany Mall via Route 322, I-99, and Park Avenue. Payment of $25 per person ($20 for children age 6 to 12) is due when they make their reservations by credit card or check. Children 5 and younger travel free. Payment can be made by cash, check, or credit card. Credit cards that are accepted include Visa and MasterCard.
How To Plan Your Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Tour Trip
Each year, thousands of curious travelers from around the world make the journey to Pennsylvania to search for that perfect batch of wild maple syrup. Truly, this state is a haven for all who wish to pursue their passion for harvesting sap from trees in the great outdoors. While many choose to do it on their own (by tapping or drilling holes into a tree for collecting sap), others are happy to pay someone else to do the hard work for them. It is truly a remarkable experience that anyone can enjoy, provided they are properly prepared.
Below is a guideline on how to plan an awesome trip and where to go to find the best syrup:
- Pick an operation, whether from the list of scheduled tours or a private one that's already been arranged.
- Check the dates and make sure it falls within the timeline for visiting PA – especially if visitors plan to visit any of the other aforementioned points of interest.
- Find places to stay throughout the Keystone State – especially close to where they will be touring. There are plenty of great hotels, B&B's, and Airbnbs to choose from. And we've looked into them all so that they can easily find the best of the best (and we've done all the research for those planning to visit).
And to help make things easier, below are a few of our picks. (Selected based upon proximity to PA's maple syrup tour and other popular attractions in Pittsburgh and throughout the state).
- Hotel Pick: The Omni William Penn | Pittsburgh, PA An elegant hotel with a view of the city's skyline is just minutes from downtown and also within close proximity to many other popular attractions.
- Airbnb Pick: Lovett Grove Farmhouse | New Bethlehem, PA Located in a quaint rural area, this place will take visitors away from the hustle and bustle of Pittsburgh while still providing all the comforts of home.
- Bed & Breakfast Pick: The O'Leary House | Pittsburgh, PA Located in one of Pittsburgh's most historic neighborhoods, with its own parking and a driveway that allows visitors to pull right up to the front door – great for convenience when arriving after a long drive from PA's countryside.
Arrive at the operation selected and get ready to have a truly unique experience – one that visitors will remember for years to come!
Additionally, there is an upcoming Maple Weekend – Taste and Tour this March 12 & 13, 2022. Make sure to check on this link to be updated.
If travelers are looking for a fun travel destination with something to offer everyone, Pennsylvania is ideal. The opportunities are endless, and the adventure of finding one's own batch of syrup among the trees is sure to please each member in their family – no matter what age or level of experience they may have when it comes to tapping into the sweet nectar of the season. So if they’re looking for a more unique and memorable trip, then planning ahead to hit PA during the time of year when you can enjoy this hobby can certainly do the trick!