Who doesn't like maple syrup on warm mornings pancakes? Everyone knows that maple syrup is the proud product of the country that sports the maple leaf on its flag. Or is it? Maple trees don't just stop at the Canadian and American border one can find many of these cold-loving trees in the northern United States.

In America, New York and Vermont are some of the main places for maple syrup. It's a good reason to visit Vermont in the maple sugaring season. Discover rustic family-run farms in the United States and find some of the best maple syrup that money can buy.

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What To Know About Maple Syrup

While maple syrup may seem something like a modern Canadian pastime, it was first made and used by the native peoples of North America long before the arrival of the Europeans. European settlers just adopted the practice, modifying it along the way.

  • Origin: The Native Peoples of North America

Maple syrup is normally made from the sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees. In the cold northerly climes, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before winter. Come spring, the starch is converted to sugar that then rises in the sap as the tree once again comes to life.

  • Maple Trees: Mostly The Sugar Maples, Red Maples, and Black Maples

To tap into the sap, holes are drilled into their trunks. The sap is collected and then heated to evaporate most of the water and have concentrated syrup. Collection methods for harvesting the maple sap vary. Methods include old-fashioned buckets to state-of-the-art piping that snakes along trees.

Today almost all of the world's maple syrup is produced in the United States and Canada. Quebec in particular the heavyweight of maple syrup production producing some 70% of the world's maple syrup.

  • Quebec: Produces Around 70% of The World's Maple Syrup

There are different grading systems for maple syrup in Canada, the United States, and even Vermont.

Related: If You're A Fan Of Pancakes, You Can't Miss Pennsylvania's Maple Syrup Tour

Corey's Sugar Shack Maple Tours New York

The official state tree of the state of New York is the Sugar Maple. The Empire State is one of the few places in the world where the Sugar Maple thrives and maple syrup is produced outside of Canada.

While a far cry from Quebec, New York State is still one of the world's top producers of maple syrup.

Corey's Sugar Shack offers tours of the production of maple syrup and is dedicated to education about how it is produced. Come during the NYS Maple Weekend and see maple syrup being produced in New York firsthand.

Tours have only a nominal charge of $5.00 and last for around 30 minutes. Of course, there is plenty of their 100% pure maple syrup for sale at the end of the tour. Appointments are recommended.

  • Cost: $5.00
  • Duration: 30 Minutes
  • When: During The NYS Maple Weekends (March 19-20 & March 26-27)
  • Opening Times: From 10.00 am to 3.00 pm

​Related: If You've Never Had 'Sugar On Snow,' Try These Maple Country Tips For Making It At Home

Sugar Bush Farm

If in Vermont, consider visiting Sugar Bush Farm. They offer both free admission and free samples on their farm. No reservations are needed and they will explain the process of making syrup and the difference between the grades. One will see who the maple trees are tapped in the spring and how one's favorite pancake condiment is made.

One will meet the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations of the Luce family and see a family Vermont farm at its finest.

They also offer cheese samplings including their Sharp Cheddar Cheese that has been aged over six years. They are part of the Vermont Cheese Trail.

After the tour, shop in their three-room farmhouse gift shop.

  • Attraction: Maple Syrup and Cheese Tasting
  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Daily (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)

Other Maple Farms In New England

There are many other farms and sugar houses to visit across the northwest. Many of these are small-family run farms that do not have set hours. For many of them, it is better to call ahead and schedule a tour of their sugarhouses if one is planning to come during their off-season months (May to February).

The sugaring season is March to April - this is a busy season and one where guests can see the process in action. A list of maple farms in Vermont can be found on Vermont Chamber.

  • Sugaring Season: March To April
  • Tip: There Are Many Small Maple Farms That Are Open To Visitors

One option for a maple farm to visit in Vermont is Choice Maple Nott Family Farm. They claim on their website to harvest from the most healthy, beautiful, and resilient maple trees.

Next: Experience Saskatchewan's Wild West At These Unique Road Trip Stops