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How Sweet It Is

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Come and enjoy the exhilaration of late-winter camping, and join us in the fun and
festivals that go with the annual rite we call “sugaring off.” February hardly seems like
harvest time. But when the nights are below freezing and the days are above, that’s when
the sap starts to rise. Late February usually does it here in my Berkshire Hills at the
western end of Massachusetts. Farther north in Vermont, the trees may sleep into late
March. So instead of trying to outguess the trees and the weather, pick a maple festival
wherever you like, and let the locals pick the date. With generations of experience, we’re
pretty good at it. Some festivals pull out all the stops, with tastings, sleigh rides,
recipe contests,syrup judging, drawings for the kids to color, even a festival queen. Fact
is, you don’t even need a festival. Many producers welcome you to drop in and watch, and
some may even let you dry-camp for a night. Finding a campground is a little harder, since
most of them close for the winter. Check your Trailer Life Campgrounds RV Parks &
Services Directory, or contact the state-park department and the campgound owners
association and ask who’s open. The following alphabetical list will help you in your
search: Connecticut: About 30 sugarhouses, enough to rank 10th. Department
of Agriculture: (860) 713-2503; during sugaring season: www.state.ct.us/doag.
Maine: Somerset County outproduces all other U.S. counties; Maine ranks
second among the states: getrealmaine.com. Massachusetts: More than 100
sugarhouses in the wesern half carry the state to ninth place. For more information,
including how to make your own: massmaple.org. New Hampshire: Eighth in production,
unbeatable in scenery. Maple phone: (603) 225-3757, nhmapleproducers.com. Vermont: The top producer has
first-rate festivals and several maple museums; the one at St. Johnsbury has the World’s
Largest Can of Maple Syrup. Department of Agriculture: (802) 828-2416, www.vermontagriculture.com.
Pick up the March 2006 issue of Trailer Life for more travel destinations — then subscribe to Trailer Life, so
you can stay informed on the latest tow vehicles, tests, previews, and technical and
RV-lifestyle information.

Subscribe to Wildsam Magazine today, Camping World and Good Sam’s magazine of the open road.

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