Geauga County invites you to visit! End your ‘winter hibernation’ and join us for Maple Sugaring Season! As the #1 producing county of maple products in the state, March is a ‘sweet’ time to visit. March 9-10 and March 16-17 are Open House Weekends for many of our local sugar bushes.
For a very unique experience, several of the small independent maple producers, that are not usually open to the public, are inviting you to visit during these special Open House Weekends. Sugarbush Creek Maple, Apple’s Maple Farm, Creekside Maple, Grossman Brothers, and Salo Maple Products will all be offering first hand maple experiences. Hours and experiences will vary. These sugarhouses will be boiling, if the weather permits, and have their syrup for sale. Other offerings include maple sugar, maple coated nuts, and maple ice cream. Full details of offerings, times, and an interactive map are available at this website.
Year round, the Burton Chamber of Commerce operates the Log Cabin & Sugar Camp on Burton Square. Richards Maple Products in Chardon also operates year round. Both locations have a wide variety of maple products available and sell products online. During the March sugaring weekends, they will be boiling sap (weather permitting), making maple stirs, and giving demonstrations on making maple candy. A visit to Ma & Pa’s Gift Shack during these weekends will also give you the opportunity to collect sap with the horses a couple of times a day. The Log Cabin on Chardon Square will be serving up maple stirs on Sundays prior to the Maple Festival. Geauga Park District’s Swine Creek Park will be hosting Saps-a-Risin’ where you experience the art of making maple syrup from gathering sap to tasting the product, and stroll a trail depicting the history of maple production.
Of course, all that maple production leads to great opportunities to taste that product at the annual pancake breakfasts which take place throughout the county. Burton becomes Pancake Town USA with pancake breakfasts being served up every Sunday at several locations, and all of them featuring fresh, pure Geauga County maple syrup. Burton-Middlefield Rotary is celebrating their 60th year of cooking up pancakes and their famous omelets at Berkshire High School. The Geauga County Historical Society’s Century Village offers a hearty breakfast and the opportunity to a stroll around the grounds. West Geauga High School is the site of the West Geauga Kiwanis breakfast, and Punderson Manor also serves up golden stacks on Sundays. Just outside of the county, Holden Arboretum who will give you a chance to eat a ‘guilt free’ breakfast of pancakes and then enjoy a hike around the grounds to find those first signs of spring. Families can enjoy a full pancake breakfast at 4-H Camp Whitewood and take a wagon ride to the sugar bush to learn all about maple sugaring! While all of these breakfasts are Sunday mornings, Creekside Maple offers two Saturday morning breakfasts that take place in an Amish home adjacent to their sugarhouse.
This brings us full circle to the “reason for the season” MAPLE! Be certain to mark your calendars for the 84th Geauga County Maple Festival, April 25-28. Events include two grand parades, maple syrup judging and auction, queen’s contest, photo contest, “Sap Run”, bathtub races, craft show, concessions, rides, and continuous grandstand entertainment.
With so much to see and do, please call the Geauga County Tourism office at 800-775-TOUR for a 2013 Visitor Guide full of even more great information. The Guide also features our ‘Count Maple Max’ Contest and our new “Share Your Story” feature, where we want to hear from you about your visit! The Tourism website also features a “Maple” link on the homepage with details of all the breakfasts and activities. We hope to see YOU in the county soon!