On a lazy Saturday, one of the first of Spring, my family and I decided to venture out to Dutchess County, NY on a maple farm tour.
We had first toured a maple syrup farm in Lake Placid a couple of years ago, and though the terrain was had more snow and the weather was colder, we learned a lot about the process and got to take home some yummy syrup. This time, we were venturing to the Hudson Valley on a much sunnier day, which also meant we were arriving on the end of maple syrup production season.
But a trip to Dutchess County is a pretty day trip, through winding roads and forested areas, as well as stunning views of the Hudson Valley. Madava Farms, where Crown Maple Syrup is produced, looks and feels more like a luxury winery than a maple syrup production facility, albeit also being the most advanced maple production facility in the U.S.
Located on 800 acres surrounded by century-old sugar and red maples, it’s no wonder many guests like to complement their visits with hikes around the few marked trails on the property.
Tours depend on when you arrive during the season. Because we came on the latter part of it, we didn’t tour the forest to witness the sap collection process, but instead walked through the indoor facility and learned about intake, storage, and processes involved in the final production. We also learned about the advanced technology that helps separate Crown Syrup from so many others, and go to test the two varieties of maple syrup, medium and dark, as well as pair it with cheese and chocolate. The cost for this 1-hour experience is $5 for children under 10 and $10 for those 11 and older.
We had a lovely farm-to-table lunch in their in-house cafe where gourmet sandwiches and soups are served, as well as various sweets, all with some component or another made from their certified organic maple syrup and the chef’s garden.
Even though maple syrup season is almost over, visitors will still find things to enjoy at the farm. There are plans on the way for a few special events, including Ramps (Spring Onion) Forest Foraging on April 20-21, cooking classes, and more to be announced via Madava Farm’s website soon. Be prepared to shop as well, they have a cute shop with everything from books about the Hudson Valley to maple syrup products.
If you’re looking for a day trip with the family or a little romantic escape only 75 miles North of Manhattan, and especially if you want to learn about where the best quality maple syrup in the country is produced, this is a great one to add to your to-do list.
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