Like a migrating bird, we flock to the trees this time of year in search of one thing — maple syrup. Right about now our syrup supply has dwindled and it's time to restock. (And of course, fuel up with some pancakes.)
This year is a bit different. Maple Weekend — which normally follow two consecutive weekends — will be March 19-20 and then April 2-3, skipping Easter weekend (March 26-27). So if you miss the first weekend you have time to regroup.
Most locations provide a day of outdoor and indoor fun with family friendly activities. To search out a route for your travels visit nysmaple.com to see all the Maple Weekend participants.
Below are our tried-and-true favorites (mainly because of the pancakes, of course).
Arcade Center Farm Pancake House
(7298 Route 98, Arcade)
All-you-can-eat pancakes served with real butter and maple syrup. There's a gift shop with maple products. Grab some maple mustard; it makes a fantastic barbecue sauce.
Beaver Meadow Audubon Center
(1610 Welch Road, Java Center)
Maple Harvest Festival, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 19-20.
All-you-can-eat pancakes included with admission. Sugar Shanty will be open both weekends, however no pancakes on April 2-3.
Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center
(2375 Humphrey Road, Varysburg)
All-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 20. Create your own pancakes from a variety of toppings. Potato pancakes available, too. Includes eggs made to order, breakfast meat, homefries, toast, desserts and coffee.
Cost is $10.95 adults; $7.95 kids 6-12; ages 5 and younger are free.
Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn
(4321 County Road 15A, Angelica)
One of our all-time favorites is Cartwright’s, in its 54th sweet season. Yes, it’s a haul, but once you taste the all-you-can-eat buckwheat pancakes you’ll know why the drive is worth it. Don’t fret if there is a line, it moves quickly.
Johnson Estate Winery
(8419 West Route 20, Westfield)
No, this is not an error. The winery released a new maple-infused liqueur in 2015 that tastes like a combination of sherry and ice wine along with sweet maple.
Samples of this aperitif/dessert wine are $2 with “Julia Child”-inspired French crepes drizzled with syrup and topped with your choice of chocolate hazelnuts, cinnamon walnuts or toasted pecans.
Maple Glen Sugar House
(2266 Gowanda Zoar Road, Gowanda)
The Maple Glen Sugar House takes sweet and salty to an all-time high with its maple boiled hot dogs. Products include maple-coated nuts.
Moore’s Maple Shack & Pancake House
(10444 Galen Hill Road, Freedom)
All-you-can-eat buttermilk pancakes. Wagon rides if weather permits. Bring home some maple brittle and maple suckers.
Sprague’s Maple Farm
(1048 Portville Road, Portville)
This place is a haul too, but also well worth it. We cannot say enough about the restaurant.
The only question is what to order? Pancakes or waffles? Maple pork ribs? Maple glazed chicken breast? Maple bourbon sirloin? Maple milk shakes? And then there is the outstanding roast turkey dinner or turkey and biscuits.
Add a side of pancakes so you get a maple syrup fix. You may encounter a line, but it moves fast. Lots of activities for the kids.
Foodie Road Trip: The New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua will celebrate Maple Weekend March 19-20 only, with a variety of maple-themed classes the entire weekend, including Baking with Maple, Cocktails & Hors d’Oeuvres with Maple, Make It With Maple and a Buckwheat Pancake & NY Maple Breakfast.