Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sweet Times at the Maple Syrup Festival in Thurmont, MD

Once again we hopped in the car in search of a Saturday road-trip. This time we headed north into the Catoctin Mountains on Rt. 15. We soon discovered that the sap was flowing at the 43rd Annual Maple Syrup-making Demonstration and Festival in Cunningham Falls State Park just west of Thurmont, MD. Every year, on the second and third weekends of March, volunteers demonstrate the process of making maple syrup, including tree tapping, boiling, and packaging. A $2 donation per person gets you into the festival which also includes games, stories and crafts for the kids as well as Appalachian music for your ears. For a few more dollars you can chow down on a delicious hot sausage and pancake breakfast. Don’t forget to pick up some Maryland made maple syrup, maple candy, or maple spread (our favorite).

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Throughout the area between the William Houck Lake area and the Cunningham Falls trailhead were a dozen steel pails collecting sap. Also near the demonstration area was a network of interconnected rubber tubes leading to a large blue barrel. Forty gallons of sap must be collected for every one gallon of maple syrup.

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After listening to the very informative maple syrup talk we trekked up to the falls. Cunningham Falls is a 78-foot cascading waterfall and it is the largest cascading waterfall in Maryland. The trail to the falls is an easy walk and there are a couple of benches at the end where you can sit and enjoy the view of the falls.

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An early Spring walk in the park is enjoyable. I just love the green moss that grows on everything. Add that to a beautiful blue sky and a walk in the woods is a perfect way to release your work-week stress.

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