MARLINTON, W.Va. — Syrup production is thriving in Pocahontas County, where organizers of Maple Days events are welcoming new producers and expecting more attendees, thanks partly to a renewed interest in Appalachian customs.
Six maple producers are opening their doors to public tours in February and March 2023 as the number of maple syrup producers in the county continues to grow, according to Cara Rose, executive director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The increasing popularity of such traditional events and syrup production may be rooted in a return to mountain customs, Rose said—"family tradition, preservation of Appalachian ways, financial diversification, and pure enjoyment of making something from the land."
"We probably have 10 to 12 producers in the county now, and five are open to tours for Maple Days," Rose said of the increase in production, which coincides with growing interest in residency and travel in the region.
"A lot of farms here made syrup a long time ago. I suspect several had the old equipment and a sugar shack, and the new generation is looking to diversify. Some are new farmers, too, who are producing other goods such as honey and not only have interest in the process but see the revenue potential."
During Mountain State Maple Days across West Virginia, visitors can experience the mountain tradition of tapping and boiling syrup on Saturday, February 18, and Saturday, March 18. Sugar camp tours and maple syrup specials at local restaurants are on tap during the events.
"When you come to Pocahontas County for maple days, you can visit five sugar camps, all with a unique story," Rose said.
For more information, visit the 2023 Guide to Maple Days at the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau website.
For information on Mountain State Maple Syrup Days statewide, visit the Mountain State Maple Producers Association.
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