Media contact: Hopkins Forest Manager Drew Jones at (413) 597-4353 or [email protected]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., March 2, 2017—With the recent February warm-up, maple sugaring season has arrived in time for Hopkins Memorial Forest’s annual Maplefest celebration on Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This annual event, which exalts the time-honored Yankee tradition of producing home grown sweeteners from local maple trees, will enable people to observe and take part in the process of producing maple syrup from the tree to the bottle.
Participants will be able to visit a working sugar house; to observe the finishing and bottling of the final product; to try their hands at tapping a tree and gathering sap; and to taste homemade syrup on pancakes and “sugar on snow.” In addition, there will be demonstrations of old-time evaporating methods—going back to the pre-colonial era—a taste test, videos and more.
Traditionally, March is the busiest time for syrup producers in New England. As the days begin to warm, sugar-rich sap starts to flow upward from its winter storage in the trees’ roots to the twigs and buds; it is this sap that has been harvested for generations to produce maple products throughout the region. Sugaring has been going on in Hopkins Forest since the mid-1980s when Williams College students constructed a sugar house in an existing maple grove.
The event is free to the public and appropriate for people of all ages; it will be held regardless of the weather. Hopkins Forest, owned and operated by Williams College, is located at the junction of Bulkley Street and Northwest Hill Road in Williamstown.
For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map