The Best Place to Experience Winter in New England Is at This Vermont Sugarhouse

Because it's not just ski season, it's also maple syrup season.

Crowds of people walking into Palmer's Sugarhouse and bottles of Palmer's Sugarhouse maple syrup

From left: Kevin King; Courtesy of Palmer's Sugarhouse

In Vermont, the winters are cold and the maple trees plentiful — resulting in jar after jar of some of the world’s best maple syrup. But it’s one thing to buy a jar at the store and another to watch the extraction process take place. If you’re interested in exactly how liquid gold can be extracted from a tree, make your way to Palmer’s Sugarhouse, in Shelburne, Vermont, a family business that’s been in operation for more than 50 years. 

During “sugaring season,” when the trees are ready to be tapped, Palmer’s Sugarhouse hosts their annual Sugar on Snow events, which kicks off on Mar. 4 and runs every Saturday and Sunday. This year, the fun continues through April 16, with weekend visitors coming to experience Palmer’s iconic pancake breakfast — featuring endless maple syrup — followed by hikes through the maple trees, boiling sap for syrup, and plenty of maple samples. And it wouldn’t be sugaring season without “sugar on snow,” a snow cone drizzled with maple syrup that’s become a Vermont delicacy.

The sign outside of Palmer's Sugarhouse in Vermont

Courtesy of Palmer's Sugarhouse

And while maple syrup season is the reason for the celebration, there’s plenty of other outdoor fun to be had at Palmer’s Sugarhouse. According to their website, they have a Nordic trail system, horseback rides with views of the Adirondacks, and goats and chickens visitors can say hello to.

Foodies won’t want to miss the Mud & Maple Adventure Dinner at the sugarhouse on April 1. The one-night-only adventure kicks off in the sugarbush (a forest of maple trees) at Palmer’s Sugarhouse. Dinner guests must follow a meandering path through the forest to their first course, which is paired with a cocktail served deep in the woods near the relics of the property’s original sugar shack. From there, guests will head to the smokehouse, where a multi-course dinner — featuring threads of maple — will be served. The night ends by the bonfire with desert and a nightcap followed by a sendoff and a mini bottle of maple syrup.

Bottles of Palmer's Sugarhouse maple syrup on the table and crowds of people eating around a table at Palmer's Sugarhouse

Kevin King

Palmer’s Sugarhouse is located a short drive east of Shelburne, Vermont, and less than 20 minutes from Burlington. In this nook of Vermont, sugaring season tends to run from March to April, although it’s worth noting that thanks to the warmer-than-average winter in the east, maple syrup season is starting early this year.

If you’re unable to make it to Palmer’s Sugarhouse for the festivities, you can order their goods online. They ship their products — which range from a half-pint of syrup for $11 to a gallon for $55 — worldwide, and also have maple confections like maple cream, maple sugar, maple candy, and maple peanut brittle available for sale. 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles