As winter wanes and the frost melts, Northern Pennsylvania’s mighty maple trees start swelling with sap, and sugarhouses across the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor come alive with the hustle of maple-sugaring. The region’s maple-filled forests and spring climate of cold nights and mild sunny days create the perfect combination for a bounty of nutrient-dense sap.
Armed with the sugaring traditions of generations before them, hobbyists and professionals alike flock to Pennsylvania forests to tap trees, collect sap and return to their sugar-shacks and larger sugarhouses to boil it down into sweet golden Pure Pennsylvania Maple Syrup. But it doesn’t end there! Treasured family recipes and creativity collide to take maple production beyond simple maple syrup to endless unique maple products like maple cream, cotton candy, maple hotdogs, popcorn, and maple-infused jams, sauces, mustards, and even wines and spirits.
6 Fascinating Facts About Pennsylvania Maple Production
While many Northern Pennsylvania Maple Producers are families who have passed maple-sugaring traditions from generation to generation, the process is actually, well… SCIENCE. Here are 6 facts about maple production in PA.
- The sugar maple trees of Pennsylvania were first tapped for syrup and sugar by indigenous peoples who lived here hundreds of years ago. (Source: PAeats.com)
- One maple tree tap (a small tube known as a “spile” driven into the tree from which sap flows) will yield an average of 10 gallons of sap per season. And it takes 30–55 gallons of sap evaporated down to make one gallon of syrup. (Source: PAMapleFestival.com)
- It is impossible to harm a tree by taking too much sap. When the tree begins to bud in spring, it stops sharing sap and reserves it for the new growth instead. (Source: PAeats.com)
- Temperatures too warm or too cold during the 6- to 8-week sap season reduce the amount of sap flow and result in lower maple production. (Source: Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Council)
- The Northeastern part of the United States is one of only 4 regions in the world that produces maple syrup, along with the greatest production in Canada and a tiny bit in Japan and South Korea. (Source: PAMapleFestival.com)
- The PA Route 6 Heritage Region boasts the largest producer of maple syrup in the entire state, Patterson Farms in Tioga County, with over 75,000 trees tapped. (Source: PAeats.com)
Maple Producer Organizations Across PA Route 6
Northern Pennsylvania has played a pivotal role in the heritage and evolution of maple production. The following organizations support the Maple Producers of the region through bulk supply ordering programs, educational opportunities, and promotional events.
- Northwest Maple Syrup Producers Association
- Potter-Tioga Maple Producers Association
- Endless Mountains Maple Producers Association
- Northeastern PA Maple Producers Association
Find Maple Events Across PA Route 6
There’s no better way to learn about maple syrup than to see where it comes from, smell the sweet steam during production, and taste its delicious flavor! Check our events page for seasonal Maple Tours and Events hosted by the many maple producers of the PA Route 6 Heritage Region.