Paul Smith's College VIC Sugar Bush (30 March 2013). Photo by Tom Boothe.  Used by permission.

Maple Sugaring at the VIC
The VIC Sugar House

Maple sugaring at the Paul Smiths VIC: VIC Sugar House Maple sugaring at the Paul Smiths VIC: VIC Sugar House

VIC Sugar House: Installing the evaporator.Maple syrup is produced from the sap of Sugar Maples by boiling.

Usually, about 40 gallons of sap are required to produce one gallon of finished syrup, depending on the sugar content of the sap. Sap used in the VIC maple sugaring operation comes from the VIC Sugar Bush, located about 2.5 kilometers from the VIC Main Building, near the intersection of the Skidder Trail and the Easy Street Trail. As with most maple operations, the water in the sap is removed by boiling it, allowing for evaporation.

Maple Sugaring at the VIC: Storage Tank in the VIC Sugar HouseThe VIC uses a wood-fired evaporator to remove the water from sap to produce syrup. Sap from the VIC Sugar Bush is transferred to a collection tank in the Sugar House, which is adjacent to the VIC Main Building. The Sugar House was built during the fall of 2013, by VIC staff, along with volunteers and Paul Smith's College students. The majority of the lumber was harvested from the VIC grounds, and some was milled on site by students using the college saw mill. The VIC is currently developing interpretive signage for the Sugar House to help visitors understand and appreciate sugar making.

The wood used to fuel the evaporator is harvested by students and staff from the VIC property and stored behind the sugar house. It takes one full cord of wood (128 cubic feet) to produce approximately 25 gallons of syrup.

Maple Sugaring at the VIC: VIC Maple SyrupMaple products produced in the VIC Sugar House are sold at the VIC store. The VIC maple sugaring operation prdouced 60 gallons of syrup during the 2013 sugaring season. At least 60 gallons of syrup are expected during the 2014 sugaring season. Maple syrup is classified according to color, which provides a rough guide to flavor intensity. The darker the syrup, the stronger the flavors. New York Grade A Light Amber is the lightest of the three classifications has a mild, delicate flavor. Medium Amber is somewhat darker with a fuller flavor. Dark Amber is the darkest of the three grades with a stronger maple and caramel flavor.

Explore the VIC

The Paul Smiths VIC offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year to educate and inform Adirondack Park residents and visitors about the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains. You can help support these programs by joining the Friends of the VIC. More information on Friends of the VIC memberships

Explore the Trails

The VIC trails are free and open to the public, from dawn to dusk, spring through fall. In winter, the trails are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers for a fee. Day or season passes may be purchased.