“Let me explain something about farm people – we share a deep physical connection to the earth. We all work hard and are proud as can be about what we do,” says Burr Morse (who’s quote?), the current owner of Morse Farm. This family-owned maple sugarworks began in 1814, when James Morse first settled in Vermont. Today, the maple syrup is made by Burr and his family, whose ancestors were taught to tap maple trees by Native Americans.
Morse Farm is open year-round, and each season offers a memorable outing for bus tour passengers. Visitors can enjoy a live presentation or video about maple sugaring and the Morse family in the woodshed theater; examine the equipment used for maple sugaring in the Sugar House; trek the Maple Tree Trail and witness how the sap is collected. Visitors can also sample a variety of maple syrups and maple-flavored treats, visit an outdoor museum that includes an antique replica of the Vermont State House and shop for authentic maple syrup and other specialty foods, as well as a full array of gift items. Selections can be mailed from the store or carried out.
The two most popular seasons for tours are spring and fall. Tree-tapping (or sugarin’) takes place in the spring, has a short three to five-week run, and begins anywhere from late February to mid-March and goes through early April, depending on weather conditions. During this harvesting, tour passengers can witness the maple sap being boiled down into syrup in the Sugar House and get a taste of “Sugar on Snow” – hot maple sugar that turns to taffy when it is drizzled over shaved ice (served with a fresh donut).
Of course, fall is the prime tourist season in Vermont. At Morse Farm, tour passengers can enjoy a maple creemee (soft serve ice cream flavored with authentic Vermont maple) and stroll the nature trail to take in the brilliant colors of the sugar maple leaves. No on-site dining is available, but maple creemees, Sugar on Snow and other treats, such as milkshakes and floats, are offered for sale (drivers and escorts get a free sample.).
Morse Farm welcomes bus tours anytime of year, with 20-minute guided tours available for a small fee (self-guided tours are free.). Because of the volume of visitors during autumn, reservations are required from mid-September to mid-October. Buses can drop off and pick up passengers at the main entrance and park in the adjacent lot. Tour planners should allot at least one hour for the stop.
For more details and reservations, email Glee@MorseFarm.com.