The 52nd annual Highland Maple Festival kicks off its second weekend of festivities Saturday, and if you haven’t been over the mountains to watch the sap run yet or to sample the locally produced sweet amber syrup, hitch on your muck boots, and come on over before it’s all done. Here are my top picks for how to spend your time….
Best syrup and pancake breakfast: Bolar Ruritan Club on Route 220 South at the Highland-Bath County line (these guys make their batter from scratch, and you can taste the difference)
Best Sugar Camp: Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard south of Blue Grass on Route 637; Ivan Puffenbarger uses a vacuum pump to increase the flow of the sap to the sugarhouse where a reverse osmosis system turns sugar water to syrup
Best place to grab dinner: Puff’s Pit-Cooked BBQ/Southernmost Maple Products’ Friday and Saturday night buffet dinner on Big Valley Road (absolutely the best pork loin you’ll ever eat off someone else’s table)
Read more about the festival and its many personalities in the February issue of Virginia Living in my article “Sugar Sweet, Mountain High.”