The Virginia Maple Syrup Trail Opens in Highland County


Highland County is excited to further “tap” into what it is most known for – maple syrup – by introducing the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail.  According to a press release from the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, this passport program offers the public the chance to visit eight sugar camps in Highland County throughout the year to experience each one.  Visitors are invited to call ahead to the participating sugar camps, schedule a visit for a tour, taste their syrup and get a stamp on the official Virginia Maple Syrup Trail Passport.  After all eight camps are visited and the passport is complete, there is a free gift, but the real incentive is to have a one-on-one interaction with the unique people and places that produce pure Virginia maple syrup.  Maple syrup can only be produced in late winter and early spring, but visitors can discover what happens on these farms and in Highland County year-round.

Participating sugar camps include Back Creek Farms, Bruce’s Syrup and Candies, Duff’s Sugar House, Laurel Fork Sapsuckers, Mill Gap Farms, Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard, Sugar Tree Country Store and Sugar House, and Tonoloway Farm.  Each sugar camp has something that makes it stand out from the rest, whether its their traditional or modern equipment and techniques, the size of their operation, or their farm offerings.  On the trail, customers will get not only a chance to learn about pure maple syrup, but also barrel-aged and infused varieties, as well as hickory, black walnut, and birch syrups.  Some of the camps offer additional activities like hiking, interaction with farm animals, and shopping for unique gifts.

More information about the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail can be found at the newly created website  Official passports can be picked up at the sugar camps, at local businesses in Highland County and at select Virginia Welcome Centers.

Participation in the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail will exclude the busy Highland County Maple Festival weeks and weekends in March.

The Virginia Maple Syrup Trail is brought to you by the Highland County Tourism Council, the Highland County Chamber of Commerce and participating sugar camps, with special thanks to the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for additional funding.

For more information, visit

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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