The first day of spring may be March 20, but here in New Hampshire we tend to hang onto winter for a bit. Although Winter 2020 has been quite mild so far, we typically get some March snow to deliver wonderful skiing and snowshoeing throughout the month.
At this writing, the annual Lake Winnipesaukee Ice-Out Guess contest is underway. Ice-out is when the ice on the lake breaks up enough that the M.S. Mt. Washington cruise ship can navigate to its various ports. Most years, the ice on Lake Winnipesaukee remains until April, but “ice out” dates have been recorded as early as mid-March and — in one bitterly cold year in 1888 — as late as May 12!
Lake Winnipesaukee’s Ice Out is celebrated as a sign that spring has arrived in the Lakes Region, but March’s Maple Sugar Season is the first hint of things to come. Taps and buckets appear on maple trees throughout rural areas and the steam from sugarhouses fills the air as sap is boiled down to make delicious maple syrup. The New Hampshire Maple Producers Association has declared March “Maple Month.” Pickering House Inn is joining the March fun with a special maple-themed dinner and, of course, we will be serving our local maple syrup from Rising Sweetness in New Durham, NH when breakfasts call for wonderful maple flavor.
Here are some of the events we are looking forward to in March 2020!
March 7 — Maple-Themed Chef’s Table Dinner
March 21 — Inn-Guest Only PAVILION Test Kitchen Tasting Dinner!
March 6: Distillery After Dark – Spent Barrels and Sugar Shacks
Join Tamworth Distilling in nearby Tamworth, NH for a fun workshop to learn how to incorporate maple syrup into delicious cocktails.
March 21 and 22: Statewide Maple Weekend
The New Hampshire Maple Producers Association will be hosting Maple Sugaring Month in March, culminating in the 23rd Annual Maple Weekend on March 21 and 22.
Sugar makers statewide will open their doors inviting the public to share in the centuries-old craft of maple sugaring. Visit the producers in the Lakes Region area to learn how their operations work. Many will be offering free samples of fresh syrup, as well as samples of maple candies and confections, coffee and doughnuts. Some locations have horse-drawn rides and more. Experience the centuries-old craft and taste why pure New Hampshire maple syrup has long been a delicious harbinger of spring. Share in the excitement of the sweetest time of the year!