Virginia's Highland Maple Festival

Where in the World - Virginia Breezin'

Virginia’s Celebration of Maple and Highland County Traditions

Maple_Festival_Highland_InnThe annual Highland County Maple Festival spans two weekends in March, featuring the products of this northwestern Virginia county—maple syrup, sheep and trout—plus over 100 craft vendors. Held in several locations throughout the county, the 50-plus-year-old festival offers a chance to enjoy the warming near-spring weather, gaze at the beautiful mountains of Virginia, learn about the production of maple syrup, and appreciate the sweetness of the tree natural sap, all in small-town atmosphere.

Unlike a typical festival that is set at one location, and one location only, this festival is set throughout the county. The center of activity is in the little town of Monterey, Virginia, where the visitor will find craft vendors, food booths, and restaurants serving county-themed food, along the main thoroughfares and the courthouse lawn. The fun does not stop there. The event spans nearly three dozen locations: six sugar tours, school gyms and community centers with entertainment and vendors, museums, and stores, at three small towns and along many rural routes.  

 

The spotlight cuisine of the festival is maple syrup, served on buckwheat or traditional pancakes, in maple donuts and maple ice cream, and as glazes on meats. Other foods include trout, fresh pork rinds, lamb, baked goods, and typical festival foods. 

 

Maple_Festival_tapped_maple_treeBecause the festival is spread out throughout Virginia's Highland County, a little pre-planning helps a visitor hit the highlights that satisfy their sweet tooth. The Highland County web site provides much information, including events and entertainment, food stops, vendors, lodging, and a map.

For most people, the Highland County Maple Festival is not a quick trip. A little more than halfway up Virginia’s western edge and bordering West Virginia, its mountain setting generally requires a drive on I-64 or I-81, exiting on routes 220 or 250 and over mountain passes. Lodging is available, with B&B’s, inns, cabins, a 50s motel, and other quaint rural options.

The Highland County Maple Festival is held each year during the second and third weekends in March, after maple syrup production, which spans January and February with dribbles into March. For more information, visit the Highland County Maple Festival web pages

Another Highland County, Virginia event of interest to the active traveler is the Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge in August

 
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