Maine Maple Sunday returns to western Maine this week. So far, farmers and producers report a strong year for collecting sap. Supplied photo

REGION — Maple syrup producers are enjoying not only a strong sap season, but the return of Maine Maple Sunday, an annual spring tradition that has been interrupted by two years of the coronavirus.

Sugar shacks around the region will be open this weekend for tours, sampling and farm-stand shopping.

“Last year we made around 80 gallons and we are hoping to double production this year,” Miranda Bell of Waterford’s Colonial Hill Farm said. “So far the sap has been running great. Much better then last year so far. The snow has helped a lot insulate a lot of our trees so we should have a long season.”

Colonial Hill Farm operates about 700 taps using a vacuum system, turning maple sap into syrup for the last 15 years. The Bells raise dairy and beef cows as well as pigs and chickens and sell year-round from their self-serve farm stand.

Swain Family Farm in Bethel harvests sap from about 1,200 taps. Expect to be served ice cream topped with warm syrup and maple candy samples during their open shack tours this weekend.

“We use pipelines,” said Ruel Swain. “We still have the 55 gallon drum my dad made when I was young. We’ve been doing this forever.”


Maine Maple Sunday’s name belies the fact that many farms will also be open on Saturday, and a few even on Friday. It is a rain or shine event. Visitors should call ahead if they have questions or need more information about accommodations.

Participating farms in western Maine include:

Dads Maple Sugar Shack
Joe & Darlene Lavoie
1061 Naples Rd
Harrison ME 04040
207-890-8025 /

March 26-27
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tours; goodies; and farm animals.

Colonial Hill Farm
Seth & Miranda Bell
201 Mill Hill Road
Waterford ME 04088
207-583-2318 /

March 27
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
wood-fired sugar shack; maple syrup, popcorn, donuts and more.


Dunham Farm – Velvet Hollow Sugar Works
Brian & Suzanne Dunham
29 Dunham Road
Greenwood ME 04255
207-665-2967 /

March 26-27
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Blueberry pancake breakfast 8-12; maple turkey chili 12-4; heated and outdoor dining.

The Farm at Rowe Hill
Robert & Marilyn Oickle
231 Rowe Hill Road
Greenwood ME 04255
207-576-5104 /

March 26-27
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Demonstrations; free vanilla ice cream with maple syrup; syrup sales.

Swain Family Farm
Ruel Swain Jr.
185 West Bethel Road
Bethel ME 04217

March 27
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Demonstration; ice cream with syrup and maple candy samples.


Jim’s Sugar House
James Bernard
296 Maple Ridge Road
Harrison ME 04040
207-449-6511 /

March 26-27
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sugarhouse tour; selling maple nuts, lollipops, syrup and sugar.

A Wrinkle in Thyme Farm
Mary Ann Haxton
106 Black Mountain Road
Sumner ME 04292
207-212-4058 /

March 27
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Visit the store; meet the new lambs. Masks required in store and sugar house.

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