Berkshires and Southern Vermont Pancake Trail: Grab a fork and bring your appetite
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
Worthington, MA 01098
Worthington, MA 01098
Worthington, MA 01098
Hancock, MA 01237
Williamstown, MA 01267
Rutland, Vt 05702
Westmoreland, NH 03467
To find some of the best pancakes served up by sugarhouses in the Berkshires and Southern Vermont (and a few just over the borders) we turned to Facebook to solicit advice from our readers, who were quick to name their favorites and even suggested a few pop-up pancake events that last only for a day or two.
Are you willing to travel for a really good short stack covered in syrupy sweetness?
Ioka Valley Farm, in Hancock, Mass., the only sugarhouse with a restaurant we're aware of in the Berkshires, is a favorite among our readers. The Leab family serves up pancakes in its Calf-A during the sugaring season and offers tours of their sugarhouse too. Another Berkshire favorite that pops up once a year is Maplefest in Williams College's Hopkins Memorial Forest. The free event, which takes place on Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., features pancakes, syrup taste tests and tours of the sugar house.
Another pop-up event our readers are fond of takes place at the Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, Vt. The two-day Pancake Breakfast and Maple Syrup Celebration takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 25 and 26.
Four of our suggestions came from just over the Berkshire-border in the Pioneer Valley: Gould's Maple Sugarhouse in Shelburne Falls, Mass., a three-generation family business celebrating its 57th year, along with Windy Hill Farm Sugar House, Red Bucket Sugar Shack and High Hopes Farm Sugar House, all located in Worthington, Mass.
"Windy Hill Farm Sugar House is a small place, but has a lot of character," Frank McDonald, of Pittsfield, wrote in an email to the Eagle about the Worthington-based sugarhouse and restaurant. "Their pancakes are the best and, of course, you can't have them without their homemade maple syrup."
But it's not just the pancakes and syrup that keep McDonald going back. The ambiance plays a big role too, he wrote, noting that patrons are waited on by the Mollison family after being seated at tables with long wooden benches.
Joni Olsen, of Lenox, and Deborah O'Connell, of Cheshire, cast their votes for High Hopes Farm Sugar House.
"Our family loves the 'all-you-care-to-eat' set up," said Olsen, whose family has been visiting the sugarhouse for five years. "The maple cream on the french toast is amazing. [It's] very rustic, laid back and cozy."
O'Connell, whose family has been making the trek to Worthington for the last nine years, said "they always have the wood stove stoked and the d cor is so interesting.
"[Our son] and his cousins meet there with all the grandparents to enjoy not only the amazing breakfast selection, but also the ambiance."
Darcie Sosa, of Pittsfield, admits she's a little bias when it comes to the Red Bucket Sugar Shack, as it's owned by her extended family.
"While waiting for a table, you get to watch the syrup being made," she wrote in an email. "The entire restaurant has large windows that overlook all the maple trees, antiques that hang on wood walls and picnic tables to sit at and a tree that comes up through the restaurant."
Sosa's not alone in her sentiment, as the sugar shack's restaurant has dozens of reviews on its Facebook page praising its food and staff. For many reviewers, the Red Bucket is a family tradition they're now sharing with their own children.
Our Vermont friends aren't afraid to travel either, as Stuart and John's Sugarhouse is a popular destination just over the state line in Westmoreland, N.H.
The Trail ....
1. Gould's Sugar House Restaurant
570 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne Falls, Mass.
Celebrating its 57th year in 2017, this sugarhouse serves up pancakes, fritters and sugar on snow daily from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
More info: facebook.com/GouldsSugarHouse/ or call 413-625-6170.
2. Windy Hill Farm Sugar House
Sam Hill Road, Worthington, Mass.
Offering pancakes, waffles, eggs and more.
Open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
More info.: facebook.com/Windy-Hill-Farm-Sugar-House-241910745979746/ or call 413-238-5869.
3. High Hopes Farm Sugar House
1132 Huntington Road, Route 112, Worthington, Mass.
Go to see the sugarhouse, stay for the all-you-can-eat breakfast featuring pancakes, french toast, scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, sausage and ham.
Breakfast is served weekends from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More info.: www.highhopesmaple.com/ or call: 413-238-5919
4. Red Bucket Sugar Shack
584 Kinne Brook Road, Worthington, Mass.
Pancakes, french toast, eggs, sausage and bacon make up just a small portion of the menu served up at the Red Bucket.
Open Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cash only.
More info.: facebook.com/The-Red-Bucket-Sugar-Shack-188141037877472/ or call 413-238-7710.
5. Ioka Valley Farm
3475 Hancock Road, Route 43, Hancock, Mass.
Ioka Valley Farm's Calf-A offers a variety of pancakes and sides during the sugaring season, which typically runs through the beginning of April.
Open weekends from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
More info.: www.iokavalleyfarm.com/ or call 413-738-5915
6. Maplefest at Hopkins Memorial Forest
271 Northwest Hill Road, Williamstown, Mass.
The annual celebration of all things maple takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 11. Visit the sugarhouse, see the evaporator in action, tap a tree, empty a bucket, check out traditional boilers, syrup bottling, have a pancake and take part in a maple taste test.
Rides from the Williams College Paresky Center are offered on the hour.
More info.: hmf.williams.edu/
7. Merck Forest and Farmland Center
3270 Route 315, Rupert, Vt.
The annual Pancake Breakfast and Maple Syrup Celebration takes place on Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More info.: www.merckforest.org/ or 802-394-7836
8. Stuart and John's Sugarhouse
31 Route 63, Westmoreland, N.H.
Pancakes, waffles, fritters and more round out the menu of this sugarhouse restaurant.
Serving breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
More info.: stuartandjohns.com/ or call 603-399-4486
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