Make maple syrup season even sweeter with a Sugar Camp Guided Hiking Tour at Canterbury Shaker Village. Join local land surveyor Mark Stevens for a two-mile tour to the Shaker’s remote sugar camp on Saturday, March 12, 19, or 26 from 1 – 5 PM.

On this exclusive tour, participants will walk back in time through the remnants of a once thriving Shaker Village maple sugar camp, now seemingly lost and forgotten deep in the woods. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Shakers spent their early spring days gathering sap and their nights boiling maple syrup and making candy.

At the conclusion of the maple season, the Shakers would emerge from the camp and return to Shaker Village with their sweet harvest in hand. Records indicate that in 1864, at the height of American Civil War, the Shaker Village Church Family set out almost 1200 wooden buckets for the gathering of sap and produced almost 700 barrels of maple syrup. The syrup was not only an important sweetener for the many mouths they fed daily, but an important cash crop for sale to the outside world.

Explore the foundation remnants, compare historic photos with existing site conditions, and hear an excerpt from a journal entry written in the late 1880s by Shaker Brethren Nicholas Briggs, who describes life at this sugar camp when it was a hubbub of activity.

To ensure social distancing, each Sugar Camp Guided Hiking Tour is limited to 14 people. Masks are required and participants should dress for the weather and come prepared to hike 3 – 4 miles round trip through the woods on trails that may be muddy or icy. For more information, contact Jill Lessard at 603.783.9511 x202 or email jlessard@shakers.org.