(Spoiler alert: way-cool video link at the end of the article)
Right out your back door (so to speak) are the finest maple sugar producers in the world (and they're not in Vermont!). Shushan, Salem, Argyle, Hartford and surrounds boast an unusually high concentration of maple sugar trees, which not only makes the area more beautiful than any other in the Fall, it makes it more deliciously productive in the Spring. Over the next two weekends, you can get up close and personal with the maple sugaring process by attending any one of a number of maple sugar pancake breakfasts held right on the farms that produce the elixir. A typical meal costs just a few dollars and features a couple of sausage links, a small stack of pancakes and WARM maple syrup. In some places you can actually be dripped upon from the gathering condensation created by the sugaring process. It doesn't get any more authentic than that!
For information and directions, let me direct you to: http://www.newyorkmaple.com/html/find_a_sugarhouse.html
If you'd like to get a glimpse of the area of which I am speaking, check out my buddy Terry Campbell's video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJmDW0OtWMk which is not only educational, it shows you the area surrounding their sap house.