- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2002

44th annual Highland Maple Festival
Find dancing, live music, pancake suppers and trout fry, barbecued-chicken roast, maple-flavored dishes at most festival sites and formal seating for a spring lamb dinner. Country craft show and antiques, jewelry, photo and painting exhibition, pottery, baked goods and craft demonstrations. Ruins of Civil War breastworks and battlefields, Confederate and Union headquarters buildings.
The place is Monterey and vicinity in Highland County, Va., about 150 miles as the crow flies southwest of the White House (45 miles west of Staunton, Va.; the drive can take four hours or more from the District, depending on road selection).
The time is morning until night this Saturday and Sunday and March 16 and 17.

Sugar camps
Cold-weather clothing and sturdy walking shoes are suggested for visitors to three classic maple sugar camps, all within a few miles of downtown Monterey, because sugar camps are outdoors.
Eagle Sugar Camp at Doe Hill, a 200-year-old gem using old-fashioned wood-fired evaporators to make maple sugar products. Barbecue, brown beans and corn bread sold along with jugs of freshly made syrup. 540/396-6126 and [email protected]
Puffenbarger's Sugar Orchard at Blue Grass, a state-of-the-art camp using modern equipment producing maple products, with maple doughnuts for sale. 540/474-2771
Rexrode's Sugar Orchard in Hightown, a five-generation family producer using old-fashioned "open pan" system, as well as newer one. Maple products and ham sandwiches, chili dogs, maple-flavored cotton candy, fudge and popcorn for sale. 540/468-2725/2351

Sugarhouses are enclosed places where sugar water is boiled down to syrup.
Sugar Tree Country Store & Sugar House in McDowell, a pre-Civil War country store with a large sugarhouse in the back. Myriad maple products, antiques, books and other collectibles sold, along with country ham, Brunswick stew and maple doughnuts. 800/396-2445 and www.sugartreecountrystore.com.

Southernmost Maple Products in Bolar, a country store with a modern sugarhouse attached. Maple products and maple-cooked barbecue, pork skins, hot dogs and maple doughnuts sold. 540/468-2682

Practically impossible to get a room during the festival at a dozen or more nearby guesthouses, bed-and-breakfasts, a more modern roadside motel and the historic Highland Inn, whose prominent guests have included Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. Gen. Erwin Rommel, Germany's "desert fox" of World War II, also is said to have stayed three months at the inn in the 1930s while studying the tactics of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
Last-minute visitors could look for lodging in nearby Staunton, a bustling university town 45 miles away over high mountains roads, with abundant hotel capacity.

Dining in Monterey
The Highland Inn's restaurant is a Victorian room offering wine service and moderately successful hotel-quality food; entrees cost $9 to $23. Call for reservations 540/468-2143
High's Restaurant and the Maple Restaurant, both on Main Street across from the Highland Inn, are rustic country cafes, featuring inexpensive breakfasts, lunches and dinners. No reservations needed.
Royal Pizza & Subs, next to the gas station, offers standard Italian-inspired American cooking.
A complete listing of events, accommodations, maps, and other information is available at www.highlandcounty.org.
Raymond M. Lane

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