Visit South Face Farm
What to expect when you visit
South Face Farm is located in Ashfield, Massachusetts, a small rural and farming community in the Berkshire foothills about 120 miles west of Boston and 25 miles northwest of Northampton, MA. Our traditional old New England sugarhouse is open when we are boiling, usually starting in late February and going thru late march or early April.
The sugarhouse was built about 50 years ago from lumber that was recycled from a 19th century barn in a neighboring town. It is nestled in a lovely rural spot with broad views out to the south, and surrounded by rolling hills that so characterize the Berkshires. During the fifties and sixties a number of additions were built on as needed and as more recycled building materials became available. It is very much a stereotypical rustic old New England farm building. From the early 1960's visitors have come from all over Massachusetts to witness the maple sugaring process. It is the third sugarhouse that we know of that has been in use on the farm in the past 100 years.
Because maple sugaring season is also mud season in rural New England, be aware that our parking area is gravel and can sometimes be wet from melting snow that usually remains on the ground here well into April. Remember: M stands for March, Mud and Maple! Also keep in mind that it's usually 10-15 degrees colder up here in the Berkshire hills than it is at lower elevations to the south and east. Check the current weather in Ashfield. Our sugarhouse is easy to find (directions), located only a half hour from Northampton, Greenfield or Pittsfield, and just off well maintained Rte. 116.
Staring in 1986 we operated a sugarhouse restaurant in the building in additoon to producing pre maple syrup. Starting with the 2017 season, we are no longer operating the restaurant, instead we are downsizing our life and working towards retirement, but we will continue to make maple syrup.
The maple sugaring season lasts about 6 weeks each spring, the start of which is depends entirely upon Mother Nature herself! Since maple sap flow is entirely dependent upon the right weather conditions (freezing nights followed by warm days), we are not always boiling on weekends, although we make an effort to do so. You can call ahead to see if we will be boiling. Unfortunately, due to insurance regulations, we can no longer offer tours of our boiling operation. However, you can safely view the operation from only a few feet away, and someone will always be on hand to answer any questions and explain the full procedure. We like our visitors to learn about this magical spring process, and endeavor to answer all questions. You will always be able to view the process and we like to answer questions. Regardless of the weather, fresh maple products are always available for sale, whether we are boiling that day or not.
This beautiful area of western Massachusetts has plenty of scenic roads, friendly country inns, antique shops and spectacular rural scenery. Weather permitting, there is both downhill and cross country skiing nearby, as well as hiking in local state forests. Come visit us for a real taste of New England.
How to find us
We are conveniently located in western Massachusetts 2 1/4 hours from Boston, 3/4 hour from Springfield, and a half hour from either Northampton, Greenfield and Pittsfield.
For GPS users coming here from Pittsfield or Northampton via Rte 9, please note that your GPS directions may have you turn off of Rte 9 and proceed over a small local road in very bad condition. The best way to get here is to follow the directions below.
Via the Massachusetts Turnpike:
Take the Turnpike to Exit 4 (I-91), then north to Exit 24, follow Rte. 116 North about 14 miles, through Ashfield Center, left onto Rte. 112 for 1 1/2 miles, then right again following Rte. 116. Go 2.3 miles and turn right at our sign onto Watson-Spruce Corner Rd. Go 1 1/4 miles to the sugarhouse. Alternatively you can get off I-91 at Northampton and follow the directions (Rte. 9) from Northampton, below.
Via Route 2:
Follow Rte. 2 West to I-91. Go south on I-91 for one exit, then west again on Rte. 2 for about 10 miles. Turn on Rte. 112 South just past Shelburne Falls. Go up Rte. 112 for 9 miles, turn right onto Rte. 116 North, (which is 1.5 miles past the left turn for 116 South). Go 2.3 miles and turn right at our sign onto Watson-Spruce Corner Rd. Go 1 1/4 miles to the sugarhouse.
From the Springfield/Northampton area:
Take I-91 to Northampton. Follow Rte. 9 West up to Goshen, turn right onto Rte. 112 North for 4 1/4 miles, then left at the school onto Rte. 116 North. Go 2.3 miles and turn right at our sign onto Watson-Spruce Corner Rd. Go 1 1/4 miles to the sugarhouse.
From the west:
Follow Rte. 9 East to Cummington, turn left at signs for Plainfield, which are about a 1/4 mile past the Rte. 112 intersection. Go 4 miles up to Plainfield. Turn right onto Rte 116 and go about 4 miles and turn left at our sign onto Watson-Spruce Corner Rd. Go 1 1/4 miles to the sugarhouse.