Day Trips: Captivating Waterfalls and Hiking Trails at Kent Falls State Park

Experience the wonder of Kent Falls State Park, a hidden gem in Connecticut. Hike through lush forests, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and soak in the serene beauty of this must-visit state park.

Day Trips: Captivating Waterfalls and Hiking Trails at Kent Falls State Park

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Once Independence Day arrives on the calendar, you come to a realization. For those residing outside the Northeast and Upper Midwest of America, it's a familiar refrain: "I can't believe we're already halfway through the year." However, for those in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, it's a different sentiment altogether: "Finally, it's warm outside!" This time of year marks the end of hibernation (except for those scorching heat wave days!) and our state and national parks become true treasures, offering a refreshing break from our daily routines. Not only do they provide a way to spend our weekends, but they also serve as great pit stops during our travels. Tucked away in the mountains that border Connecticut and New York, within driving distance of Springfield, MA, and the Hudson Valley, NY, lies a hidden gem of a location that is perfect for a picnic with friends or a scenic hike to admire a beautiful waterfall. Personally, I lean towards the latter option, but regardless, this place truly has something for everyone.

Follow The Black Paved Road

When you arrive at Kent Falls State Park, you'll be welcomed by a charming covered walkway bridge that spans over a small stream. As you stroll along the bridge, you'll notice little "windows" carved out, allowing you to peer down at the gentle flow of water beneath your feet. It's a delightful introduction to the park and sets the tone for your adventure ahead. Continuing your walk, you'll come across inviting picnic tables and grilling stations. During my visit, I witnessed countless families, groups of friends, and couples enjoying picnics in the park. One particular family had a clever setup with a tabletop grill placed on top of an existing grill (a brilliant idea, if you ask me!). As you venture further along the trail, the grand waterfall comes into view, its cascading waters creating a mesmerizing sight. You can choose to pause and admire its beauty, or if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can even "climb" the trail that parallels the waterfall using the sturdy stones. I thought to myself, why not!

Climbing Up That Hill

Remember when I mentioned that this hill would challenge your fitness level? Well, it definitely gave me a run for my money! This stone walkway, with its steep incline, will truly put your gym workouts to the test. Despite the difficulty, there are five picturesque overlooks where you can pause, catch your breath, and admire the stunning views. The waterfall appears much grander up close than from afar, providing a calming sight as you ascend the hill. I made sure to utilize these overlooks on my way up and down, not only to rest but also to soak in the beauty of the waterfall. Be cautious on this steep climb and take your time if you decide to tackle it!

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Kent Falls and the hill it sits on may not compare to the grandeur of Mount Washington or even a modest hill. The slope is steep, but you're only ascending about 250 feet above sea level, with the highest point reaching 794 feet above sea level. So, you're not exactly conquering Mount Everest! Nevertheless, the feeling of triumph washes over you as you make your way to the top along that rugged trail of stones and dirt. Once you reach the summit, it's as if you're witnessing a serene river flowing peacefully. It's truly remarkable how a tranquil river can transform into a roaring waterfall with just a change in elevation. That's the magic of waterfalls! The real victory lies in the journey of ascending to the top and then descending back down. The descent can be challenging too, with its rocky terrain, but fear not, for there is a sturdy railing along the trail to guide you. Take your time as you descend the hill, ensuring you maintain your balance. You'll certainly make the most of these scenic overlooks as you make your way down. It's quite a hike, and it will undoubtedly put your fitness to the test, but the experience is well worth it. And the best part? It won't consume your entire day!

Take Me Home, Country Roads

Google Maps Screenshot

Kent Falls State Park can be found along State Route 7, which serves as a rural highway in this region. If you decide to embark on a day trip from the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Berkshires, you'll be treated to a breathtaking drive. As you make your way, you'll pass by charming houses, small businesses, and an occasional gas station, all while noticing that the area remains delightfully untouched and in its natural state. The southern end of the Berkshires stand tall, while the Housatonic River meanders nearby. Along your journey, you'll come across picturesque New England towns, each possessing their own unique charm and character. The town of Kent is nearby the park, and boasts a Main Street adorned with local mom and pop businesses, restaurants, and ice cream shops. Additionally, you'll discover the excellent Kent Falls Brewing Company nearby, as well as some outstanding wineries in the vicinity. There's truly something captivating for everyone to enjoy in this magnificent area.