Connecticut's Waterfalls: Five Beauties Not To Miss

Peter Marteka
Contact ReporterNature's Path & Way To Go

There are many waterfalls of all shapes and sizes across Connecticut. Some like Kent Falls and Wadsworth Falls are right outside your car door. But in order to feel the spray and hear the roar of these five waterfalls, you will have to embark on a bit of an outdoor adventure and hike to them.

Nonnewaug Falls, Woodbury — Nonnewaug Falls is an island surrounded by farm fields.

The falls, in the middle of a hemlock forest, are fed by a clear, gentle stream — the East Nonnewaug River — that cuts channels into the rocky ledges. Moss covers the rock outcroppings, the gnarled and twisted root of the hemlocks and the boulders in the stream.

"Viewed as a whole," wrote William Cothren in his "History of Ancient Woodbury," published in 1854, "it is as wild and romantic a place as can anywhere be found in our country."

Route 61 north to Nonnewaug Road, take a right on Falls Road and follow to the end.

Enders Falls, Granby — There are five unique waterfalls located within a quarter-mile hike of one another. A trail follows the northern side of the falls with several side trails leading to overlooks. Each waterfall gets larger and grander as visitors wind their way past moss-covered rocks. The middle falls is the most spectacular and photographic with a plunge and a fantail into a deep pool.

Route 20 to Route 219 and look for the parking area on the left.

Campbell Falls, Norfolk — You will have to travel in two states to see these falls which are actually in Massachusetts, but were a gift to both the Bay State and Connecticut.

The journey from Norfolk to New Marlborough, Mass., sounds lengthy, but it's only about a half mile from the parking lot. The trail winds under huge white pines and past several granite slabs that mark the border between the two states. The trail eventually winds down to the falls, which visitors can hear before they see.

The falls are a 62-foot-high double-plunge along a granitic gneiss ledge. A side trail to the top brings visitors to a massive stone arch bridge and a view looking into the spectacular falls.

Route 44 to Route 272 and left on Spaulding Road.

Roaring Brook Falls, Cheshire — Nestled in the southwest corner of Cheshire near the town's border with Prospect, Roaring Brook Falls is the main attraction of a 75-acre preserve by the same name. And with its 80-foot drop from the top of a talus slope to a deep rocky pool below, it is the state's highest plunge.

The trail to the falls is more than a mile long and passes a solitary chimney in the woods. The trail is rugged and difficult as hikers near the falls. But the effort is worth it as the falls cascade down the craggy slope with many smaller plunges to the north of the main falls.

Route 10 to Route 42 and a right on Mountain Road and left on Roaring Brook Road. Trailhead is at the end of the road.

Dean's Ravine Falls, Canaan — A trail passes huge boulders and under large pine trees to a deep, narrow chasm where water drops over a 50-foot-high cliff and into a fantail down a large ledge. The trail which passes the falls was once part of the Appalachian Trail before it was rerouted west of the Housatonic River in the late 1980s. It is now part of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association's Mohawk Trail.

Park at the intersection of Music Mountain and Cream Hill roads and follow the blue blazes west.

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