The Litchfield Hills region of northwestern Connecticut is a rolling, forested landscape of hidden treasures. Here are historic villages and an unspoiled countryside with more state parks and public lands than any other area in Southern New England. While Connecticut residents view their back-woods playground as charming and sophisticated, the New York celebrities who make it their second home find it quiet and quaint.

RIVERTON

Off the beaten track, Riverton became a destination following the restoration of the old Lambert Hitchcock chair factory on its original site beside the Farmington River. Employees can be observed weaving, woodworking, rushing and stenciling behind the gift shop and furniture showroom at the Hitchcock Chair Co. Factory Store. Store personnel open the fine Hitchcock Museum in the Old Union Church by appointment. The People's and American Legion state forests along the Farmington River provide picturesque picnicking, camping and fishing sites.

Sweet Pea's, 6 Riverton Rd., Riverton. (860) 379-7020. Click here to read capsule review.

NORFOLK

A wealthy early summer colony, the Norfolk area along the Massachusetts border includes secluded estates and a lively summer music season that once gave it the title "the Lenox of Connecticut." The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Yale Summer School of Music carry on the century-old tradition with summer concerts in the redwood-lined Music Shed on the hilly grounds of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel estate west of the village green.

>> Norfolk Lodging Suggestions

Manor House, Maple Avenue, Box 447, Norfolk. (860) 542-5690.

Angel Hill Bed & Breakfast, 54 Greenwoods Road East, Box 504, Norfolk. (860) 542-5920.

SALISBURY/LAKEVILLE

The Hotchkiss and Salisbury preparatory schools, lakes and nearby cultural attractions have drawn residents and weekenders to these adjoining towns in the northwesternmost corner. Music Mountain in the Falls Village section of Lakeville hosts the oldest continuous summer chamber music festival in the United States. Lime Rock Park, one of America's oldest sports car tracks, is a bucolic setting for summer races.

>> Salisbury/Lakeville Lodging & Dining Suggestions

Interlaken Inn, 74 Interlaken Road (Route 112), Lakeville. (860) 435-9878 or (800) 222-2909.

>> Salisbury/Lakeville Lodging Suggestions

The White Hart, The Village Green, Box 545, Salisbury. (860) 435-0030 or (800) 832-0041.

>> Salisbury/Lakeville Dining Suggestions

Pastorale Bistro & Bar, 223 Main St., Lakeville. (860) 435-1011. Click here to read capsule review.

Woodland Restaurant, 192 Sharon Rd., Lakeville. (860) 435-0578. Click here to read capsule review.

CORNWALL