Rushing water often helps us to feel peaceful and less stressed, and many people seek out these natural beauties to rejuvenate themselves.
Maybe it’s the sound of the water, knowing how powerful nature is, or something else entirely. There is certainly beauty in cascading water that rolls from any height over limestone or other rocky cliffs.
Connecticut, with its rolling hills, offers some magnificent waterfalls that you might wish to see on your next journey through the state. From spectacular 250 foot waterfalls in national parks to more demure – but no less pretty – falls right in the center of town.
If you love the great outdoors and want to feel refreshed and rejuvenated, check out some of these amazing waterfalls in Connecticut.
1. Mount Carmel Springs Falls
Mount Carmel Springs Falls can be found in Hamden, inside Sleeping Giant State Park. The waterfall stands 76 feet high but has a modest amount of water.
It is best to see Mount Carmel during the monsoon season or spring run-off, as this is when the water is at its fullest.
The park is open from 8 am until sunset on a daily basis, so one can really venture to the falls at any time of the year.
2. Great Falls
Most states have a waterfall called Great Falls because it seems an apt name for a high, cascading plunge of water.
Great Falls is near Falls Village. The amount of water that plunges down the cliffs is based on the upriver dam or the rainfall. The dam helps supply the town with water, but sometimes more water needs to be let out to ensure there is no trouble at the dam.
“Great Falls” is a rather deceptive name in this case, as the drop is more a series of steps progressing down 60 feet. It is not the highest waterfall in the state by any means; however, it is a powerful fall when the dam is released or springtime comes around. The expanse is also wider, ensuring lots of water can flow in a short amount of time.
3. Wadsworth Little Falls
Wadsworth Little Falls is near Middlefield inside Wadsworth Falls State Park. Being inside a state park, there are plenty of hiking trails, including the one that leads visitors to Wadsworth Little Falls.
Visitors to the park can enjoy biking, hiking, picnicking, fishing, or swimming from 8 am to sunset.
Wadsworth Little Falls is 52 feet high, with a step style drop.
4. Stair Brook Falls
Stair Brook Falls is in North Branford. Visitors can take the Mattabesett Trail to reach the falls.
The landscape surrounding the waterfall is stunning; the cascade is fed by a small creek running over a gully. The creek flows over Totoket Mountain, and the rainfall has created a natural pathway in the granite rocks, allowing the waterfall to go from the top of the mountain to the gully below in a plunge turned stair design.
The brook runs parallel to the trail for most of the way, but to see the waterfall requires going off the path a short distance to get the best view.
5. Yantic Falls
Yantic Falls is in Norwich. Rather than being a short drive from town or in a state park, Yantic Falls is literally downtown.
The falls are also known by the name Indian Leap Falls. It is said that warring tribes would battle at the falls and there were many casualties – thus it was known as Indian Leap.
Yantic Falls is fed by a huge river that flows into a narrow gorge. The waterfalls over a fairly smooth ledge, rushing over rocks in some spots, before plunging into a huge pool.
Norwich is an industrial place, so it is not possible to swim in the pool below.
6. Roaring Brook Falls
Roaring Brook Falls in Cheshire drops 80 feet and is maintained by the Cheshire Land Trust.
The waterfall is named for Roaring Brook, which eventually falls over an 80-foot cliff. It is described as a horsetail type of waterfall.
The land was put in a trust to protect the heritage, which archeologists date to the Algonquian Native Americans. Eventually, the area was settled by Europeans, and by the late 1800’s, New Haven was formed as the nearest town.
The waterfall was privately owned until the mid 70’s. The Town of Cheshire bought it to protect it from development, but the land trust requires special permission from visitors to access the trails and waterfall.
7. Kent Falls
Kent Falls in Kent is one of the highest waterfalls in the state. The water plunges in various stages over 250 feet in total.
The amazing part about this waterfall is that it takes about a quarter mile for the total drop from the top of the river to the plunge pool beneath.
Travelers can go to Kent Falls State Park and take the trail to Kent Falls. Follow signs to Litchfield Hills and you will discover the trailhead. As a state park, it is open all year, from 8 am to sunset.
8. Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls near Plymouth is part of an area of land that is managed and owned by the Nature Conservancy.
Visitors to the area are welcome to take Mattatuck Trail along the river and wind their way up to Buttermilk Falls.
Surrounding the waterfall are many hemlock trees. The waterfall runs down granite rock in a near straight plunge ending in a small pool beneath. The cascade is best seen during spring runoff or after a heavy rain.
9. Dean’s Ravine Falls
Dean’s Ravine Falls is near Falls Village, in Canaan. Like many of the waterfalls in the state, it is best seen during spring runoff or after a downpour.
The falls has a short drop before it turns slightly to meander over rocks and eventually makes its way to the bottom of the mountain. The elevation gain on the trail may be decent, but the ascent feels less strenuous due to the moderate change in slope as one ascends.
Dean’s Ravine Falls plunges 50 feet from the top of Reed Brook. There is an elevation loss of 100 feet on the trail.
10. Burr Falls
Burr Falls is in Burr Pond State Park, near Torrington. It is 43 feet high, plunging over granite stones.
Over time, the top of the river has become smooth and even the stones below are smooth. It is not a rushing falls, but one that might remind you of a fountain, with just enough water to make it amazing.
Burr Pond State Park offers swimming, picnicking, and hiking. It is possible to hike to Burr Falls or take the trail in search of a bronze tablet. The tablet states the role the state had in the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution. The pond is a favorite spot for swimming and there is a lifeguard three to five days a week in the summertime.
11. Aspetuck Falls
Aspetuck Falls is in Litchfield County. It is most likely town-owned property; however, the ownership is not known. There are no private property signs telling people to stay off or not hike the trail.
The trail is an easy one, but you can also see the falls from the roadside if you don’t feel like making the short walk.
Aspetuck Falls has a 20-foot drop that plunges from the top of Aspetuck River to the bottom. The best water flow is during April and the rainy months.
12. Burlington Falls
Burlington Falls in Burlington are part of Hartford County. The waterfall is part of the New Britain Water Department Conservation Commission Land – meaning the property is private; however, visitors are able to hike the trail to see the falls.
Dogs are also allowed, but no swimming is permitted. The waterfall is part of Bunnell Brook. It has a 15-foot drop with a medium hike up to the falls.
Burlington Falls is described as a horsetail based on the flow and how it plunges into the pool beneath. April to November is the best time of year to see Burlington Falls.
13. Carpenter’s Falls
Carpenter’s Falls in Granby, Hartford County has an 18-foot drop. It is part of McLean Game Refuge Wildlife Sanctuary.
Visitors can hike 0.7 miles along an easy trail to see Beach Brook fall over the rocky cliff. There is an elevation gain of 150 feet.
April and May are the best times to visit the falls, but any time of the year it’s possible at any time of year given the easy hike. Dogs are allowed on the trail as long as they are on their leash and visitors pick up after them.
14. Chapman Falls
Chapman Falls in East Haddam is in Middlesex County. Reaching the waterfall is a very short 0.1-mile hike through Devil’s Hopyard State Park.
Several large boulders create a block type waterfall with a 60-foot drop.
Chapman Falls is along Eightmile River. The trail is considered easy, with only five minutes of hiking time required to reach the falls from the parking lot. April through November is the best time to visit, but it can be accessed all year.
15. Enders Falls
Enders Falls is near Granby, in Hartford County. The waterfall is part of Enders State Forest, allowing visitors access to the trail and gently sloping waterfall.
The tallest drop is only 30 feet, but it offers plunging, cascading, sliding, and horsetail water elements. The trail is of medium difficulty, with a 0.3-mile one-way hike to the lowermost point. The best time to visit is between April and November.