Litchfield Hills parks & Trails
Mt. Tom is one of the oldest parks in the state park system; established in 1915. There is a stone tower on top of the mountain that is a favored destination among hikers. The summit of Mt. Tom is 1325 feet above sea level. The tower trail is less than one mile long and rises some 500 feet.
Nestled in the Litchfield Hills, Topsmead State Forest remains a precious piece of a past era with fine craftsmanship and understated wealth evident throughout the former summer estate of Miss Edith Morton Chase.
The 998-acre Steep Rock preserve offers hiking trails which follow the river banks and provide access into the hillsides above. Near its north end, there are vestiges of carriage roads, one of which leads from Tunnel Road to the site of the Holiday House (no longer standing), a hotel built in 1893 by philanthropist Edward I. Van Ingen as a retreat for young working women from New York City, designed by renowned architect Ehrick Rossiter.
The White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center is located in the Towns of Litchfield and Morris in northwestern Connecticut. Created in 1913 by Alain C. White and his sister, May W. White, the Foundation and Center today comprise 4,000 acres of forest, fields and wetlands.
From 1,683’ Mohawk Mountain, on a clear day, the view is literally “forever”. Colonial historians note the use of the high promontory by the Tunxis and Paugussett Indians who used smoke signals to warn local tribes of the approach of the Mohawks from the north and west. Although tribal wars terminated centuries ago, the name “Mohawk Mountain” has carried forward.
More than 120 years ago two forces came together that ultimately left us with today’s Camp Columbia State Historic Park. In the late 19th century, the 955 acre Bantam Lake had become a bustling resort community. The community caught the eye of Columbia College Engineering School of Plane Surveying, which had begun teaching classes in 1884. The Engineering School decided to move its classes to Connecticut in 1885. That summer saw a group of 46 students spend their summer at the new engineering camp in the country. They stayed the season at the Horatio Benton Farm, working and learning in the surrounding towns and forests.
Waramaug is the name of an Indian chief of the Wyantenock tribe who had hunting grounds near falls on the Housatonic River. Chief Waramaug and his followers wintered in the area now covered by Lake Lillinonah, which was later created by damming the Housatonic, and made Lake Waramaug their summer residence. The land comprising the park, consisting of approximately 95 acres, was purchased by the State in 1920.
Wander across the covered bridge, hike the falls, and feel the mist on your face as water cascades 250' down on its way to joining the Housatonic River. Kent Falls Trail winds 1/4 mile up along the falls. Although not difficult to walk, it is steep. There are many scenic vantage points that can be enjoyed along the trail.
The 2,300-acre Macedonia Brook State Park, originated with a 1,552-acre gift from the White Memorial Foundation of Litchfield in 1918. The park's exciting terrain has resulted from the slow wearing down of its hard rock formation base. The Blue Trail crosses Cobble Mountain and several other peaks, offering outstanding views of the Catskills and Taconics. Numerous springs and streams add to the pleasure of hiking.