5 Reasons to Visit Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills This Spring

Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills region is a wonderful place for a spring getaway. As the snow melts and the flowers start to bloom, the natural beauty of the region is breathtaking. Outdoor enthusiasts will find many opportunities to explore the area by hiking, biking and paddling. The region is home to a number of cultural and historical attractions as well. Here are 5 spring activities you won’t want to miss:

1. Ride the Housatonic Heritage Bike Trails

The Housatonic River Valley has become a popular destination for cyclists, with its scenic views and quaint villages. Cycling routes offer memorable views of rolling hills, covered bridges, horse farms and luscious green countryside. The 45-mile Housatonic Bike Trail is broken down into 10 segments and maps make it easy to choose a ride based on length and terrain.

The quaint town of Norfolk is also a lovely place for a leisurely bike ride. Hop on one of our complimentary cruiser bikes to explore the historic homes, artisan guild, full-service restaurants, and country store. Consider taking a picnic to enjoy on the green lawns of the Stoeckel estate.

2. Paddle the Historic Housatonic River

The Housatonic River runs through northwestern CT and its waters are perfect for kayaking and canoeing for all levels of experience. The gentle currents north of the Great Falls dam in Falls Village and south of the dam between West Cornwall and Kent are known for flatwater paddling. You’ll be in for a treat as you paddle past picturesque meadows, farms or even a covered bridge.  Rattlesnake Rapids in Falls Village and Bull’s Bridge in Kent offer challenging whitewater runs for expert paddlers.

Bring your own kayaks or canoes or rent them at one of the local outfitters. Half and full day guided canoe and rafting trips are also available for the adventurous.

3. Attend the Races at Lime Rock Park

Home to the Skip Barber Racing School, Lime Rock Park is the oldest continuously operating road racing venue in the country and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The racing season officially begins with the Memorial Day Classic.  Enjoy a mix of modern and vintage cars during this 3-day event that will bring in car enthusiasts from all over the world.  Friday and Saturday (May 24 and 25) will feature the Trans Am series qualifying trials and races.  On Sunday, the Royals Car Show will give attendees the opportunity to get a close look at all types of cars, including muscle cars, street rods, classic cars, race cars and more.  Another fun Lime Rock event will be held on June 14 and 15, when the New England Region of the Sports Car Club of America will provide two full days of amateur racing.  Start your engines for these exciting spring activities!

4. Explore Culture and History

Mark Twain House & Museum

Interested in learning more about one of our nation’s defining cultural figures?  The Mark Twain Museum is located in the author’s restored Hartford home, where Twain and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works during the years he lived there, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. We highly recommend the Living History Tour, where costumed guides assume the role of Twain’s family members and staff to provide guests with a behind-the-scenes look at the author’s life and works.

Norman Rockwell Museum

Founded in 1969, the Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to the enjoyment and study of Rockwell’s work and his contributions to society, popular culture, and social commentary.

The museum houses the world’s largest and most significant collection of Rockwell’s work, including 998 original paintings and drawings. Rockwell lived in Stockbridge for the last 25 years of his life. Rockwell’s Stockbridge studio, moved to the Museum site, is open to the public from May through October, and features original art materials, his library, furnishings, and personal items. The Museum also houses the Norman Rockwell Archives, a collection of more than 100,000 items, including working photographs, letters, personal calendars, fan mail, and business documents.

5. View New England’s scenic waterfalls

Melting snow up north makes spectacular spring waterfalls in the northwest corner of Connecticut.  Two of the state’s best waterfalls are just a brief drive from the inn and are well worth a visit.

Great Falls

Spring is the best time to catch this 60-foot drop of the Housatonic River located in nearby Falls Village. The rest of the year, a dam diverts the river for power generation and the falls slow to a trickle except during occasional dam releases. The main viewing platform is just a short walk from the parking area.  The Appalachian Trail runs right along the falls so if you have time, you can hike from the falls down to the quaint town of Falls Village.

Campbell Falls

One of Norfolk’s best secrets, Campbell Falls is just a few miles north of the inn. The 50-foot drop of the Whiting River is actually just over the MA border in New Marlborough but the trailhead is in Campbell Falls State Park in Norfolk.  Hike down to the falls on a lovely gently-sloped trail lined by ferns.

Campbell Falls

These are just a few of the spring activities guests enjoy while visiting the Manor House Inn. We love ensuring our guests have a memorable stay by helping them explore all of the unique experiences the region offers. Check out the Activities page on our website for other ideas or give us a call- we’re happy to share information about the area we call home. Plan your Litchfield Hills spring getaway today!