Spectacular Summer Activities in the Litchfield Hills

Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills region is a wonderful place for a summer getaway. 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 fun summer activities you won’t want to miss:

1. Ride the Housatonic Heritage Bike Trail

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, restaurants, and country store. Consider taking a picnic to enjoy on the green lawns of Norfolk’s lovely Stoeckel estate, with meandering streams, stone bridges and flower gardens.

 

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. View New England’s scenic waterfalls

Two of the state’s best waterfalls are in the northwest corner of Connecticut, just a brief drive from the inn and are well worth a visit.

Campbell Falls

Great Falls

This 60-foot drop of the Housatonic River is located in nearby Falls Village. The main viewing platform is just a short walk from the parking area so you can make it a short hike, or hike along the Appalachian Trail, which runs right along the falls. Grab lunch in 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.

 

 

 

 

4. 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. At the Touring Car Festival (May 8-9), you can experience track racing action plus midway, concessions, open paddocks and fan experiences. And don’t miss Lime Rock’s popular Memorial Day Classic, with a mix of modern and vintage cars that brings in car enthusiasts from all over the world. This event features the Trans Am series qualifying trials and races and the Royals Car Show, which will provide a close look at all types of cars, including muscle cars, street rods, classic cars, race cars and more.  Other summer events include the SCCA New England Regional Races (June 12-13), the IMSA Northeast Grand Prix (July 17-18) and the Historic Labor Day Festival (Sept. 3-7). Start your engines!

 

5. Explore Culture and History

 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.

 

These are just a few of the 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 summer getaway today!