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Connecticut (CT) may be one of the smaller states, but it’s big on natural wonders, and one of the most breathtaking is its spectacular waterfalls. From tranquil trickles to thundering torrents, these cascades will take your breath away.
Some waterfalls in Connecticut are well-known attractions, while others are hidden gems waiting to be explored. But all offer a glimpse into the state’s incredible natural beauty.
So, pack light for long hikes, lace up your boots, and get ready to be amazed by these waterfalls in CT.
To help you plan your adventure, I’ve rounded up some of the most gorgeous waterfalls in Connecticut. In addition, we share the best trails to explore their surrounding nature and reach them. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
1. Kent Falls
Kent Falls State Park is a tranquil oasis that covers over 295 acres of forested land. Its main attraction is the stunning Kent Falls, the tallest waterfall in CT.
Kent Falls is a series of cascades on Falls Brook, a tributary of the Housatonic River. These cascades drop an impressive 250 feet in under a quarter mile.
From the top of Kent Falls, the water tumbles down over steep rocks and through narrow crevices, creating pools that provide a haven for plant life and woodland critters.
But the beauty of Kent Falls isn’t just in the falls themselves. Trails wind throughout the lush Litchfield Hills region of southern Berkshires. For a short hike, take the Kent Falls Red and Yellow Loop, which is just over half a mile long and leads to the falls.
2. Great Falls
Great Falls is one of the most-visited waterfalls in Connecticut. Nestled in the picturesque Falls Village, this 50-foot waterfall is truly a sight to behold.
Great Falls is unique because you can get up close and personal by paddling a kayak right below the falls. The power of the falls is said to rival that of Niagara Falls, making it a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts.
While the waterfall is undoubtedly the main attraction, it’s worth noting that it’s also dam-controlled and supplies water to the surrounding towns. This means that the volume of water going over the falls can vary from time to time.
Great Falls is only a short hike from the parking lot, making it easily accessible. And if you’re looking for a more extended adventure, the Appalachian Trail in Falls Village is nearby.
3. Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls is a true hidden gem located near the quaint town of Plymouth in Litchfield County. This 55-foot beauty may not be the most well-known waterfall in Connecticut, but it’s undoubtedly one of the prettiest.
The waterfall is part of the 300-acre Buttermilk Falls State Park, which also includes a swimming area, picnic spots, and hiking trails.
There are various hiking trails you can follow to get to Buttermilk Falls. The Buttermilk Falls Trail is just over half a mile long, making it a manageable trek for visitors of all abilities.
It also features beautiful stone walls and staircases, adding to the charm of this already picturesque spot.
Suppose you want to see Buttermilk Falls in its most impressive state. Then visit during the spring season from March to May. During this time, the melting snow causes the water to rush down the cascade with tremendous force.
4. Chapman Falls
Located in the charming town of East Haddam, Chapman Falls is a beautiful waterfall that is part of Devil’s Hopyard State Park. This giant state park covers an impressive 1,000 acres of land in the state’s southeastern region.
The waterfall is on the Eightmile River that runs through the park. At just over 60 feet tall, Chapman Falls cascades over a series of ledges, creating an idyllic scene that draws visitors from all over.
To get to Chapman Falls, park your vehicle at the Devil’s Hopyard State Park parking lot and follow the well-marked Chapman Falls Loop trail. Several viewing platforms along the way provide stunning views of the waterfall. But going down to the river’s edge is an absolute must.
5. Roaring Brook Falls
If you want a more intimate and secluded waterfall experience, head to the remote Roaring Brook Falls in Cheshire. This hidden gem is located within a tranquil forest setting, making it the perfect spot for a peaceful waterfall hike and a refreshing swim.
Roaring Brook Falls is widely considered one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Connecticut. With a single drop of 90 feet, it is also the second-tallest waterfall in the state.
Roaring Brook Park offers a variety of trails, including the 1.5-mile Roaring Brook Trail, which leads to the base of the falls. The hike is moderately difficult, with steep sections that require good footwear and sturdy legs.
Don’t be discouraged, though — the payoff is well worth the challenging hike. You will be treated to a breathtaking view of the Roaring Brook Falls, surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of the cascading water.
6. Blackledge Falls
Blackledge Falls is located within the Meshomasic State Forest in Glastonbury. As part of the Blackledge River, the falls drop about 25 feet over a rocky outcropping into a deep pool below.
From the top of the falls, you will have incredible views of the dark, almost black, water as it drops over the ledge.
Depending on the water volume of the Blackledge River, the waterfall can be one, two, or three adjacent plunges, each between 22 and 25 feet in height. The middle plunge is a completely vertical drop. You can stand directly underneath it and get a refreshing natural shower.
To reach the falls, you can take the moderate-level Blackledge Falls Trail, which spans about 1.6 miles and offers scenic views of the river and surrounding forest. Just be cautious of wildlife, like coyotes and black bears, and follow guidelines for interacting with them.
7. Yantic Falls
Yantic Falls, also known as Indian Leap Falls, is a 40-foot waterfall in Norwich that combines both natural and manmade elements. The waterfall is a part-natural, part-dam design, with water flowing from the dam into the Yantic River.
Yantic Falls is not only a picturesque sight but also rich in history. The area was a favorite encampment of the Mohegan Indians, who were in battle against the Narragansetts in 1643.
Legend has it that a group of Narragansetts unknowingly reached the high cliff of the Yantic Falls during the battle. Rather than surrender, they attempted to leap but plunged to their deaths.
Aside from its fascinating history, Yantic Falls is a stunning sight, especially when heavy rain causes it to expand. There’s a train bridge over the falls and a pedestrian bridge across from the falls where you can enjoy the view.
8. Wadsworth Little Falls
This is a picturesque 40-foot waterfall in the Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middlefield, CT. It’s a small but beautiful waterfall that cascades down a series of rocky steps, eventually pooling at the base of the falls.
You can access the falls through a short and easy trail that’s suitable for hikers of all levels. The track is just about a quarter-mile long and will take you through a gorgeous forested area full of hemlock trees, wildflowers, and mountain laurel.
The best time to visit Wadsworth Little Falls is around spring break in the US, when the snowmelt creates a more powerful flow. However, the cascades are equally stunning in fall when the surrounding foliage is at its peak.
Either way, you will surely be astonished by this petite natural wonder’s beauty.
9. Spruce Brook Falls
Spruce Brook Falls is a stunning waterfall located in Naugatuck State Forest. The forest covers over 5,000 acres and has miles of trails to explore. If you are chasing waterfalls, you’ll be thrilled to know there are at least six or seven falls to discover here (depending on rainfall).
Spruce Brook Falls boasts a 15-foot plunge, and there are also rust-colored pools at the bottom, the deepest of which approaches 6 feet deep.
Although swimming is not recommended, you’ll be awed by the ravine’s lush plant life, which adds pops of color to the natural beauty of the falls.
10. Campbell Falls
This is a magnificent waterfall located in Campbell Falls State Park near Norfolk. Campbell Falls features a 50-foot drop that plunges into a stunning cascade and flows into a plunge pool below.
The area around the falls is rich in biodiversity, with various trees, including hemlocks, oaks, and maples. Birdwatchers also love the site as it’s home to several bird species, including bald eagles and ospreys.
You can take the easy one-mile Campbell Falls Trail to reach this natural beauty. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s a great swimming hole at the base of the falls, so bring your swimsuit for a refreshing dip.
11. Knife Shop Falls
Nestled in the vibrant surroundings of Humaston Brook State Park in Litchfield lies a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered — Knife Shop Falls. At around 40 feet tall, the falls tumble down a series of rocky steps in a stunning display of cascading water.
Knife Shop Falls is a lesser-known Connecticut waterfall, which makes it a great destination if you are looking for a more secluded and peaceful experience.
It’s a pretty unique name and understandably given to the falls thanks to the old knife company that was once next to it. You can still see the ruins today, adding to the unique charm of the location.
Accessing the gorgeous waterfall is easy, as you can follow a small trail near Knife Shop Road that leads downstream from the dam. The path is relatively easy to navigate, offering scenic views of the surrounding woods and the waterfall.
12. Aspetuck Falls
Aspetuck Falls is a charming waterfall located in the town of Easton, Connecticut. It’s situated on the Aspetuck River and is easily accessible, with a quick half-mile-long trail that leads you to the falls.
The waterfall is approximately 20 feet tall and cascades down a series of rocky steps, creating a beautiful display of water flowing over the rocks. The area around the falls is surrounded by lush greenery, including tall trees and ferns, which adds to the natural beauty of the location.
If you’re short on time, you can simply admire Aspetuck Falls from behind the town shops in the small village of New Preston. The falls are also visible from the side of the road, or you can walk down to an observation platform for a closer look.
13. Enders Falls
Enders Falls is one of the five waterfalls within the breathtaking Enders State Forest, which spans an impressive 2000 acres of natural beauty. It is a popular destination for hikers, so don’t be surprised if you encounter a few other nature lovers on the trails.
But with five different waterfalls to explore, there’s plenty of space for everyone. Each waterfall is unique, making for a truly one-of-a-kind hiking experience.
Of the five waterfalls, Enders Falls is an absolute standout. It features two stunning drops that plunge into a picturesque pool below. This spot is especially great for swimming, and the swimming hole at the base of the fifth waterfall is often less crowded than others.
The hike to Enders Falls is relatively easy, but be prepared for some light rock climbing to see the falls in all their glory. It’s worth it, though, to take in the full 30-foot drop of this impressive waterfall.
Other Waterfalls in Connecticut That Are Worth a Visit
Connecticut boasts over 500 waterfalls. While this list provides some of the best, the options are endless. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, here are some more waterfalls in Connecticut to add to your list of must-visit spots:
- Burr Falls in Burr Pond State Park, Torrington
- Dean’s Ravine Falls, Canaan
- Gorge Cascade Falls in Sleeping Giant State Park, Mount Carmel Springs
With its abundance of forests, state parks, and excellent nature conservancy, Connecticut is any outdoor enthusiast’s dream.
So, why not plan an adventurous road trip through this beautiful state and explore its natural wonders, starting with its magnificent waterfalls, of course?
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