Visit Kent Falls State Park
Nestled in the western corner of Connecticut, Kent Falls State Park and the charming historic town of Kent, is a treasure to those who visit. I first visited the Kent Falls as a very young child and I clearly remember the thrill of dipping my toes into the water at the bottom of the falls for the very first time.
Traveling to Kent is half the fun. The country drive through the old New England towns filled with antique homes and a covered bridge is beautiful year round and breathtaking in Autumn. It has long been a favorite route for motorcyclists, so expect to see large groups of motorcycles driving through the long country roads leading into Kent.
Kent was recently named New England's Best for fall foliage viewing by Yankee Magazine, out ranking towns well known for their fall beauty in northern New England. The ranking was based on the all around experience for visitors, from the beautiful scenery, to the farms stands, restaurants, art galleries and antique shops. Kent is a small town with a unique flavor, home to many artists and writers who flock there for the beauty and serenity of nature. From New York City, Kent can be reached by car in around two hours.
Exploring Kent Falls State Park
When you arrive, park your car in the lot and head on foot to the little covered bridge on the right end of the parking lot. Depending on the season, you may be able to see the falls from here. You should be hearing the rushing of water as you walk across the bridge and follow the path up the hill towards the bottom of the waterfall.
When you reach the bottom of the falls, there is an area for visitors to sit and relax, picnic and enjoy the serenity of the park. Visitors are also allowed to swim in the natural pools at the bottom, but are strongly encouraged to follow the rules about NOT climbing the waterfall to reach it's various "steps."
While the view is spectacular from the bottom, you are only viewing a small portion of Kent Falls. Look for the path to the right of the falls and begin your climb. The stairs are steep and the walk is a little strenuous for some, so take your time. At each landing you will be treated to another beautiful site, another step in the falls filled with beautiful rock formations and caves carved by rushing water.
When you finally reach the top, there is another small bridge to cross over the river and a short hiking trail on the other side.
The views will vary greatly by season, but are always breathtaking and well worth the strenuous climb. See the accompanying videos for a look at Kent Falls State Park throughout the year.
The Inn at Kent Falls
Where to Stay in Kent, CT
The area's most famous lodging is The Inn at Kent Falls, a historic and luxurious inn located between the downtown area and the state park. If you plan on visiting during the foliage season to view the magnificnet scenery and the falls, you will need to book your stay at the inn well in advance.
The Starbuck Inn offers hotel quality service in their newly renovated guest rooms. Located on Main Street, the inn has a country feel but still gives you the in town benefits of being close to shops, restaurants and art galleries.
The Kent Country Inn dates back to 1730, maintains it's original New England charm. It's located in town, next door to Doc’s Restaurant and the Morrison Gallery. This is the perfect location for exploring the town of Kent on foot.
Camping Near Kent Falls:
There are several camping areas in Kent, but my personal favorite is Housatonic Meadows State Park and Campgrounds, located minutes from the falls, offering campsites right on the Housatonic River. The campground is a favorite for fly fisherman and families alike. Camp right on the river under the tall pine trees for a back to nature experience. Swim, fish, canoe or kayak, explore the river's edge, hike through the woods, or bicycle down the surrounding long country roads.
Visiting the town of Kent, CT
Strolling through the small town of Kent, you will find beautiful shops, art galleries and classic New England antique shops and restaurants. The area may feel a little crowded during the fall foliage season, but generally parking is easy to find and wandering through town will be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Put Kent Falls State Park and the town of Kent on your list of must see places in New England. You won't regret taking a day or two exploring this beautiful and historic area.