Connecticut may be a small state but we are brimming over with natural beauty, especially waterfalls… if you know where to look. And luckily you don’t have to search very long or hard to encounter some of our most spectacular natural wonders. These short waterfall hikes will lead you straight to tranquil pockets of beauty. The best part? These aren’t all day excursions, each hike can be completed in less than an hour.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Wadsworth Big Falls, Middletown
Located in the central portion of the state, it takes barely any effort to stroll the 0.1-mile trail to the base. Enjoy the majestic sight of the 52-foot wide Coginchaug River as it pours over a rocky shelf and tumbles 30 feet into a sparkling pool below. Find Wadsworth Falls at 721 Wadsworth St., Middletown, CT. To access the parking lot nearest the Big Falls, continue down the road and turn onto Cherry Street.
2. Indian Well Falls, Shelton
This unique waterfall is found at Indian Well State Park. A 5-minute walk takes you through the woods to this little oasis. The 15-foot waterfall drops off the cliff edge and into a gorgeous pool. The rock formations are just as wonderful as the falls themselves making you feel as though you've landed someplace other than Connecticut. Find the park and the falls at 1 Indian Well Rd., Shelton, CT 06484.
3. Blackledge Falls, Glastonbury
As you take an easy flat 15-minute journey through the woods, you'll stop in your tracks as you catch the first glimpse of Blackledge Falls. When the water is at full flow, three separate streams make the straight 25-foot drop. Viewing these plunges are worth every single minute spent on the trail. Find the trailhead on Hebron Ave., Glastonbury, CT 06033.
4. Chapman Falls, East Haddam
Chapman Falls is a popular destination within Devil's Hopyard State Park. Hop out of your vehicle in the parking lot and you can already hear the sound of tumbling water. A few minutes walk will take you to the picturesque falls where water cascades from one rock ledge to another for a total drop of 60 feet. View the wonder from a platform above or walk to the base for a different view. Find Devil's Hopyard State Park at 366 Hopyard Rd., East Haddam, CT 06423.
5. Falls Brook Falls, Hartland
This is one of the longer hikes featured here but at just 1.2 miles round trip, you'll want to take the extra time. Located in the Tunxis State Forest, you'll enjoy a woodland walk before reaching the waterfall. The upper falls drop 20 feet while the lower falls cascade down 30 feet. No matter what the season, this waterfall is an enchanting vision for all. Find the trailhead off Route 20, Hartland, CT 06091.
6. Enders Falls, Granby
At Enders State Forest you get to chase five waterfalls with one 3/4-mile hike. This quintuple natural wonder is a photographer's dream with each waterfall seemingly more stunning than the next. You will have to hold off until summer for this hike, the waterfall area is currently closed as steps and platforms are being constructed for easier viewing of this extraordinary site. Find the forest on Route 219, Granby, CT 06035.
7. Great Falls of the Housatonic, Canaan
Known as the Niagara Falls of Connecticut, Great Falls of the Housatonic is a wide and impressive waterfall. During the spring thaw, after a rainstorm, or during a dam release, the water roars over its 50-foot drop. The falls are just a short, less than five-minute walk from the parking area on Dublin Rd., Canaan, CT 06031.
8. Nonnewaug Falls, Bethlehem
Just over a 1/4-mile hike takes you to this little hidden gem. It's not one of the state's most popular falls but definitely worth your attention. The 18-foot drop begins as a horsetail and ends as a plunge at this marvelous waterfall. Use the address 100 Falls Rd., Bethlehem, CT 06751 in your GPS to find the trailhead.
9. Kent Falls, Kent
A short walk from the Kent Falls State Park parking lot will take you to the base of one of the state's most awe-inspiring waterfall. With a 250-foot drop, the water is pure magic as it streams down the rock face. Bring a picnic and enjoy a meal with a view at this wonderful park. Visit Kent Falls State Park at 462 Kent Cornwall Rd., Kent, CT 06757.
10. Yantic Falls, Norwich
A combination of a dam and natural waterfall, Yantic Falls is scenery for all to enjoy. A 0.1-mile walk takes you right to the sight of this 40-foot wonder. A series of plunges and cascades will delight all viewers. Find the falls at 210 Yantic St., Norwich, CT 06360.
Which of these short waterfall hikes have you taken? Which ones are going on your to-do list? For another trail with a big view, check out this completely accessible