Top 10 Spring Things to Do in the Litchfield Hills Last Updated: August 2023
Anybody out there that doesn’t have cabin fever? Well, winter has passed, and things are looking up and popping throughout the Litchfield Hills, offering loads of fun things to do – alone, with your mate, your besties, and the kids. Check out these 10 must-dos now that the air is warm and the sun is shining – and put a little Spring in your step!
There’s no denying that those first colorful blooms of spring bring joy to our hearts and a sense of renewal to our souls. Luckily, baby bloomers abound in the Litchfield Hills, at Osborne Homestead & Gardens in Derby, The Gertrude Jekyll Garden and Glebe House Museum in Woodbury, Hollister House Garden in Washington, The Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden in Bethlehem, Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, and Laurel Ridge Farm and White Flower Farm in Litchfield.
Take a Hike
Over the last few years, many of us have ventured into the great outdoors in search of fresh air and exercise, embracing our state’s many natural wonders. Walkers, joggers, hikers and bikers have discovered (or rediscovered) the wondrous parks, forests and trails in the Litchfield Hills – each offering its own unique and memorable features. Just a few you might want to explore include Steep Rock Association White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield; Mine Hill Preserve in Roxbury, The Mattatuck Trail in Wolcott, Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent, The Tunxis Trail in Barkhamsted and Campbell Falls State Park Reserve in Norfolk. (Many welcome pets; click here for updated information on visiting state parks).
Ride a Bike
There’s no better way to get energized as you welcome the arrival of spring than on an invigorating bike ride; and, with the next-generation electric pedal-assisted models available to rent, everybody can get in on the action. Don’t have your own wheels? Rent them for an hour or two or longer – and get pedaling! Try Ski Haus in New Milford, Collinsville Canoe & Kayak, and Bicycle Tour Company in Kent, Covered Bridge Electric Bike in West Cornwall, and Biker’s Edge in Torrington.
Have Some Chocolate
There simply aren’t many things in this world more loved, more appreciated, more craved, than chocolate. Chocolatiers are magicians who transform the simplest ingredients into not just delicious confections, but works of art. Fortunately, the Litchfield Hills has no shortage of these dedicated artisans who understand that we can’t live without them! You can’t go wrong at Fascia’s Chocolates in Waterbury, Litchfield Candy Company in Litchfield, Six Spoons Chocolatier in New Hartford, and Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company
Sip Some Suds
Craft breweries are popping up everywhere; and more than beer stops, these are destinations – making their homes in refurbished factory buildings, train stations, farmhouses, firehouses, old hospitals, and even churches. What they all have in common is a passion for handcrafting sensational IPAs, Pilsners, Stouts and more, using locally grown, natural ingredients. Best of all, there are lots to choose from. Most serve food, stage Trivia Nights, have games and feature live music to elevate the experience. Here's hopping you’ll visit some or all of these “crafty” places: Housatonic River Brewing Company in New Milford, BAD SONS Beer Co. in Derby, Firefly Hollow Brewing Company in Bristol, Black Hog Brewing in Oxford, Norbrook Farm Brewery in Colebrook, and Bad Dog Brewing Company in Torrington.
Search for Treasure
Wake up the scavenger in you with a trip to any or all of the fascinating flea markets sprinkled throughout the Litchfield Hills. There’s a skill in spotting that perfect piece, hiding in a corner or tucked behind four other interesting items; but you’ll become a pro in no time. Whether you’re on a mission to find something specific, or something whimsical that tickles your fancy, the fun is in the hunt; the reward is in the discovery. It’s a great way to spend a few hours, a day, or weekend – and you may wind up taking home a unique treasure you just can’t live without. Here are some flea markets you won’t want to pass up: Elephant’s Trunk in New Milford, Woodbury Antiques & Flea Market in Woodbury, Bethlehem Indoor Flea Market in Bethlehem, New Brunswick Indoor Flea Market and Wright’s Barn & Flea Market in Torrington, Collinsville Antiques in New Hartford, and Housatonic Trading Company in Bantam.
There’s a definite sense of pride in sipping a top-quality wine cultivated, aged and bottled right here in Connecticut. Farm wineries have sprung up all over the state, offering award-winning reds, whites, rosés, fruit and dessert wines – particularly in the Litchfield Hills, where the climate and rolling landscape are favorable for growing grapes. Among them Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown, Walker Road Vineyards in Woodbury, Hopkins Vineyard in New Preston, Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen, Connecticut Valley Winery and Jerram Winery in New Hartford, Land of Nod Winery in East Canaan.
What is it about them? Thunderous and powerful, yet calming and serene. Waterfalls are awe-inspiring any time of year; but the spring thaw adds extra power to the plunging cascades sprinkled throughout the Litchfield Hills. So, pack up some picnic gear, lace up your hiking shoes, and grab some friends (furry ones, too), the kids, or just head out on your own and take in the majesty of these wonders of nature. Not to be missed are Nonnewaug Falls in Woodbury, Aspetuck Falls in Washington, Burr Falls in Torrington, Southford Falls in Oxford, Buttermilk Falls in Plymouth, Spruce Brook Falls in the Naugatuck State Forest, the ever-popular Kent Falls, Knife Shop Falls in Humaston Brook State Park, Campbell Falls in Norfolk, and Dean’s Ravine Falls and Great Falls (dubbed the “Niagara of Connecticut”) in Canaan.
The days are longer; the nights are warmer and the urge to enjoy a great meal without feeling fenced in is one you can’t resist. So why not plan a delectable rendezvous, maybe stroll along the pier or take in a sunset, and welcome spring back for another visit! Just a few of the many great choices for outside dining in the Litchfield Hills are Saltwater Grille and West Street Grill in Litchfield, Arethusa al Tavolo in Bantam, Hopkins Inn in Warren, The White Hart in Salisbury, and The White Horse Country Pub & Restaurant in New Preston.
Be a Townie
There’s no better time than spring to put on a comfortable pair of shoes and take to the streets of the beautiful and historic towns in the Litchfield Hills. Strolling past quaint shops and boutiques, galleries and markets, greeting passersby or stopping at a local watering hole or restaurant is just plain wonderful and rejuvenating, as you feel the very history that unfolded beneath your feet. There’s not a town that should be missed; but a few standouts are New Milford, Cornwall, Litchfield, Washington, Salisbury and Kent.