Adventures in Connecticut

So, small town Connecticut life can get a little boring, especially after coming home from a big city like Chicago. However, this summer my friends from high school and I decided we would combat this boredom and go on lots of adventures. Here’s a chronicling of some of our adventures in the wilderness of CT.

This post contains lots of hikes, and pictures of me and my super cute friends.

Adventure #1: Tarrywile Park and Mansion

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So my friend Kelly (not the Bee Kelly, she was too busy in Hawaii, but my other super awesome friend Kelly) and I were at Starbucks and decided to find something to do. I remembered hearing someone talking about a park that has a castle in it, so we decided to go. We got to the park, and hiked around for a while, and never found the castle. We did find a super cool kids park area to hang out in.

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Here’s Kelly being super cute

So in our adventure trying to find the castle, we walked all throughout the park, turns out it’s actually pretty cool. There are a lot of different parts to it. There’s a Silo, a reservoir, and a mansion. We went on the day of a prom, so everyone was there taking a pictures before going to prom, so that was cute. I think they might do weddings and stuff there too (and by think I know because there was also a wedding going on when we were there). So we ended up just walking around all afternoon and taking some cool pictures.

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More information about the park and events can be found here: http://tarrywile.com/

Adventure #2: Kent Falls

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Okay Kent Falls is one of my favorite places in Connecticut to hike. I’ve been going there for forever. My friends Hayley, Adonai, Kelly and I decided to adventure up there one day to take some artsy pictures.

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There are two paths to the top of the falls, one being more difficult than the other. The easier one is what I prefer, because there’s kind of stairs leading to the top, and you can hike at a more leisurely pace.

The hike is pretty easy, and there are stairs leading up to the top of the falls. I’m not sure if you have to pay (every time I’ve been it’s free, but I always go on weekdays, so you might have to pay for parking on the weekends). Along the path up to the top of the falls on the easier side are little offshoots where you can observe and take pictures.

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Here’s Kelly and me on one of the little observation decks. If you look in the back you can see the stairs.

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Another great thing about Kent Falls, is it’s easy to stay pretty cool because you’re hiking through a bunch of trees, and the shade keeps you cool.

The falls are absolutely gorgeous when you get to the top. There’s an area a little higher up than the falls that is a river area with rocks that is great to hang out, take pictures, and cool off if you’re brave enough to actually go into the water (although technically swimming isn’t allowed, you can dip your feet into the water). There are plenty of big rocks, and it would be a great place to have a picnic.

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Here’s Hayley hanging out on a rock in the river area.

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The view from the top of the falls is actually one of the coolest things. It’s not that fancy of a waterfall, but once your up there it’s super cool to look down. At the beginning of the park there’s a flat grassy area where people go to picnic, and there’s families and dogs always running around. It’s a very happy place. From the top of the waterfall, there’s rocks so you can basically climb out and sit on top of the waterfall. I’m terrified of heights so it always takes me some time to inch out to the edge of the rocks, but once I get there I’m always happy I did.

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Adonai and Hayley chilling at the top of the waterfall

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Here’s a different view from the top of the falls.

After we hiked, we drove into the town of Kent, which is a super cute downtown area and got some food and some coffee. The downtown part of Kent always makes me jealous because I wish my town had a cute little area to just walk around and get food and good coffee, but it’s lame in that it has no sidewalks or anything BOOO. Here are a few pictures from our adventures in downtown Kent.

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More information on Kent Falls can be found here: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325228&deepNav_GID=1650

Adventure Number #3: Farmington River Tubing

This one was super fun, and something I had never done before! Hayley had experience with it and suggested we all try it one day over the sumer, and I’m super glad we did because it was so much fun! This is the one thing on the list that isn’t free, costing $20 a person. Basically, you get a tube and life vests, and then you float down a river for 2.5 miles. There are 3 large rapids along the way and a couple mini ones. It’s a really fun time to just lie in a tub and float down a river. I didn’t get many pictures this day because water and cameras don’t always mix, but if you want something unusual to do in the CT area definitely check this out! We saw some wildlife along the way (and by wildlife I mean we saw some ducks) and you get a really cool vantage point of wild CT.

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I found the name of the national park to be really funny

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Website: http://www.farmingtonrivertubing.com/index.php

Adventure #4: Lovers Leap State Park

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Lovers Leap is a super cool state park. Once again, it’s a park that supposedly has a castle but I couldn’t find in my time there. Why is this a trend with me? Why can I never find castles?? This doesn’t bode well for my plans to marry a prince.

The name comes from a Native American legend of a Princess who, when her lover did not return home, canoed off the edge of the “Great Falls” and when her lover returned, he jumped to his death in an attempt to save her.

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Note the barn in the distance that Adonai was convinced was the castle….

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Adonai trying to convince us she found the castle

One thing to note about this state park, is it is very much a hike. I was not expecting this and showed up in jeans and regretted the decision almost immediately.

There are lots of paths, and two sides of the park. The two sides are separated by a bridge, that people carve their names into and put locks on a la love lock bridge in Paris.

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In our search for the castle, we ended up finding some super cool views and getting to the top of the park. There’s two really scenic outlooks on either side of the park. We ended up going to both and they’re both stunning views. Seriously it’s so pretty. I forget how pretty Connecticut can be sometimes. Pieces of Advice: Bring water, don’t wear jeans, know how to read a map if you want to find the castle.

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More Info: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=433316&deepNav_GID=1650

Even though we didn’t get to do everything on our list (dinosaur state park anyone??). I’m glad I got these few adventures. Connecticut can be boring at times, especially my town, so I’m lucky my friends got just as bored as me and we were able to go on some fun things before everyone got busy with work and life.

If you’re from Connecticut, where do you recommend I add to my adventure list?

Happy Adventuring!

Colleen

P.S. All pictures were taken either by me or my super cool friends who gave me permission to steal them. Yay friends!

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