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Connecticut State Parks

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USA Parks
Litchfield Hills Region
Kent Falls State Park
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Kent Falls State Park Lower Falls Pool Driftwood © Craig Szwed
Driftwood and stream on far side of lower pool at Kent Falls State Park.
Kent Falls State Park Waterfall Splitting © Craig Szwed
Kent Falls upper mid-level waterfall splitting as it spills over rocks.
Kent Falls State Park Middle Waterfall, Kent Falls © Angela Hansen
This is one of several waterfalls that can be seen as you hike the short trail at Kent Falls.
Kent Falls State Park Spring Shrub and Waterfall © Angela Hansen
A shrub is just beginning to grow leaves, near the base of Kent Waterfall
Kent Falls State Park Top Waterfall, Kent Falls © Angela Hansen
After a morning rainstorm, the top waterfall at Kent Falls is crashing happily
Kent Falls State Park Kent Falls - First set of Falls © Angela Hansen
This is the view as you approach the base of Kent Falls. There are several more falls just a short walk upstream
Kent Falls State Park Waterfall Ode to Volcanoes © Angela Hansen
After a morning shower, water is crashing happily in the top waterfall at Kent Falls
Kent Falls State Park Staircase-Walkway © Gary Jordan
The park has constructed a staircase-walkway to assist in the climb to the top of the falls.
Kent Falls State Park © Rhitu Raj Sarma
Kent Falls State Park Parking Lot View © Gary Jordan
Two pedestrian bridges cross the brook that comes from the falls. The covered bridge can be seen to the far left of this photograph.
Kent Falls State Park © Rhitu Raj Sarma
Kent Falls State Park Upper Cascade © Gary Jordan
This is one of the last cascades you will see as you make it to the top of the falls via a staircase-walkway.
Kent Falls State Park Cascades © Gary Jordan
Kent Falls is a series of cascades comming down the mountain. Pictured here are two.
Kent Falls State Park © Ben Prepelka
Kent Falls State Park Upper Falls © Lee Ferris
Photo taken Nov. 16, 2008
Kent Falls State Park Water Sculpted Rocks © Craig Szwed
Sculpted rocks and falls at upper levels of Kent Falls State Park.
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159 Macedonia Brook Road
Kent, Connecticut   06757

Phone: 860-927-3238
Toll Free: 866-287-2757
Email: park email button icon
Wander across the covered bridge, hike the falls, and feel the mist on your face as water cascades 250' down on its way to joining the Housatonic River.
Nature of the Area
The most obvious feature at Kent Falls is, of course, the falls. Actually, they are a series of falls and cascades. Multiple falls and cascades, such as these, generally form where the bedrock contains alternating hard and soft layers. This part of Connecticut was once made of coral reefs, offshore from the northwestern part of the state. As the Iapetos Ocean closed when Europe and Africa moved our way, these reefs were squeezed and buried under other rock. With increasing heat and pressure, the minerals in these rocks recrystallized, and the former coral reefs turned to marble. Sand and mud around the reefs formed the impurities in the marble that cause some layers to be more resistant to the effects of the flowing water.

Walk up the trail along the right side of the falls. The first two cascades drop over flat-lying layers of marble. But farther up the trail, at the third cascade, the rocks have been turned up on end. On the other side of the stream, small rocks trapped by swirling water wore a double pothole out, into the rock. The potholes are now combined. These rocks were possibly rotated from the horizontal when the nearby fault was active. The fault lies between here and Dugan Road at the top of the series of cascades and falls, but it is not visible along the trail.

After passing a side trail to a lookout of the falls, look for several boulders on the right side of the trail. These are gray schist, and one has a marble vein in it.

At a 90o turn in the wooden trail, look for a rock to the right that is nearly covered by moss. Touch the white, exposed area. Here, the marble is very sand-like, because it is weathering easily. Marble like this, in the stream, would not last very long.

When you reach the next overlook, sit down on the bench and study the rock on either side of the falls. It is eroding between two parallel fractures that are not quite vertical. They give the impression that the falls are not upright. The rocks forming these falls are not marble, at least not at the top.

Continue on up the red trail to the road, walk on the left across the bridge, then walk down the Red Trail. Look for a large, low outcrop, a little off the left side of the trail. This is the rock where the high falls in Figure 4 drop along two fractures. Notice the lumpy rock. Although the lumps look light-colored at first, upon close examination you will see that they are dark-red. These are garnets, our state mineral. The rock is gneiss, made up of bands of different minerals. Continue on down the trail towards the parking lot. The rest of the trail has few rocks to see, but is a pleasant, downhill stroll through a nice forest. Look for a variety of plants, and occasional small animals.
History of the Area
Kent Falls, located in the northeastern section of the town of Kent, is a series of waterfalls on a mountain stream known as Falls Brook. The stream begins in the town of Warren, draining an area of six or seven square miles. It then flows west to the big fall where it plunges approximately 70 feet in a dramatic cascade. From here the stream descends in a series of lesser falls and cascades to the valley, where it enters the Housatonic River some 200 feet below the brink of the big fall only a quarter mile away. Much of the limestone over which the brook flows has been carved into interesting shapes including numerous potholes of all sizes.

The Indian name of this area is "Scatacook" and there is considerable evidence that Native Americans fished and camped by the falls. Later, in colonial times, mills were also present along the brook.

Acquisition of the park began in 1919 with the gift of 200 acres by the White Memorial Foundation. Other parcels were donated or purchased until the present 295 acres were acquired. The area was developed in the 1930's by the Civil Works Administration. In the mid nineteen-seventies, considerable trail reconstruction was done by the Youth Conservation Corps of Connecticut. The covered bridge is an authentic reproduction built in 1974 by a park employee, Edmund Palmer.

The flow in the cascade at Kent is normally heaviest in the spring when the winter snow is melting. However, the falls can be dramatic at any time of the year, particularly after substantial rainstorms. Fall foliage season is also an excellent time to enjoy the area. Because of its exceptional scenic qualities, Kent Falls has been featured in a number of magazine and television advertisements.
Connecticut has made state parks, forests, trails, historic sites and beaches more accessible to our residents so they can enjoy the many attractions and beauty they offer. Under the Passport to the Parks program, parking fees are now eliminated at Connecticut State Parks for those with Connecticut registered vehicles. You can view the CONNECTICUT PASSPORT TO THE PARKS web page to learn more.

Kent Falls Trail winds 1/4 mile up along the falls. Although not difficult to walk, it is steep and follows uneven ground in places. There are many scenic vantage points that can be enjoyed along the trail.
Area Attractions
Kent Falls is a Viewpoint Exhibit Host SiteDid you ever wonder what the Connecticut landscape looked like a century ago? Check out ?Viewpoints?, a joint project of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Connecticut Impressionist Art Trail, and the Department of Environmental Protection. Outdoor exhibits reproduce works of art painted in the 19th Century, with information about the artist and the location. Visit the Impressionist Art Trail Website for a preview, and look for the Viewpoint exhibits on your next visit to Kent Falls and other host sites

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
October 1 Best Family Spot by Lisa
park review stars; one to five An awsome place for the family to visit from anywhere, and great scenery any time of year on the way. My boys just love it here. Picnic lunch, sturdy shoes to hike up to the top, plenty of water, and of course, nets for catching frogs and crayfish and minnows. (catch and release, of courst) We were there three times this summer, however brought our own food for personal convenience. Grills without charcoal are provided, howver. CANNOT WAIT to visit again in the winter, and see the falls all frozen. Must be a spectacular sight!
September 30 great place to stay The Inn at Kent Fall by max
park review stars; one to five Kent Falls is just wonderful. Took my partner for a wonderful hike and then we headed back to The Inn at Kent Falls for a swim and very luxurious and warm accomodations. Bring a picnic lunch from panini and then to the blu grill for dinner. for more hiking go pond mountain and the saturday afternoon trail. truly a dream.
July 25 Spectacular falls by NP
park review stars; one to five Very nice park with beautiful cascading falls. You could hike up the relatively easy but steep trail or hike/climb up the waterfalls and slippery rocks, which is harder but much more exciting. Overall a very scenic state park.
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Area Campgrounds
Cozy Hills Campground
1311 Route 202 Bantam Road
Bantam, CT
Hemlock Hill Camp Resort
118 Hemlock Hill Road
Litchfield, CT
Nearby Hotels

From the North ? Pittsfield and Great Barrington, MA areas: travel south on Route 7 into Kent, CT. The park is located along Route 7 approximately 3 miles south of the intersection with Route 45, and approximately 4.5 miles north of the village of Kent.

From the South ? Greater Danbury area: travel north on Route 7 into Kent, CT. The park is located approximately 4.5 miles north of the village of Kent.

From the East ? Hartford area: travel west on I-84, take Exit 39. Continue west along Route 4 to the intersection with Route 118 in Harwinton. Drive west along Route 118 to the intersection with Route 202 in Litchfield. Turn left onto Route 202 and travel west for about 7 miles to the intersection with Route 341. Turn right onto Route 341 and travel to the intersection with Route 7 in Kent, CT. Turn right (north) onto Route 7 and the park will be located approximately 4.5 miles ahead along Route 7.

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Connecticut State Parks