Kent Falls

Litchfield County / Kent, Connecticut, USA

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 2
Kent Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Kent Falls was perhaps one of the more family-friendly waterfalls we had experienced during our New England trip in 2013. The reason why I say this is because the falls was fronted by a very large lawn area with many picnic tables sprinkled about its perimeter. The lawn area was perfect for letting the kids run around while the adults could play catch or let their dogs chase down frisbees. Our daughter certainly enjoyed the space, and the picnic tables allowed us to have a belated lunch in the mean time. Plus, the smell of barbeque from other picnic-goers certainly added to the family-friendly ambience that was prevalent here.

Perhaps all this infrastructure made this a very popular place as evidenced by the many people who were here during our visit on a Friday afternoon in Autumn. Of course, the infrastructure came at a price as we had to pay a rather steep $15 vehicle fee ($9 for Connecticut residents) to enter.

As for the waterfall itself, it was immediately visible across the picnic area from the car park. It was only a couple minutes walk from the attractive covered bridge near the car park to the base of the waterfall. While many may consider the falls experience to this point to be sufficient, we noticed that there was a trail that kept climbing up steps as well as sloping trails and boardwalks alongside the Kent Falls Brook. This trail revealed more cascades and waterfalls along the brook that were not readily seen from the picnic area, and it culminated in an attractive two-tiered plunge at the top of the trail.

Taken altogether, it was said that the falls had about a 250ft cumulative drop. Julie and our daughter didn't join me on the climb up to the top, but I saw plenty of older kids with their families do this hike. At the very top of the falls, I noticed there were a few daring individuals chilling out at the very brink of the falls, but I doubt I would've let our daughter roam free around such dropoffs. In the mean time, there were plenty of other kids playing a little further upstream from the top of the falls. Also, it appeared that the trail continued on the other side of the stream (which I didn't do), which ultimately would've returned to the picnic area thereby completing a loop hike flanking both sides of the Kent Falls Brook.

All in all, we spent a very relaxing two hours at the falls, but I'd imagine only one hour would be needed to do the entire out-and-back hike from the bottom to the top of Kent Falls. The difficulty rating given on this page reflected this longer hike to experience all that this waterfall had to offer. Otherwise, just going to the base of the falls would've made this more of a roadside attraction than a hike.

Finally, I do have to mention that as much of a family-friendly park this place was made out to be, we still had to be cognizant of the fact that we were still in Nature. This was made very apparent to us when we noticed a snake basking on the banks of the Kent Falls Brook near the car park. We weren't sure if the snake was poisonous or not, but the moral of the story here would be to respect what Nature can throw at you, yet it shouldn't stop you from having fun.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

This is the attractive uppermost drops of Kent Falls. As you can see, some people felt brave enough to chill out by the exposed dropoffs at the lip of the fallsThis is the attractive uppermost drops of Kent Falls. As you can see, some people felt brave enough to chill out by the exposed dropoffs at the lip of the falls
Kent Falls is about a 3-hour drive from BostonKent Falls is about a 3-hour drive from Boston
Kent Falls is about a 2-hour drive from New York CityKent Falls is about a 2-hour drive from New York City
Kent Falls and the big picnic area fronting itThe falls and the big picnic area fronting it

In New England, covered bridges like this seem to be the norm.  This one was right by the car park for Kent FallsIn New England, covered bridges like this seem to be the norm. This one was right by the car park for the falls

Contextual view of the base of Kent FallsContextual view of the base of the falls

Looking back at the car park and picnic area from the base of Kent FallsLooking back at the car park and picnic area from the base of the falls

On the trail up alongside Kent Falls Brook, I noticed other tiers of the falls like this that weren't visible from the picnic areaOn the trail up alongside Kent Falls Brook, I noticed other tiers of the falls like this that weren't visible from the picnic area

More intermediate tiers of Kent FallsMore intermediate tiers of the falls

The sloping dirt trail that climbed up alongside Kent Falls BrookThe sloping dirt trail that climbed up alongside the brook

This was the uppermost tiers of Kent Falls.  Notice the people chilling out right at the top of the fallsThis was the uppermost tiers of the falls. Notice the people chilling out right at the top of the falls.

This trail brought me to the banks of the Kent Falls Brook, which was how people accessed the brink of the falls.  I'd imagine it was also where the trail crossed the brook and looped back towards the picnic areaThis trail brought me to the banks of the brook, which was how people accessed the brink of the falls. I'd imagine it was also where the trail crossed the brook and looped back towards the picnic area.

Taking the same trail back down to the bottomTaking the same trail back down to the bottom

Almost back down to the picnic area for Kent FallsAlmost back down to the picnic area

Contextual look at the developed viewing area right at the base of Kent FallsContextual look at the developed viewing area right at the base of the falls

This was the snake I was talking about that was by the Kent Falls Brook near the car park.  Is it poisonous?This was the snake I was talking about that was by the brook near the car park. Is it poisonous?


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


360 degree sweep of the falls' base and the surrounding picnic area


Left to right backwards L-shaped sweep showing the uppermost tiers of the falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Since we weren't able to base ourselves in any town in the immediate vicinity of Kent Falls, I'm sure there are many ways to get here besides the routes we're about to describe here (which were the most obvious approaches to us).

From Route 44/7 junction in North Canaan, drive south on Route 7 for a little over 20 miles. Nearly a half-mile past the Kent Town sign will be the picnic area and car park entrance for the falls on the left.

Heading in the other direction from the junction of Route 341 and Route 7 in Kent Town, drive north on Route 7 for about 5 miles. The picnic area and car park for Kent Falls will be on the right.

Finally, for some context, North Canaan was 34 miles (an hour drive) south of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 42 miles (about 90 minutes drive) northwest of Hartford, 113 miles (2.5 hours drive) north of New York City, and 150 miles (about 3 hours drive) west of Boston, Massachusetts.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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