Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Roaring Brook Falls - Cheshire

Since I've done all the Giant's trails, I can venture outside the park now without risking the bad karma attached to leaving our impish friend Hobbomock unfinished.  The Quinnipiac trail continues past Sleeping Giant, over to the Naugatuck State Forest, up into Cheshire and Prospect. 

Once I found the Blue Trail parking lot on Bethany Mountain Road (Rt 42), it was about a mile hike north toward the Falls.  The terrain is a lot like Sleeping Giant - forest, then higher to a grassy plateau with Cyprus and Pine.  Without the leaf cover, there would be good views of the ridges to the west and north.  And of course it wouldn't be the Blue Trail without the occasional rock climb.

Just when I got the feeling I missed the turn off, I heard the falls in the distance.  The trail comes out at the top of the falls, and there is an orange blazed trail down the south side of the river to an entrance on Roaring Brook Road.  It's a steep hike down (400' change in elevation), but the trail was laid out to offer views of the falls, and still switchback around some of the steepest sections.  The Falls is a series of cascades and waterfalls, the second highest in Connecticut, with the state's "highest single drop falls".  (and yes I copied that off Cheshire's web site).

This is not a state park, the 85 acre property is town owned - part of the Cheshire Land Trust.  At the base, there's a chimney and foundation  - either an old mill or homesite.  There are camp sites and fire pits up and down the trail on both sides of the falls, it looks like the park is well used.  It's tough to get photos of the falls through the trees, so you'll just have to come out and see it yourself...


2 comments:

  1. I was wondering if you knew the history behind the abandoned chimney and foundation. Having lived in Cheshire for 15 years, I've been to Roaring Brook Falls many times and that chimney has always fascinated me and I've wanted to know the story behind it. I've heard folk tales that there was a small house fire and that if burned down the entire house, killing one of the daughters of the family in the 1800s but theres no proof to back this up. Do you have any clue?

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  2. I didn't dig much past reading that a mill was on the property powered by the falls. I couldn't find any detail, other than mentions of the chimney as a landmark. If you're interested in researching a little more, I have an old Cheshire trail book that says more info might be available "in the vertical file at the Cheshire Public Library" and "Exploring Cheshire" at the library desk. Good luck!

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