Sometimes you simply have to get out of the house. A neighbor on our little dead end street told us the tree cutting crew would be arriving in the morning to spend the day removing five trees. Rather than be blocked in for the day, we packed up, and headed out for the Berkshires, extra clothes, chairs, lunch, and snacks packed.
After making our way past Hartford, we stopped in Avon, CT next to the Farmington River, where we found a boat ramp, as well as some great trails along the river. The leaves where we are had just been blown away, but farther south of us, some foliage remained. It was nice to have a last taste of fall before moving into winter.
The trail along the Farmington River at the Fisher Meadows Recreation Area offered Easy Walking, great water views, and very few other visitors.
We circled back around to what we later learned was called a farm pond, making a note on our map to plan a trip another time to check out the trail that led to a nearby rail trail.
The Appalachian Trail comes through this area, and in fact, our destination was an access road onto the AT. The access road is partly paved, mostly packed dirt road, with limited traffic moving carefully alongside the river. It felt fine to walk on the road to explore the river.
We had a goal in mind, to have lunch next to the Housatonic River in Kent, CT, so after this hour explore, we headed on our way west to Kent.
We found a spot along the road where we stopped, pulled out chairs, books, our camp stove and some soup. Nice to have something warm on a chilly day.
After lunch, we headed toward the AT trailhead and stopped in our tracks as a Great Horned Owl repeatedly called its classic “Who cooks for you?” I kept hoping the owl would swoop down from the steep hillside next to the river, but it remained unseen. Its distinctive call echoed throughout the valley.
As we left, we spotted mergansers floating in the swift current of the Housatonic River. Canada Geese gathered in yet another quieter spot on the river.
Sun sets early these November days, and nearly everyone had gone home as we drove past Kent Falls State Park. Usually a mob scene, this incredibly accessible waterfall is visible from the road, with a paved walkway and picnic tables making this a very popular place to spend a day. The crowds have always discouraged us from stopping, but with the parking lot nearly empty, we took the chance to get a closer look.
It was a long ways to go to have a picnic beside the river, but we managed to enjoy several Easy Walks, got some great water views, and with perfect timing, managed to #Avoidcrowds just before the Kent Falls state park closed at sunset.
The best part? By the time we got home, the neighborhood was once again the peaceful place we call home. No chain saws, no chipper, just quiet. Sometimes, you get really lucky. This was one of those days. Happy trails!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.