Where is Kent Falls State Park
Located within the Litchfield Hills region of the southern Berkshires, Kent Falls State Park resides entirely within the state of Connecticut. The park’s most notable feature is the namesake Kent Falls. The park also contains several picnic areas, restrooms, fishing areas, and hiking trails. The closest city to Kent Falls State Park is Kent, Connecticut. Kent Falls State Park is located 49 miles and an hour drive west of Hartford, 60 miles and an hour and a half drive north of New Haven, and 63 miles and an hour and a half drive south of Springfield, Massachusetts. The park is also located near several other outdoor recreation areas. These outdoor recreation areas include the Wyantenock State Forest, the Pond Mountain Natural Area, and Lake Waramaug State Park.
How Large is Kent Falls State Park
Kent Falls US State Park covers a little over 300 acres. The park’s geography mainly consists of woodlands and riparian streams and cascades. The Kent Falls which provide the park with its name drop over 250 feet in under a quarter mile. The largest section of the falls drops more than 70 feet into a reflecting pool that eventually makes its way over the lesser falls. These falls are a series of waterfalls found on Falls Brook. The brook is a tributary of the Housatonic River. Visitors are able to cross Falls Brook via a replica covered bridge that was built in the park to provide access to the falls.
Kent Falls State Park Weather
The weather at Kent Falls State Park changes frequently throughout the seasons. In summer, temperatures in the park average between 60 and 85-degrees Fahrenheit, and winter temperatures in the park average between 15- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest days of the year fall upon Kent Falls State Park in June, July, and August. The coldest days of the year arrive at the park in December and January. On average, Kent Falls State Park receives about 100 days of rain per year. These days amount to a yearly precipitation total of about 50 inches. Normally, the park will receive snowfall throughout the year. This snowfall normally occurs during December, January, and February, and annual accumulation totals normally average around 45 inches.
When did Kent Falls Become a State Park
Kent Falls State Park first became a state park in 1919. The preliminary 200 acres that encompassed the state park in 1919 was gifted to the state by the White Memorial Foundation. During the 1930’s workers with the Civil Works Administration contributed greatly to the park’s development and construction. Before the land was utilized as a state park, Native Americans used the area for fishing and hunting. The Native American word for the falls is Scatacook. The falls and the brook were also home to several mills over the years. Today, Kent Falls State Park is maintained and managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Things to do in Kent Falls State Park
Kent Falls State Park provides visitors with a number of outdoor experiences and activities. The most popular and striking adventures present in the park are listed below:
Participate in an Interpretive Program
Our State Park Visitors Guides recommends the best way to learn more about Kent Falls State Park is to participate in one of the interpretive programs the park offers throughout the year. These programs are offered at various times throughout the year and are led by knowledgeable staff who are very familiar with the park. Popular topics discussed during these programs include the park’s ecology, geography, geology, and history.
Hike to the Falls
The most notable feature of Kent Falls State Park is Kent Falls. Every year the falls attract crowds of visitors who are interested in their magnificence and power. The hike to Kent Falls traverses a woodland path that leads to a covered bridge which provides direct access to the falls. The covered bridge is a replica of older covered bridges that were previously constructed in the area.
Take a Picnic
Kent Falls State Park contains several great sites that are perfect for an afternoon picnic. The park also maintains a designated picnic area that is equipped with picnic tables, pedestal grills, and bathrooms. Visitors looking to have a picnic in the park should make sure to pack out all of the food and trash they bring into the park.
Check out the Art Trail Site
The Viewpoint Exhibit is a Connecticut wide art exhibit that provides visitors with views of what the Connecticut landscape looked like a century ago. Several sites across the state, including Kent Falls State Park, were selected to host artistic recreations of 19th century paintings.
Fishing in Kent Falls State Park
The waters of Kent Falls State Park are designated trout waters. Anglers visiting the park will want to bring all of their trout equipment including fly rods, flys, and other freshwater fishing tackle. Visitors looking to fish within Kent Falls State Park will also want to obtain a Connecticut state fishing license before casting into the waters of the park. All Connecticut fishing regulations and special trout waters also apply.
Kent Falls State Park provides a home to a variety of wildlife species. These species mostly inhabit the park’s woodlands. Species commonly spotted by visitors of Kent Falls State Park include white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, and opossums.
Birding at Kent Falls State Park
In addition to the wildlife previously mentioned, Kent Falls State Park also provides a home to a considerable number of avian species. These species include birds of prey, woodland songbirds, full year residents, and several migratory species. Birders visiting Kent Falls State Park can inquire about bird checklists and species present in the park online on the park’s website.
When to visit Kent Falls State Park
Kent Falls State Park is open year-round, and visitors can plan a trip to the park during every season. Visitors looking to hike or fish in the park will want to visit the park during the summer season. Wildlife enthusiasts and birders will want to visit the park during the spring when species are the most active. Fall in Kent Falls State Park brings changing colors and cooler temperatures. Light snowfall is possible towards the end of the season. Snowfall in the winter is heavier and coats the park.
Must Have Items to Bring to Kent Falls State Park
Visitors looking to plan a trip to Kent Falls State Park will need to do some packing and planning. The list below created by List of Parks contains several essential items visitors will want to bring with them on their trip to Kent Falls State Park.
Water & High Energy Snacks
Water and snacks are the most essential item for every outdoor excursion. Anglers and hikers visiting Kent Falls State Park should look to bring additional supplies of each. Beef Jerky, trail mix, fruit, and protein bars are great snacks to keep in mind. Visitors may also deem a cooler necessary for storing snacks or keeping fish.
Study Hiking Boots
The hikes within Kent Falls State Park feature routes that traverse various fields of unstable terrain. The hike around the falls can become slippery during heavy rainfall. These hikes should not be attempted without the proper footwear. All hikers traveling to the park should be equipped with a sturdy pair of hiking boots that provide them comfort and support.
Layers of Clothing
Temperatures in Kent Falls State Park can drop drastically throughout the day. Visitors planning to spend extended periods of time in the park should look to bring a variety of layers of clothing with them on their trip. The best way to prepare for intense heat and cooler temperatures is to wear several lightweight layers that can be taken off or added at will.
Visitors looking to explore and learn about the park's vegetation or wildlife species should purchase a field guide before visiting the park. These field guides can be Connecticut or continent specific. However, every proper field guide will include color photos and species descriptions that make identification easy.
While there are not endless trails within Kent Falls State Park, visitors will still want to study the park’s map to orient themselves with the area. These maps can be obtained online from the park’s website or from the park’s entrance station.
Where to Stay Near Kent Falls State Park
Kent Falls State Park does not contain a campground, cabins, or any other lodging establishment. Visitors looking to stay near the park can first look for hotels or other lodging in Kent or the surrounding area. Visitors preferring to camp in the area can search for campsites in the nearby Wyantenock State Forest or Lake Waramaug State Park. Additional lodging options can be found by individuals willing to make the drive to Hartford, New Haven, or Springfield.
Food Near Kent Falls State Park
The closest food to Kent Falls State Park is located in Kent and the surrounding area. However, visitors looking for additional options or a larger culinary scene should make the longer drive to Hartford, New Haven, or Springfield.
Airports Near Kent Falls State Park
The closest international airport to Kent Falls State Park is located in Hartford. The Bradley International airport is located 51 miles and about a one hour and fifteen-minute drive away from the park.