2004 Season

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 lhcvbnwct@aol.com When sunny spring days bring the irresistible urge to head for the open road, few areas beckon more alluringly than the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut, where wildflowers are in bloom and melted snow has turned trickling waterfalls into mini-Niagaras. Finding the best routes for a fine spring outing is easy, thanks to the Virtual Tours posted at www.litchfieldhills.com, the official web site of the Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau. Free Virtual Tours give the opportunity to follow a route conveniently broken down into "legs" which can be explored on line, one at a time, with color illustrations to preview what is offered at each stop. The tours can then be printed out, with a detailed map, and the driver, having sampled what lies ahead, can tailor the stops to individual schedules and interests RIVERS, LAKES AND LORE Rivers, Lakes and Lore is a highly recommended route for spring, a 64-mile 8 hour drive in its entirety, beginning and ending at the historic New Milford village green and taking in the cascading waters of Kent Falls State Park. The route meanders beside the Housatonic River, across an 1842 covered bridge, along pristine Lake Waramaug and through quintessential New England towns like Warren, Kent, New Preston and Washington. In Kent Falls State Park, Connecticut's highest waterfall is at its splashiest. Kent Falls is actually a series of waterfalls on a clear mountain stream known as Falls Brook. The big fall is a 70 - foot plunge into beautiful pure white marble known as Stockbridge Limestone that has been carved into fanciful curves from the flow of the water. From here, Falls Brook descends in charming cascades through a dense stand of hemlocks to the valley floor below where it enters the Housatonic River some 200 feet below the brink of the big fall. The steep woodland trail that winds up the mountain following the falls offers many photo opportunities. The meadow below the falls is a favorite spot for a picnic. A CORNUCOPIA OF CLASSIC COUNTRYSIDE This spring outing, a 68-mile circular route, begins in Torrington, along the banks of the Farmington, which has been designated a National Wild and Scenic River, continues to the Saville Dam Spillway and Barkhamsted Reservoir. It offers plenty of opportunity to get out and enjoy the countryside. A scenic parking area on Rte. 318 is a favorite spot for photos of the reservoir and spillway. The area between the Lake and the reservoir is laced with hiking trails and paths along spillways and splashing waterfalls. Continuing into Riverton, the road follows the west branch of the Farmington into the People's State Forest, another ideal spot for picnicking and hiking. More picture-perfect towns such as Winsted, Winchester and Norfolk are along the route, their attractions spelled out in pictures and prose. Three additional illustrated Virtual Tours are featured on the web site: A Treasury of Americana; Hills, History and Yankee Ingenuity; and Landscapes, Grandscapes and Views. While the colored photos are missing, these drives and other suggested tours are described in detail and outlined on maps in the free Touring booklet published by the Visitors Bureau. Free copies of UNWIND and an Attractions and Lodging Map and Directory of the new NORTHWEST CT area is available from the Northwest Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860) 567-4506 or fax (860) 567-5214. UNWIND is also found "online" at the Bureau's web site, Litchfield Hills CT web site! or for a look at the new region visit Northwest CT web site!