2006 Summer Season

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 lhcvbnwct@aol.com

LITCHFIELD, CT-On a warm summer afternoon, few sights are more welcome than a sandy shore and a cool blue lake, pleasures that are found in abundance in Northwest Connecticut. Half a dozen lakes are found in parks around this beautiful corner of the state, most of them with the added pleasures of fishing and hiking. While the settings are rustic, the parks include civilized comforts such as restrooms and picnic tables, and many have concession stands with food.

Scenic steep wooded slopes rim the water in Squantz Pond State Park, located 4 miles north of New Fairfield on Route 39. The pond is an arm of Candlewood Lake, the state's largest, and it offers a sandy beach with a lifeguard in attendance and picnic facilities along the shore. The 1000-acre Pootatuck Forest adjoining the park provides ample trails for hikers.

Black Rock State Park on Route 6 in Watertown, ten miles north of Waterbury, is another lovely setting, with wooded ledges covered with pine, hemlock and oak surrounding Black Rock Pond. The 439-acre park lures fishermen as well as swimmers and picnickers.

Lake Waramaug State Park covers 95 acres centered around a picture-book lake, eight miles around and as smooth as a looking glass. Waramaug is a natural lake fed by streams, with a water level that has been raised by a small dam. Only small boats are allowed, helping to keep things peaceful. Once again, picnic tables are available on the lake shore.

Mt. Tom State Park has two claims to fame. A wide-screen panoramic view of three-states rewards hikers to the stone tower atop Mt. Tom. And within the park's 233 acres is the 62-acre spring-fed Tom Pond, with deep clear water that is ideal for swimming. This is also a prime pond for fishermen, as it is regularly stocked with several species of trout, and the only boats allowed are powered by oar, paddle or sail. Picnic tables are set in a wooded grove overlooking the pond. The park is three miles west of Litchfield on Route 202.

Five miles north of Torrington on Route 8, Burr Pond State Park beckons hikers with a three-mile path circling the 88-acre lake. This lake has an interesting past. The pond was created in 1851 when one Milo Burr placed a dam across several mountain streams, trapping the water for power for saw mills and a tannery. In 1854, Gail Borden, who was the first to discover how to preserve milk through condensation, built the world's first condensed milk factory here, just below the falls. A bronze tablet marks the site of the mill, which was destroyed by fire. Burr Pond is a favorite for canoeing, sailing and pedal-boating, as well as for swimming and fishing.

Not all of the lakes in Northwest Connecticut are in state parks. One of the finest swimming spots is on Bantam Lake, the state's largest natural lake, where the 800-foot beach has been aptly named "Sandy Beach." This is the town beach for Litchfield and Morris, but the public is welcome for a small fee. A water slide and raft are favorite features here, and the lake also offers a canoe launch. It can be found on East Shore Road off Route 109.

For more information on fairs and a new free guide to the region, including lodging, attractions and maps, contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield CT 06759-0968, 800-663-1273, or visit their website at Northwest Connecticut