2002 Fall Season

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 lhcvbnwct@aol.com Named one of 50 best places in the U.S. for a scenic drive by National Geographic Traveler and among the top 10 foliage areas in New England by the Boston Globe, the leafy Litchfield Hills of Connecticut are filled with prize routes for leaf watchers. The dilemma is deciding which routes to choose. The Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau has come to the rescue, suggesting two prize drives, A Cornucopia of Classic Countryside and A Treasury of Americana. Each is a loop of about 68 miles, a full day's outing that includes suggestions for stops along the way. A new feature on the Bureau's web site, www.litchfieldhills.com, offers "virtual tours," dividing each route into short segments and describing what is found in each, so that visitors can pick according to their interests and time. A CORNUCOPIA OF CLASSIC COUNTRYSIDE This photogenic outing begins at the junction of Route 8 and 4 in Torrington, heading north on Route 8 to Winsted, then east on Route 44 to New Hartford, a charming village on the banks of the Farmington River, which has been designated a National Wild and Scenic River. Next stop is Lake McDonough Recreation Area, a good place for a break, for a picnic, a boat ride or a hiking trail. Dramatic photos await at the Saville Dam Spillway and the Barkhamsted Reservoir. The suggested drive into Riverton follows the west branch of the Farmington River through the People's State Forest, another destination for picnicking and hiking. Riverton itself is a classic New England village, complete with colonial homesteads, a general store and a country inn. It is also home to the famous Hitchcock Chair Company, where hand-stenciled chairs are still made. The Hitchcock Museum in an 1829 church shows some of the historic originals. More picture perfect villages, Winsted, Winchester and Norfolk, are along the route back to Torrington, each with historic greens and architecture that sets cameras clicking. A TREASURY OF AMERICANA Southbury is the start of this route which takes in Woodbury, one of the region's oldest towns, known for its church steeples, historic houses and abundance of antique shops. The next stop, Bethlehem, offers stops at the Bellamy Ferriday House Museum, which boasts a notable garden, and the Abbey of Regina Laudis, where Gregorian Chants are sung every day at vespers in the chapel. Following are village treasures such as Hotchkissville, Roxbury and South Britain, still looking much as they did 100 years ago. A suggested side trip on the way back to Southbury leads to the Shepaug Recreational Area, where trails, canoeing and picnic grounds are available. These drives and six other suggested driving tours are described in detail and outlined on maps in the free Touring booklet published by the Visitors Bureau. To receive a copy, along with a free copy of UNWIND, a 40-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills, contact the Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.litchfieldhills.com.