Fall Season 2005

Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com
For Immediate Release

Autumn scenery is twice as nice when the glowing golds and crimsons of the leaves are reflected in placid lakes and ponds. The backroads of the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut lead to many of these combined delights, with leafy picnic areas for lingering and savoring the setting. While spreading a picnic blanket beside a lake is definitely a romantic outing for two, picnicking is fun for families as well, since many lakes are located in state parks, with convenient tables and restroom facilities. All the lakes provide hiking trails for those who want a close-up view of the fall foliage, and some lakes also offer fishing or boat rentals for a different perspective on the autumn panorama. Candlewood Lake, Connecticut 's largest, boasts 60 miles of tree-lined shoreline. The best picnicking is at tables beside the waters of Squantz Pond, an arm of the lake that is the centerpiece of a state park. The 1000-acre Pootatuck Forest adjoining the park has ample trails for hikers. The entrance to Squantz Pond State Park is on Route 39 north of New Fairfield. Tree-lined Lake Waramaug in New Preston, reached via Route 45, is a prime destination. An eight-mile drive circles the natural lake with water as smooth as a looking glass, perfect for reflecting the trees. A state park on the far shore offers picnicking as well as paddle boat rentals. Bantam Lake, off Route 109 south of Litchfield, is encircled by a country road and adjacent to the 4,000 acres of forest of the White Memorial Foundation, the state 's largest nature center and wildlife sanctuary, with 35 miles of trails. The best place for picnicking is at the Sandy Beach area in Morris, off Route 109. Mt. Tom State Park, three miles west of Litchfield on Route 202, has several lures in autumn. Picnic tables in a wooded grove overlooking the 62-acre spring-fed Tom Pond are ideal for relaxing and enjoying the color. The deep clear water is stocked with trout, making it a favorite with fishermen. And hikers who climb to the stone tower atop Mt. Tom are rewarded with a panoramic view of three states dressed in autumn garb. Black Rock State Park on Route 6 in Watertown, ten miles north of Waterbury, is a rugged setting with wooded ledges covered with pine, hemlock and autumn-hued oaks surrounding Black Rock Pond. The natural beauty of the pond and brook lures fishermen as well as picnickers; there is also excellent hiking at on the blue-blazed Mattatuck Trail that runs through the park. Those who chose the Lake McDonough Recreation Area, reached via Route 219 in Barkhamsted, will find picnicking, paddle boat rentals, hiking trails including a Braille Trail as well as several special drives nearby. From Barkhamsted, Route 44 to Route 318 to West River Road leads through the Peoples State Forest, paralleling the west branch of the Farmington River, a designated National Wild and Scenic River. The east branch of the river is now held back by the Saville Dam to form the Barkhamsted Reservoir. The placid reservoir provides water for the residents of Hartford and a last glorious look at autumn colors, doubly lovely reflected in the water. Don 't forget the camera. For more information about fall events and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut, contact Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield CT 06759-0968, call 800-663-1273, or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.