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1. Highlights

The Housatonic River carves a sinuous path through the Litchfield Hills, sweeping through rocky gorges overhung with pines and hemlocks; flowing quietly beside meadows bright with wildflowers; slipping under centuries-old covered bridges; and passing hamlets, hollows and bucolic villages nestled on its banks.

The heritage of the Litchfield Hills is intermingled with the waters of the Housatonic River, whose Indian name means "place beyond the mountains." Since colonial times, the Housatonic provided fertile flood plains for agricultural development, and today, many farms still dot its banks.

In the 19th century, the river's waterpower was harnessed and used to operate small mills and iron ore furnaces, whose remnants can still be seen along its banks.

Today, the Housatonic River continues to play a significant role by generating hydroelectricity for the region. Much of the River is in the Federally Designated Upper Housatonic National Heritage Area.