Beautiful Connecticut Hiking Towns Part 1; Falls Village

Wondering where to hike in CT – which town or destination is worth the drive?! In this new series of Connecticut hiking towns, I share some of my favorite weekend destinations and towns to hike in. These towns will have multiple trail choices and, almost as important, amazing places to eat before or after a hike!

sunset view on connecticut mountain with orange glow
Stone Man Mountain at sunset! See hike #2 on the list below.

First up is Falls Village, CT. Located in the Northwest corner of the state in Litchfield County you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time as you drive down the country roads passing farms and fields, churches, and buildings that have maintained their 19th century look and feel!

Falls Village is definitely a go-to for me when I’m not sure what hike I want to do but know I want to be somewhere beautiful. You can’t go wrong with any of the hikes or visits below!

In this article, I share 5 hikes, 2 waterfalls, and a couple of options for food! 😍☕️

Where to hike in Falls Village, CT?!🥾

1. Mount Prospect & Raccoon Hill via the Appalachian Trail

woman in tank top hiking in summer in connecticut surrounded by green mountains
Rands View in summer
  • Miles: 6.3 miles out and back
  • Time: 3.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 1,305 ft elevation gain
  • Parking: lot with about 10-15 on Housatonic River Rd
  • Date visited: 9/5/20
  • Special features: 2 lookouts; Mount Prospect & Rand’s View

A classic section of the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut, Rand’s View (as pictured above) is what I consider the main destination of this hike. It’s strange, this hike has lots of different names but to clear things up; you start hiking along the Appalachian Trail (white blaze) from the parking lot on Housatonic River Rd.

You’ll then hike for about 1.8 miles and 850 ft of elevation until you get to Mount Prospect which is a nice place to stop and sit and take in the view (snack here maybe?). After, you’ll continue for about .7 miles and only about 220 feet of elevation until you get to Rand’s View which is the sweeping meadow view above.

This view looks out (and seems endless!) to the Berkshires with trees dotting the land ahead. I normally turn around at this point but you can certainly finish out the last of trail (.5 miles) to Raccoon Hill which doesn’t have a view!

2. Stone Man Mountain via Iron Trail

sunset view on hike in connecticut
Sunset view!
  • Miles: 2.7 miles out and back
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 672 ft elevation gain
  • Parking: lot with about 10 spaces on Canaan Mountain Rd
  • Date visited: 2/8/23
  • Special features: wide open summit view that mainly faces east (want to try it for sunrise!🌅)

This is such a fun little hike that feels like it’s hiding in the woods behind downtown Norfolk (even though it is in Falls Village!). This hike takes you right into the woods, downhill a bit, and over a little bridge, then a small climb (400 ft in .5 miles) until you get to the top ridge that you’ll walk along until you get to the top of Stone Man Mountain.

You will know you’re there (at the top) when you see a small stack of rocks, a cairn! You will be treated to a wide open view, sweeping views all around but mainly facing east so this would be a good one for sunrise. The sun sets behind Stone Man Mountain (pictured bottom right) but you can still see it through the trees in winter time.

3. Sunset Cliffs Lookout on Mohawk Trail (click the link then scroll to hike #2 on that list! :))

woman and dog on sunset hike
  • Miles: 2 miles out and back
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate (steep!)
  • Elevation: 1,300 ft elevation gain
  • Parking: 1-3 car pull off on Music Mountain Rd
  • Date visited: 1/18/23
  • Special features: open cliff that faces west for sunset!🌅
sunset cliff hike in connecticut

On your way to Sharon, CT you pass through the little town of Falls Village located in the northwest corner of the state. This hike is a short but steep climb up a section of the Mohawk Trail (marked blue). The link in the title is only half of it so naturally, you will double back when you are done, making it a total of 2 miles.

This one is a tad steep, you’ll climb almost 700 ft in one mile so it’s not too tough but it will get your heart pumping!

4. Lime Rock Park Lookout on the Appalachian Trail

view from connecticut mountain top in spring with blue sky and fluffy white clouds
  • Miles: 5.5 miles out and back
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 1,400 ft elevation gain
  • Parking: AT trailhead parking lot on Rt 7/Lime Rock Rd
  • Date visited: 4/18/20
  • Special features: walk along Housatonic River, Belters Bump, and finally Lime Rock Park view

Another hike on the Appalachian Trail in CT, this is a really scenic stretch I love! You’ll park on Lime Rock Rd enter the trail and bear right so that the Housatonic River is ahead of you and then on your left as you walk. This short walk with the river alongside you is worth the whole trip!

But luckily, there’s more to see! A third of a mile into the hike you’ll cross the busy Route 7 (so keep kids and dogs close!) to continue on the AT (follow the white blaze!) This is where the climb will start and it will be about 850 ft of elevation in almost 2 miles so it is gradual and not too steep. Finally you’ll get to Sharon Mountain (2.3 miles in, not really a view!) and just past it is the wide open Lime Rock lookout.

You’ll be able to hear and see the race cars below if it is during racing season which is kind of cool! I’ve never seen it really crowded here so the dogs and I got to have a nice moment alone at the top! I propped my phone up on a tree and got the pictures you see below. Hope you enjoy this hike!

5. Music Mountain on Mohawk Trail

woman in t-shirt on trail surrounded by trees in late fall
  • Miles: 3.2 miles out and back
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 515 ft elevation gain
  • Parking: small pull-off on Music Mountain Rd
  • Date visited: 11/4/20
  • Special features: this is a pretty path through the woods with a small waterfall at the start

2 Waterfalls in Falls Village, CT💦

💦Great Falls Waterfall

large waterfall in connecticut in summer

This is the second-tallest waterfall in CT! There is no hike to this waterfall but here is the link on Google Maps so you can navigate to the parking lot. From the parking lot, there is a very short trail in the woods that leads to a viewing point (fenced in) of the falls.

💦Dean’s Ravine Waterfall

waterfall in connecticut cascading down
  • Miles: 1.2 miles out and back
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation: 196 ft elevation gain
  • Parking: pull off for a few cars on Music Mountain Rd.
  • Date visited: 2/18/23
  • Special features: just a waterfall and trail that follows the brook 😍

From the pull off on the side of the road you’ll head toward the water and walk downhill into the woods and walk along the trail with Reed Brook on you’re right as you go. It is not a long walk to the falls but getting close to the falls can be a little tricky.

There are rocks and boulders and it could be slippery so wear boots or shoes with good grip. There were also lots of trees and branches down in front of the falls which makes getting the best shot of it kind of tough! Take it as a little challenge though and adventurously but safely navigate to get closer to them.

Where to eat after hiking in Falls Village?!☕️🥐

That’s easy. 😍 You have two choices for breakfast, lunch, or brunch before or after a hike. My favorites are Falls Village Cafe and Mountain Side Cafe. Both use locally sourced ingredients and products from farms and businesses in the area! I’ve found Mountain Side Cafe to have a longer line than Falls Village Cafe (it could be its can’t-miss location right on Route 7) so call ahead for an order to go or to check the wait!

Let me know if you’ve enjoyed this post or plan to visit any of these favorite spots! And if you have a favorite hiking town in CT, comment below! I’d love to hear about it. 💗🐾

I hope you enjoyed this day trip to Falls Village, CT!

Looking for another hiking town to take a day trip in CT? ?Check out my post on Newtown, CT!

southford falls waterfall near newtown connecticut

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