Feel the Churn
Buttermilk Falls, Plymouth
Every state has its own Buttermilk Falls. Most states have multiple. Connecticut even has two. That’s right, our little state with a general paucity of decent waterfalls couldn’t come up with different names for Plymouth’s Buttermilk Falls and the much smaller falls of the same name in Norfolk. I’ll let you know up front that if you’re having some choice paralysis over which Buttermilk Falls to visit, go to Plymouth. In fact, I’d argue that these falls are among the best of any named falls in the state.
You can reach the falls off of Lane Hill Road. Park and walk up the blue-blazed Mattatuck Trail. During the winter, Lane Hill Road is closed, but the trail is only 500 feet from where the road is closed, so the falls can be enjoyed year round.
I approached from the east from Allentown Road, as I was hiking a decent chunk of the Mattatuck Trail, having begun in Wolcott. This little segment of the Mattatuck is quite nice; tall pines, soft footfalls, old millworks then the long descent next to Buttermilk Falls. I absolutely loved this mile of hiking.
Do you want to know what my wife and I think about when we hear the word “buttermilk?” An old Daily Show segment called “Slimming Down with Steve.” In fact, we reference this sketch all the time – the premeal prayer, the reaction to his first bite of the pasta, and of course, “buttermilk.” So since we’re talking about a Buttermilk Falls, you should take the five minutes to enjoy this old Steve Carrell sketch.
Sigh. I love that so much. I really hope that link stays alive forever.
And I love this waterfall! It just keeps going and going and going. There are several waterfalls here and I can’t say which one is the Buttermilk Falls, but I think that’s why “falls” is a singular plural world. There are falls here. Lots of falls. It’s all Buttermilk Falls. Something like that. Connecticut Waterfalls give the impression there is one Buttermilk Falls in particular:
From the top of this waterfall, onlookers are unable to get a full grasp of the height and beauty of this 55-foot falls. By carefully scrambling to the bottom of the falls, viewers can finally see its elusive personality. The horsetails, which are surrounded almost entirely by hemlock-trees, cut their way down to pools at your feet. There are plenty of flat trail sections adjacent to the brook that serves well for picnicking, photography, or for just relaxing and gazing up at the falls. Small wildflowers and ferns also add to the beauty, as they grow in abundance around the rock-strewn river in season.
As ever, my pictures do not do this falls justice. They are relatively terrible, actually. Even my friend Justin Coleman’s picture doesn’t convey the beauty of this area:
Plymouth is one of those towns that gets short shrift. Most people refer Plymouth as Terryville because Terryville covers the large majority of Plymouth. Which is weird… but Eli Terry deserves the honor I suppose. These falls are in the Terryville section of Plymouth. Pretty much everything in Plymouth is in the “Terryville section of Plymouth.” Regardless, don’t skip Buttermilk Falls here. Not too difficult to get to, and the mildly rugged hike up alongside of them is fun and will provides several photo opportunities.
Feel the churn, not the burn.