Roaring? I’d be Lion.
Roaring Brook Falls Park, Cheshire
This is a weird one. Roaring Brook Falls is most often cited as Connecticut’s “largest waterfall” in the sense that it contains the largest single drop of any falls in the state. Somewhere around 80-feet of drop. Awesome.
That mention almost always comes in the same breath as “but Kent Falls is the biggest waterfall in the state” because from top to bottom water tumbles from a greater height. (We’ll ignore that “biggest” might mean volume in which case these two are mere jokes when compared to falls on larger rivers.)
Here’s why Kent Falls is the one that gets the press: Kent Falls is infinitely prettier and easier to access than Cheshire’s Roaring Brook Falls. Since I went to Roaring Brook with little kids, I barely even saw Roaring Brook Falls… the largest single drop falls in the state.
But I’m not alone. If you stick to the trail, you’re simply not going to get a good shot of the thing. But let’s back up to the trail itself for a minute or two. There’s a decent parking lot here and the whole area up to the ridgeline is now a Cheshire town park. Down on the flatlands there’s a murky lake to stare at as well as some seemingly out-of-place tennis courts.
The red-blazed trail here is a no-nonsense affair that heads more or less straight up to Prospect Ridge, at which point it meets the CFPA’s Quinnipiac Trail. The trail is steep. How steep? Really steep:
Well, really steep for doofy little kids anyway. As you see in that video, the trail here is wide and cleared well. We didn’t see anyone else on it during our up and down hike, but it’s pretty popular.
And we’re lucky to have it. It was slated for development back in the 1970’s when the Cheshire Land Trust got involved to help protect it. They did so valiantly and managed Roaring brook for a couple decades before selling it to the town of Cheshire at some point.
The path here is very old. Back in the day, enterprising outfits would lead horse and buggy tours up the incline to see the falls. And you know it’s an old trail because no effort has been made to lessen the incline – or to safely move it away from the deep chasm.
With my older special needs son, who has some depth perception and balance issues, I’ve always been wary of these things. Most people would just walk along the trail and not really think about it, but for some reason I decided to record another short video… perhaps to, I don’t know, make my wife yell at me for taking Damian to these places?
The trail does a small loop near the top of the hill. Just before the loop, the falls appear off to the right. Through trees and across a decent expanse. In order to get any sort of half-decent picture, one must pick one’s way down into the gorge. As you’ve figured from the above, that wasn’t in the cards for us.
Fortunately, Wiki Commons and my friend Justin Coleman have made the effort and can provide us with some decent pictures of Roaring Brook Falls. Otherwise, this page would be pretty terrible.
The boys and I made it almost up to the Quinnipiac Trail and then headed back down to the car, passing an old chimney that still stands just off the trail. This was a difficult hike for Damian but he stuck it out and did really well.
Calvin? Though just three at the time, he had no issues and remained the goofball he’s always been. I don’t have much more to say about this park, so I’ll just dump a few more pictures here.