Learn Essential Litchfield Hills Exploration Guide
From hiking a scenic forest once home to an industrial-era iron-making complex to learning the art of selecting the juiciest, most supple apples from the orchard, here are our top not-to-miss adventures in Litchfield Hills.
Apple Picking at March Farm
At the fourth-generation March Farm in Bethlehem, grandparents have lifted the littlest ones to the treetops to pluck their very first honey crisp apples and lifelong friends have joined together to celebrate milestones while savoring seasonal cherries, blueberries, and peaches. During a visit, pick-your-own produce with an on-ground guide who will provide you with in-the-know tips to ensure you pick the most delicious produce—they know blueberries taste best when they’re midnight blue and cherries are their ripest when shaded deep scarlet. Plus, families will find autumn at the farm especially enjoyable when the entire family can partake in festive pumpkin picking and hayrides throughout the verdant hills.
Wine and Chocolate Tastings at Sunset Meadow Vineyards and Thorncrest Farm
Amidst a sunkissed field of rolling vineyards in Goshen, Sunset Meadow Vineyards cultivates its finest and most supple grapes to produce its flavorful line of wines, from buttery Chardonnay to peppery Merlot aged in American and French oak barrels. During a visit, opt for a wine-tasting to try 5 vintages (you can even keep the engraved glass), before visiting the nearby Thorncrest Farm to taste an assortment of artisanal chocolate bars made from Fair Trade organic cacao nibs.
Kayaking in Lake Waramaug
With vivid foliage mirrored on its cobalt waters, Lake Waramaug impresses as one of Connecticut’s most mesmerizing natural playgrounds. Named after the Native American chief of the Wyantenock tribe, the site offers outdoor enthusiasts a myriad of adventure options, including guided kayak tours of the lake. After paddling the languid waters, be sure to visit Hopkins Vineyard, where you can relax with a sweet apple cider or a dry Rose made from estate-grown, hand-harvested dornfelder, lemberger, and pinot noir grapes paired with a charcuterie board of local cheeses and country pâtés served with fresh bread—a spread best enjoyed while a kaleidoscope of sunset hues engulf the horizon.
With its creamery roots dating back to the mid-1800s, this farm was revitalized by new ownership and is now home to over 300 black-and-white spotted cows that roam this dairy farm’s hilly pastures, providing the silkiest, richest milk in all of Connecticut. When you stop by the farm for a visit, savor a bevy of sweet and decadent treats, from a milkshake-like pour of the farm’s chocolate milk to a double scoop of classic vanilla or sweet cream chocolate chip ice cream.
Hiking at Mine Hill Preserve
This former 19th-century iron-making complex is now one of Roxbury’s most brilliant outdoor settings, home to myriad hiking trails marked with signs that detail the site’s industrial past. Today, the Main Loop offers one of the area’s most scenic routes, where you can hike for 3.5 miles along the perimeter of the preserve, a path offering a glimpse into two mine tunnels and a series of grated air shafts that now serve as entryways for bats. Following an adventure, stop by Mine Hill Distillery for a tasting of the brand’s own dry gin made with eastern white pine and fragrant botanicals inspired by the fields and forests of Mine Hill.