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Topsmead State Forest

Visit Litchfield : 5 Amazing Things to Do in Litchfield (2023)

Located just 80 minutes northeast of Stamford and 50 minutes east of Hartford, the beautiful town of Litchfield in Connecticut is a charming village dotted with historic buildings. This is a popular weekend destination that you will easily fall in love with.

When you come to Litchfield, it is normal to feel like you have stepped into a picturesque storybook village, complete with lush greenery, white spired church, and beautifully preserved homes that date back to the 18th century. The town of Litchfield is home to many eclectic shops and some great restaurants that would please even the pickiest of eaters.

The town’s beauty is increased manifold by the verdant forests and sparkling lakes that are located just outside of its borders. Make sure to bring your camera if you visit Litchfield during peak fall foliage season. There are many activities to indulge in Litchfield, including fishing, hiking, boating, biking, and skiing in the winter months. Before you go, it is a great idea to plan your visit with some of the top-rated things to do in Litchfield.

Visit Litchfield: 5 Amazing Things to Do in Litchfield

1. Visit the White Memorial Conservation Center

If you are looking for some peace and quiet and you want to get away from the crowded tourist attractions, the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield is your best bet. Spread over 4000 acres of forest, fields, and wetlands, this is a natural wonderland that provides stunning views all around. And this is also one of the best places to take some awesome photographs, especially in mid to late October when you get to capture the magnificent autumn hues.

The sprawling grounds of the center are home to 40 miles of trails and ten pounds. These trails are ideal for hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and in the winters, they can be used by snowshoers and cross-country skiers. You will even find signs in Braille all along the trails that inform you about the area’s trees, wildlife, and shrubs. It is also possible to camp on-site here.

There is a Nature Museum that is housed in Whitehall, which used to initially be the summer home of the original owners, May and Alain White. It is here that visitors get to learn about the area’s fascinating natural history.

Also, check out the Ongley Pond, which is the ideal place to spot some turtles as they sun themselves. Nearby there is the Beaver Pond, where you will find ruins of a Japanese Tea House. From the top of the viewing platform built on Apple Hill, you can take in some stunning views of Bantam Lake.

2. Enjoy Nature at the Topsmead State Forest

This beautiful state park in Litchfield is a popular spot for tourists and locals who want to indulge in a picnic, hiking, or just want to enjoy some fresh air. The state park remains open from 8 in the morning to sunset. This magnificent forest is dotted with towering pines, stone walls, and some stunning views across the majestic Litchfield Hills.

This entire area used to belong to a businesswoman named Edith Morton Chase, whose charming cottage still remains in the Topsmead State Forest and is now a popular attraction in Litchfield. This is an English Tudor-style home that was designed by the renowned architect Richard Henry Dana, Jr. all the way back in 1923. The tastefully decorated cottage will be sure to take you back in time. There are free guided tours of the cottage offered on the second and fourth weekends of June to October.

There are a lot of things to do here, from admiring the 17th and 18th-century furnishings to the magnificent gardens that surround the cottage, you can even take to the trails to explore the grounds. One of the most incredible trails to check out here is the Edith M. Chase Ecology Trail, which is the perfect way to learn more about the natural wonders here. You can also think about walking the Meadow Path from the cottage to head to the Bird Blind, which is a great bird-watching spot. There is also the beautiful Oriental Family Butterfly Garden to see, especially in the summer.

3. Visit the Village Green in Litchfield

At the busy center of Litchfield is the Village Green, which is technically known as the Litchfield Historic District. The Village Green stretches from the North, South, West, and East Streets and features a beautifully manicured garden.

On the lawn, you will find many children playing while the adults relax in the sun or enjoy a picnic or dine in at one of the many restaurants across the street. The Village Restaurant located on West Street has been a local favorite since way back in the 1950s and a must-try when you visit the Village Green.

4. Check Out the Litchfield Historic District

If you are a history and architecture enthusiast, you would love the Litchfield Historic District. Home to over 475 historic buildings, this entire borough has been declared as a state historic district. Each of these 475 buildings is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The main historic area is bordered by South Lake Street in the west, Talmadge Avenue in the north, Camp Dutton Road in the south, and Rogers Drive in the east. The area also includes a well-preserved collection of structures that take you back to the New England of the 18th century.

Some of the most stunning and well-preserved buildings can be found on the North, West, and South streets, featuring architectural styles that range from Greek Revival, Victorian, and Georgian. Two of the most visited buildings here are the Tapping Reeve House and Law School and the Litchfield Historical Society.

5. Mount Tom State Park

Located just seven miles southwest of Litchfield is the magnificent Mount Tom State Park. Named after the majestic mountain that sits inside its borders, this state park is an abundance of natural beauty. This area was declared to be a state park in 1915, making it one of the oldest state parks in the United States.

The most popular tourist attraction at the park is a stone tower located at the mountain’s summit. This is a popular destination for hikers who climb all the way to get a stunning view. The Tower trail is the best trail to take to reach the summit.

You can indulge in exciting activities like fishing, scuba diving, boating, swimming, and hiking within the park.

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