Recognized as a state park in 2002, Lovers Leap features 160 acres of historic ruins, hiking trails, and some of the most incredible scenery in the state. Located in western Connecticut, this walk-in park is open throughout the year, and is absolutely perfect for those who love spending time in the great outdoors.
The Legend of Lovers Leap
Many who visit Lovers Leap State Park wonder about how the park acquired its name, and this is all down to the story of a local Native American leader, and her English lover, who left her but intended to return one day. In despair about his absence, the woman threw herself, and her birch canoe, into the Housatonic River, just as her lover was returning to her. Even though he dived in to try and save her, legend has it that neither of them ended up surviving.
One of the highlights of Lovers Leap State Park is the hiking trails that criss-cross their way around the grounds. The Lovers Leap Trail is the main one, and is also the most popular, as this trail only stretches out for less than two miles, making it quite the leisurely walk, especially when rewarded with stunning views of Lake Lillinonah and the surrounding hillside areas. The Blue Trail is also worth checking out, as this takes you up to the highest point within the park. This is also the trail to take if you want to view some of the park’s historic features, such as the ruins of a castle.
While Lovers Leap State Park is not known for being a thriving fishing spot, there is a great place to head to if you want a quiet afternoon by the water. Simply make your way to the old railroad bridge, which can be found between the Still and Housatonic Rivers, as this is a wonderfully serene spot that is often visited by several different species of fish, especially during the summer months.
Swimming and Canoeing
Being home to a large lake, a gorge, rivers, and several streams, Lovers Leap State Park is a great place to visit for some swimming or canoeing. While you will have to bring your own canoe or kayak, the boat launch at the end of Lovers Leap Road is the perfect place to access the water. This area also features a peaceful cove, the innermost part of which can easily be explored by boat. However, be aware that there are families of beavers that live here, and they may try to chase you away by using their tails to slap water into your boat. As you continue to carry onwards in your boat, you will come across many of the park’s historical features, some of which are best viewed from the perspective of the water. From the orange steel Falls Bridge, which was originally built in 1895, to the stone remains of an old paint factory, you will be able to experience some of the many ways in which the area was used over the years.
Lovers Leap State Park boasts some of the best scenic vistas that you will find anywhere in Connecticut, making it definitely worth the visit. While it may be a bit of a drive to access the park, the serenity and tranquillity that you will find here will make up for it, as will the awe-inspiring sense of history that you will feel as you explore the park.
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