Litchfield Hills Overview
- Rolling hills, endless skies
- Country life
- Take a hike
Renowned for their stunning natural beauty, Northwest Connecticut's Litchfield Hills are a landscape painter’s dream of pine-forested hills, tranquil, fish-filled lakes and huge open horizons.
Part of New England – and easily reachable from New York or Boston – Northwest Connecticut's Litchfield Hills are renowned for their stunning natural beauty. Charm-oozing little towns may dot its valleys and plains, but the real stars of the show here are the pine-forested hills that rise to rocky peaks to form a rollercoaster-like horizon between tranquil, fish-filled lakes and huge, open skies. It’s a landscape painter’s dream.
Literally Litchfield Hills
You can find a farmers’ market in pretty much every part of the region almost every day of the week – why not try the Saturday market at Center Elementary School in Litchfield (11am–3pm, late June to October)? It takes a Jamie Oliver-type approach to food, and aims to educate children about good nutrition.
- Taxis are more prevalent in the bigger towns – though they don’t exactly fly past with New York-like regularity. If you’re in the Morris area, call Berkshire Livery (1 860 567 8769) to order a cab.
- Tipping culture
- If in doubt, tip. Pretty much everyone involved in Connecticut’s service industry expects a gratuity. For good service, go for 15 to 20 per cent.
- Siesta and fiesta
- Most shops in small-town Northwest Connecticut close around 5.30pm, and you won’t find much open on Sundays. After the bars close, late-night action is tricky to find. You might have to resort to your hotel minibar come midnight.
- Packing tips
- Bring plenty of outdoor clothing. That first inhalation of fresh Northwest Connecticut air is sure to bring out the pioneer spirit in you.
- Recommended reads
- Poet Mark Van Doren may have brought literary attention to the region with his 1939 poem ‘The Hills of Little Cornwall’, but Northwest Connecticut’s best-known author is Pulitzer Prize-winning Philip Roth, many of whose novels are set in the area. The Ice Storm by Rick Moody takes place in nearby New Canaan, while contemporary ghost story The Night Country unfolds in Avon, just to the east of Litchfield County.
- Connecticut cuisine, like that of the rest of New England, is centred around the abundant seafood brought in from the coastal areas around the Long Island Sound. Even inland, you’ll find plenty of clams, oysters, lobster and shad (river herring) on menus. Hasty pudding, a sturdy, polenta-like dish made from corn meal and water, dates from the early days of settlement, and is still eaten in rural parts of the region – particularly around Thanksgiving.
- US dollar ($).
- Time zone
- GMT -5.
- Dialling codes
- US country code: +1. Litchfield Hills: 203 or 860.
- Do go/don't go
- The obvious time to come to New England is during the Fall, when the trees form a palette of russets and golds that genuinely awes. The downside, though, is that this is when prices are highest, hotels are fully booked and all beauty spots throng with camera-toting ‘leaf chasers’. Spring and summer are balmy and beautiful, while winter is the time to bring your skis.
Don't go home without...
Doing a spot of fishing in the glorious Housatonic River. After a huge clean-up operation, Connecticut’s main artery is now more fish-filled than ever, and you can cast for enormous, fat trout amid some of the most verdant scenery in the US.