Falls a Hidden Jewel within Plymouth Forest - WFSB 3 Connecticut

The Trail Mix

Falls a Hidden Jewel within Plymouth Forest

Posted: Updated:
Buttermilk Falls along the Mattatuck Trail in Plymouth (WFSB) Buttermilk Falls along the Mattatuck Trail in Plymouth (WFSB)
PLYMOUTH, CT (AP) -

Since childhood, my love of the outdoors has always been a part of me. And as an adult, I hope to share that passion with my own children.

So, I offered this challenge to my family, to join me in exploring the hidden treasures and more popular gems Connecticut and the surrounding region have to offer. From hiking to biking to kayaking, I hope my window into the outside world inspires you to explore as well.

Buttermilk Falls

Mattatuck Trail

Plymouth

It may be one of the shortest hikes you'll ever take, but it could be one of the sweetest.  Owned by The Nature Conservancy, Buttermilk Falls in Plymouth is a shining jewel shrouded in a canopy of trees.

Located in the Terryville section of town, it's nearly a stone's throw away from the road.  I could actually hear the roar of the water as I stepped out of my car.  Looking around, I spotted the blue-blazed signs of the Mattatuck Trail.  However, scraps of trash also caught my eye.  But, I didn't let the unfortunate mess discourage me.

Once on the trail, it quickly reached a wooden bridge that led me across a gully.  And within a minute or so, I was face-to-face with the falls.  The cascades are truly impressive.  They tumble down a height of close to 60 feet, bouncing off large boulders along the way.

Wanting a closer look, I carefully picked my way through tons of leaf litter and down the rocky trail to the bottom.  Here, pools swirl and bubble as the water works its way downstream.  A great patchwork of rocks provided me with opportunities to get close to the water.  The stunning moss-covered stones also helped accentuate the beauty of the falls.

Searching for a different vantage point, I navigated the rocky terrain once again, and headed back up the trail.  I made sure to take the time to explore all the small outcroppings that led me back to the cascades, each spot offering me up a new surprise.

Once at the top of the falls, the trail continues, widening a bit and offering a flat and easy trek for the casual hiker.  It follows the winding brook that feeds the falls, before heading off deeper into the woods.

Away from the water, the quiet is almost deafening and not even chattering birds could break the silence.  It was only when I neared some neighboring homes that signs of civilization started to creep in again.

This is where my particular trek began to wind down.  The path makes its way to the end of a driveway and a makeshift sign leads hikers out to Allentown and Wolcott Roads.   You have to hoof it on the road for a bit before the trail eventually takes you back into the woods.  For those willing to carry on, a pair of caves await the curious hiker along the way.

But, tempting as it was, I decided to take a rain check.  Enamored by Buttermilk's impressive falls, I had my fill for the day.

Directions: Take CT-9 N to exit 28 for CT-72 toward Bristol.  Continue on CT-72 W/I-84.  Take exit 33 for CT-72/W toward Bristol. Keep left on CT-72 W for about 4 miles.  Continue straight onto Pine St., then Mountain Rd and straight onto South St.  Turn left onto East Rd.  Go a little over a mile.  Turn left onto Wolcott St. for a little less than a mile.  Turn right to stay on Wolcott.  Continue straight onto Allentown Rd.  About 2 miles in, turn right onto Lane Hill Road.  A small parking spot is located on the left at the top of the hill.

Trail Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Trail Length: 1.5 miles