Okay. Enough already. We’re two weeks into the new year and it’s time to hit the trails.
A relative stretch of snow and bitter temps are behind us and it’s the perfect time to seek out those hot spots that make Connecticut so cool to explore – even in winter.
First up in 2017, Grayville Falls in Hebron. It’s not the biggest or best waterfall I’ve ever found, but, its small cascades and stratified bedrock is a picturesque backdrop that sets a fanciful tone in this wooded park.
A gated path is just a hop, skip and jump (more like a slip, slide and stumble following the recent snow melt) from the parking lot. And once on the trail, it’s simple enough to follow even in this slushy environment. And, the path’s easy access is also a win-win for hikers with small kids or leashed dogs in tow.
Bolstered by the overnight rain, the loud currents tipped me off to the falls right away. I followed the sound and then, tracked downstream near the bottom of the falls. I wanted to end my short hike at the top of the cascade and this allowed me to creep up right to the edge of Raymond Brook where water was rushing through the many pockets of ice floating here.
I explored the immediate area before reversing course to follow the edge of the brook upstream. There aren’t any dramatic drops here but the falls many steps combined with the powerful flow of Raymond Brook are still impressive.
Once at the top, I came across the sturdy structure of an old stone dam and remnants of a factory once run by William Gray – a name the falls ‘borrowed’ some years ago in an homage to the region’s history.
The spot from above offers views of the surrounding landscape and highlights the descending brook as it cuts through the wooded greenery.
This place may not be the grandest or well-known of Connecticut’s haunts, but it’s peaceful. It’s pretty. And, it’s the push I needed to jumpstart the new year.
Directions: Take CT-2 East to Exit 13 for CT-66 toward Willimantic/Marlborough. Take sharp left onto CT-66 E. Turn right onto CT-85 S. Turn right onto Hope Valley Rd. Continue straight onto Reidy Hill Rd. Turn right onto Grayville Rd. Parking is on the left.
Trail Distance: ½ a mile
Trail Difficulty: Easy