I've said it a million times. Connecticut is a microcosm. It takes two hours or so to cross the state the long way. But, in that two hours you get to see what it takes a lot of people the entire country to see. From the mountains to the prairie to the oceans, we have it all. This is the summer that I do an in depth tour of the state that I have chosen for my home and see all that it has to offer. My next stop on this tour was Norfolk. Norfolk is one of those tiny little towns that we all love to see on a postcard, but when we get there we wonder what to do. the surprise here is that there's stuff to do. There's more there than just the gorgeous churches that line the streets on your way through.
For one thing, Norfolk is home to three old state parks. The first one that we visited was Dennis Hill State Park. This is a great picnic venue. If you want, you can rent the pavilion for the day and have a big family reunion. But, there are two things that I really love about Dennis Hill. One is the Mountain Laurel blooming all along the drive to the top of the hill. In June, it is absolutely fabulous. The other thing that I adore about this park is the view from the top of the hill. This hill is a small mountain, and you have views of all the mountains around. It's a beautiful spot in the world.
Next, we visited Haystack Mountain State Park. This is a great place to have a lunch also. The lake is beautiful and the drive is beautiful. This park has an added perk. From the end of the drive it is a short hike to the old lookout tower. The views from the top are outstanding. This park is also walking distance from downtown Norfolk just in case you didn't drive on this trip. It is unlikely that you would not drive, because Norfolk is a tiny berg between Winsted and Canaan on Route 44 in the northwest corner of the state. There are no buses or taxis out there.
State park number three was not quite a Connecticut State Park. Campbell Falls State Park is a Connecticut State Park, but. It's right up the road from Haystack Mountain on the same road, Route 272, but the falls that the park is named after is in Massachusetts. You walk across the state line. It makes for an interesting little walk down a steep hill, so bring your hiking shoes. And you might want to bring some shoes that you would also wear in water, because it's irresistible to soak your feet a little bit. Anyway, the falls are gorgeous, and it's a great way to spend some time on a hot afternoon.
There's one more park that we visited. This is the town park. It's right behind the beautiful old churches in the middle of town. The grounds are beautiful. The buildings are charming. In back of all that, there are the local ball fields where all the local leagues play. Once again, it's Norfolk, so it's peaceful. I will warn you that if you are looking for a thrill filled adventure of a holiday; Norfolk is not your place. This is the kind of town where you wander the parks, visit some beautiful buildings, have a meal at Wood Creek Bar and Grill, and enjoy the atmosphere.
But, there are some civilized things around. For one thing, there's Infinity Hall. That's the local theater that hosts all kinds of things and has open mic nights as well. Headliners perform there like The Little River Band and Jefferson Starship. This theater is something that you don't normally find in a tiny town like Norfolk, but it's the sister theater to the Infinity Theater in Hartford. So, you get a little taste of the city in the middle of nowhere. So, after you eat, take in a show and then spend the night at a bed and breakfast like Mountain View. You won't find any large hotels here. Quaint and Quiet is the way we like it in this neck of the woods.
So, Norfolk is quiet, beautiful, and not overrun with tourists. It's a great weekend spot. It's a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll with a lot of beauty woven through. It's a great place to get away from it all and see some beautiful sights. It is a small town with one main drag and the highway that runs through it, but it is home to theater, arts, food, and the great outdoors. It's one of those tiny little places that most of us spend most of our time passing through, but when you stop and take the time to check it out you realize that you've been missing out.
So, the next time you say you want to get away from it all for the weekend, consider that overnight stay in a bed and breakfast. Maybe take in a headline band and eat some great food. Take a walk in the woods. See a beautiful waterfall. Have a picnic. But remember one thing about Norfolk. Even on Main Street in the parking area, you have a completely amazing view. Come check out the view in the amazing little berg and enjoy!
Keep an eye on this blog as I intend to rival the tourist board in Connecticut with my stories about travel in this beautiful state. Still Revolutionary doesn't begin to describe this amazing microcosm, so stay tuned and see what Connecticut really has to offer!