5 Stunning Waterfalls to Visit in Southwest Connecticut
There’s something about waterfalls that can take a regular hike and turn it into something magical. So, it’s not surprising that everyone wants to find the waterfalls near them. Although there are a few well known larger waterfalls in Connecticut, there are some great smaller waterfalls near you in Southwestern Connecticut.
In Southwestern Connecticut (Fairfield County) there are 5 waterfalls you can reach either by car or by hiking. These aren’t the largest falls in the state, but are still beautiful to visit. Most are located in or near larger parks that allow for a full days worth of activities for everyone, including families.
Let’s look into the each of these waterfalls individually and learn how to reach them, when’s the best time to visit, and anything else you’ll need to know to see them!
5 Waterfalls in Southwest Connecticut
|Farmill River Falls||Stratford, CT||2.5 stars||Easy to reach, but very limited parking. Used to have swimming hole, but was prohibited in 2020.|
|Indian Well Falls||Shelton, CT||4.5 stars||Plenty of parking. 25 minute moderate hike to reach waterfall. No swimming allowed.|
|Prydden Brook Falls||Newtown, CT||3.0 stars||1.8 mile moderate hike to reach the falls (3.2 mile round trip). Amazing when full, but will run dry in low water conditions|
|Saugatuck Falls||Redding, CT||2.0 stars||1.0 mile medium hike to the falls (with a few tricky spots for balancing). Most parking is at the school across the street. Will need to get into the river for the best view.|
|Sheep Falls||Wilton, CT||1.5 stars||Located in Wilton’s Town Forest, <1 mile from parking to falls. Falls will run dry in low water conditions. Very Small.|
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Farmill River Falls: Cascading Waterfall in Southwestern Connecticut
Farmill Falls, located in Shelton, Connecticut have historically been a popular park for locals. This is because the waterfall would flow 6 ft into an open pool area available for swimming.
However due to overpopulated trails, and some safety concerns local officials prohibited swimming as of summer 2020. With that said, even if you can’t swim it’s still a fantastic waterfall to visit. Other than being a bit on the smaller side, they’re beautiful and flowing most times of the year.
Getting to the falls can be a bit of a challenge though. First, parking is for Shelton or Stratford residents only. And, to deter vandalism the trails aren’t the most maintained.
Indian Well Falls: Plunging Waterfall in Southwestern Connecticut
Indian Well Falls in Shelton, CT is the second largest waterfall in this list, coming in at 15 feet tall. It’s a narrow waterfall, giving you that traditional waterfall appearance you’re likely expecting.
Reaching the waterfall does require a ~20-25 minute, moderate level hike. I’d say this is on the easier side of moderate, but does have some elevation that would make it more moderate.
Other than the waterfall, there’s a lot to do here. You can’t swim at the falls, but there is another swimming area inside the park. There are also large fields to relax in or play sports in, so it’s a great place to spend the day with friends or family.
Prydden Brook Falls: Plunging Waterfall in Southwestern Connecticut
The largest waterfall on this list is Prydden Brook Falls, located in Newtown Connecticut. It includes 40 ft of cascading water and 25-ft tall water plunge. The first part of the waterfall is the plunge, which then feeds into the cascade before delivering the water into the river.
With that said, this waterfall doesn’t exist year around, so you’ll want to visit when water-levels are high or after a particularly heavy rain.
To reach the falls you will need to hike, and the hike is a bit rocky along the Housatonic River. Some areas are flat, but other section have elevation and rocky stream crossings on the way out. You can do this as an out-and-back and come in around 2.5 miles total, or you can choose to hike the loop which is about 4 miles total.
Saugatuck Falls: Cascading Waterfall in Southwestern Connecticut
Saugatuck Falls is a cascading waterfall that is only a few feet tall. But don’t let the height of the falls dissuade you from visiting. The power of the water when it’s been rainy more than makes up for it’s short stature. Although if it’s been drier, it can become a bit wimpy.
Located in Redding, CT, you should expect some hiking to get to the falls. Nothing too strenuous, but there are some parts of the trail that require a bit of balancing. And if you want to get a good view of the falls, then you’ll probably want to balance on rocks in the river – so be prepared for that. When you get to the 1ft tall cascade, this is where you’ll want to get out to see around the bend as Saugatuck Falls are located just past this first cascade.
Additionally, the trail markers aren’t always clear, so be prepared with a trail map or guide so you know where you’re going.
Sheep Falls: Small Cascading Waterfall in Southwestern Connecticut
Sheep Falls (also known as Barretts Brook Falls) located in Wilton, CT is definitely the smallest falls on this list. When it’s been rainy and the water level is high then this will exist, but if it’s been dry then you won’t have any falls to see. Really, this is more of a cascade of water, but I included it in this list anyways because it is slightly larger and shaped more like a waterfall than a cascade. Just moderate your expectations when visiting this waterfall.
To visit, you’ll park at the end of the cut-de-sac and walk down the driveway until you see the sign for Wilton Town Park. You’ll start on the yellow trail before turning left on blue and right on orange before you reach the falls within the first mile of parking.
If you don’t want to park in the cul-de-sac, you can also park here, although it’ll be a longer trek to the falls.
If you’re hoping to explore some Connecticut waterfalls, then these 5 stunning waterfalls in Southwestern Connecticut should fit the bill. If you’re interested in other hikes in and around the state check out our hiking adventures page.
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