Roaring Brook Falls in Cheshire offers scenic views and an intense workout. Climbing the steep hillside requires strength and agility. The reward at the top of the hike is a beautiful horsetail waterfall off the cliff of West Mountain. At 80-feet, the waterfall is one of the tallest in the state of Connecticut.
There are various trails that you can take up to the height of the waterfall.
I followed the blue trail straight up the mountainside. Be prepared to pay special attention to your footing as there are a lot of rocks on this steep trail.
On the way down, I took the orange loop trail which was fairly steep, but not as rocky.
The blue trail provided a picturesque view of the tree tops while the orange loop trail spanned the length of the waterfall.
Taking one of these trails up towards the waterfall and looping down using the other is an ideal way to get the best of both worlds.
The hike in total takes about one hour, so bring snacks and plenty of water. The trails are narrow so be prepared to step off to the side as groups approach in order to maintain social distancing standards.
Bring a mask to use when passing others and pack hand sanitizer. Since the trails are at a sharp incline anticipate grabbing onto tree branches and secure rocks to steady your footing.
Consider asking a friend or family member to join you, not just to enjoy the experience and views but also so you can help one another in precarious positions you may encounter on the way to and from the waterfall.
Remember to always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
You can also use a safety feature on your smartphone to share your location with a friend while you explore the woods.
There were many fallen trees along the trails leading to and from the waterfall due to the recent storm.
Be sure not to walk underneath fallen trees, even if the gap is big enough for you to fit. Also, do not walk on top of fallen branches as they can easily collapse.
Instead, walk over the branches or find a path around them if you are able to.
Damp ground surrounding the brook makes for slippery rocks loose in the soil.
While you may find yourself relying on rocks for footholds, be sure to test them out before climbing onto them to confirm that they are secure and able to withstand your bodyweight.
The entrance to the park is in the circle of a residential neighborhood. Street parking is available, but spaces may be tight or limited.
For more information on this hidden gem of a hiking spot visit: https://explorect.org/roaring-brook-park/.