Campbell Falls State Park in Norfolk, CT is the most northern state park in Connecticut. You can never use the word "remote" in Connecticut since things are never really far away no matter where you are in the state, but the rural drive to the park, the peaceful woodland hike and picturesque falls at Campbell will make you feel as though you're a thousand miles away from it all. It's not a long hike nor is the waterfall going to rival Niagara, but it's very nice here and well worth the effort to get there. Snow melts and lots of rain produce the best flow off water cascading down the huge rock formations so you may want to time your hike accordingly. But any time of year, wet or dry, is great and the drive alone might be worth it as you pass through classic small town New England with history and beauty of nature surrounding you all the way.
Campbell Falls is a few miles north of the town of Norfolk off of Route 272. You have two choices as far as hiking in to see the falls. One option is very simple and requires a mere 5 minute walk down the trail to the waterfall. For this option you would take a left turn off of Route 272 and onto Campbell Falls Road. A short distance down this road is a dirt cutout that allows for a handful of parking slots. You'd just hop out of the car and follow the trail straight down and as it bends to the right a little. In just a few minutes you'll be upon the falls. This option is best for those who can't hike far... or those who simply don't like to hike but like nice views/landmarks!
The second option is to turn left onto Tobey Hill Road off of Route 272. Tobey Hill Road comes before Campbell Falls Road (For those of you driving south from Massachusetts, Campbell Falls Road would come first on your right and then Tobey Hill Road). I'm recommending the Tobey Hill option for two reasons. 1) Technically, it's the official park entrance and parking area for Campbell. 2) It's a longer hike than the Campbell Falls Road entrance and the hike is very peaceful and serene as you first enter a classic hardwood forest, creating a nice canopy creating a world of it's own. It's quiet in here and the only sounds you should hear are running waters and birds chirping. (Bard owls like tall, dark pine forest like this so look up once in a while and perhaps you'll spot one of these elusive animals.) The trail eventually starts to dip down and will take you over to the falls. It's an easy hike for most and the yellow trail markers make it a peace of cake to follow along. It shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes each way. It's a perfect respite from the car after driving a long way and I think the Campbell Falls Road hike would just be too short for most folks and doesn't do the To bey park justice.
The obvious attraction here is the waterfall. Even during times of drought it's real nice but when rains or snow melts are flowing, the falls are spectacular. The Whiting River literally rushes out of the state of Massachusetts and tumbles into Connecticut. A total of 100 feet of water cascades down but the main waterfall is probably in the 50 foot range. This main waterfall section is quite a site to behold when its gushing hard. It's powerful and majestic - you can really feel the power of the water when you're there on a good day. Mist splashes every where it's loud.
Visiting Campbell Falls is a can't miss...everyone loves a good waterfall! The town of Norfolk is close by and the drive up to the park is wonderful no matter what direction you're coming from. And you can easily incorporate another hike into your day. A few miles before (or if you're coming from Massachusetts, a few miles after) Campbell Falls is Haystack Mountain. Everyone in the area knows Haystack and many make a yearly pilgrimage and walk up to the old stone tower that delivers a spectacular 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Even on the days when they don't allow you to drive you're car up to Haystack tower, it's still not a difficult hike up the mountain road and dirt trail to the tower. If you're in good shape Campbell Falls and Haystack are a great combination! If you go during foliage season, better get up early to beat the crowds.
Directions: From the center of Norfolk, CT take Route 272 north and a few miles out of town on your left will be Tobey Hill Road. Drive down Tobey Hill and the parking lot of Campbell falls is on your right. Trail head is clearly marked and you just follow the trail straight into the forest. Here is a link to the official trail map Campbell Falls trail map
Printable version of the Campbell Falls State Park page
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