Hiking Enders Falls
Connecticut › Enders Falls Trailhead
Added by Shannon Kalahan
- Distance : 0.5 miles of waterfall trail, various other hiking trails throughout the forest
- Duration : A few hours
- Easy access to spectacular waterfalls
- Hiking, hunting, fishing, bird-watching
- Letterboxing, a statewide initiative to get people into the state parks and forests. Visitors can earn patches.
Enders State Forest sprawls over approximately 2000 acres, and is found within the towns of Granby and Barkhamsted in Connecticut. Enders has a good sized parking lot directly on Route 219. From the junction of Route 219 and Route 20, visitors will proceed west on Route 219 for 1.2 miles and turn into the Forest on the left. The main trail is directly off the parking lot.
Enders Falls is collection of five diverse waterfalls - cascades, plunges, slides and horsetails – all within a half-mile of each other. The change in elevation from the trail head to the lowest fall is only about 150 ft, and the tallest waterfall is approximately 30 ft. In other words, it is a waterfall photographer’s daytrip paradise. Granted, it’s no Niagara Falls, but the diversity and quiet allure of the place makes it a must see for anyone in the area.
In good weather, the hike is easy to moderate, with an well maintained main trail running through the forest, parallel to the brook below. The side trails that lead down from the main path to the various falls can be steep and slick at times, so some caution is needed there.
The warmer months tend to bring out lots of families looking for some shade and an easy hike. You’ll also find a number of people looking for a place to wade into the cool water (done at your own risk) and photographers, coming to the park to create some images. For the artists out there, there are a number of great compositions for each waterfall on both sides of the river. Or in the winter, if you’re feeling brave!
In the winter, the hike may be infinitely more difficult and dangerous. Connecticut winters tend to have a lot of thaw and re-freeze, which means most of the trails have ice on the exposed surfaces and at times, under the snow. The park is open year-round, however, if you intend to hike down to the river in the winter, I recommend coming prepared. In the winter, I bring ice clips for my hiking boots and hiking poles.
Furthermore, because the brook and falls are sheltered by gorge walls and forest, the snow and ice take longer to disperse. Despite the extensive snow-melt throughout much of the state in March and early April, the pools below the falls will often still have a cover of ice in most places. During the mid-winter months, many of the cliff drops will have a thick shield of ice, obscuring the waterfalls flowing behind them.
If you are solely interested in the waterfall hike, you can go down to the last drop and back in 30-45 minutes. I think part of the attraction of this area, however, is the rustic and inviting feel of the forest. You can easily spend a few hours exploring and taking in the beauty of nature here.
- Appropriate hiking shoes and clothes
- In the summer, swim suits
- In the winter, clips and hiking poles
- A camera and tripod
- Snacks and water, as there are no facilities
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Chillin, Fishing, Hiking, Photography, Snowshoeing, Swimming
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Fun Area To Explore
Enders Falls was a cool place to hike. A lot of smaller to medium size waterfalls line the hiking trails. I loved checking this out, but there was a lot of graffiti on the rocks, and we found a lot of litter which was really unfortunate. Overall though, there are some great spots to get excellent waterfall pictures! We went in the fall, so the temps were nice and cool.
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