LITCHFIELD COUNTY

Chamber of Commerce
333 Kennedy Drive
Torrington 860-482-6586
www.nwctchamberofcommerce.org

Northwestern Region Tourism
P.O. Box 968
Litchfield 800-663-1273
www.litchfieldhills.com

Major Highways
Interstates 95, 91 and 84
Routes 8, 15, 25 and 77

Rustic and predominantly rural in nature, Litchfield County is known for quaint villages, friendly small towns, and panoramic views. Often referred to as the “Litchfield Hills” area, the region claims an abundance of state parks that combine with pristine lakes and streams, nature preserves, and deep woods for breathtaking beauty and vast recreational opportunities. Agriculture still plays an important role in this area of steep hillsides and rich river valleys. Nevertheless, many farms with their patchwork fields have given way to residential, commercial, and industrial development in recent decades.

Tourism brings in significant revenue to this delightfully rural section of Connecticut, famous as a relaxing retreat from the traffic and crowds of metropolitan life. Many of Litchfield County’s smaller towns boast excellent historic sites, important museums, quaint specialty shops and original antique treasures for hours of leisure delight. While farming and hospitality still remain major enterprises in this area, Torrington boasts a strong commercial and industrial center that draws employees from many of the smaller surrounding communities.

 

Services
Advantageous student/teacher ratios, high achievement test scores, and dedicated staff members are the hallmarks of the Litchfield public school districts, where the majority of high school graduates pursue a higher education. Residents of this region have a wide variety of options for specialized training and higher education, either within the county or located nearby within easy commuting distance. The University of Connecticut operates a branch in Torrington, known as the Litchfield County Center for Higher Education.

Residents of Litchfield County enjoy quick and easy access to some of the nation’s finest healthcare institutions, including teaching hospitals affiliated with the Yale School of Medicine and Cornell-New York Medical College. Medical professionals in a wide range of specialties are available for routine care and preventative medicine.

The automobile is the primary mode of transportation in Litchfield County, although bus is available from some cities to key regional destinations, including New York City. For surface travel, Route 8 is the main thoroughfare, making a connection between Waterbury and Interstate 84 to the south with Interstate 90 in Massachusetts.

 

Lifestyle
Many of the “country squires” who carry on dynamic careers in urban employment centers have found a gentle residential retreat in Litchfield, blending with those who have made their home in these scenic hills for generations. Housing options vary from sprawling estates to cozy bungalows, from hillside mansions on the outskirts of town to vintage colonials set in the heart of the village. New construction and attractive subdivisions have replaced rich farmland in many of the communities, with more growth expected as commuters continue to seek out tranquil environments. Litchfield County is characterized by intimate communities, the town-meeting form of government, and deeply rooted traditions. The highly developed town of Torrington is the largest in the area but would be considered “mid-sized” by many standards. New Milford represents another regional center for expanded amenities and increased economic activity. Since the majority of towns and villages have populations that are less than 5,000, Litchfield Hills is widely acclaimed for offering all the charm and atmosphere of “yesterday.”

Aficionados of the fine arts will be able to  enjoy displays of glass sculptures, stained-glass and blown-glass creations, elaborate woodcarvings, pottery, weavings, murals, cabinetry, drawings, sketches, watercolors, and oil paintings — many of which are for sale. Appreciation for the arts is evident in Litchfield, home to venues of historical and cultural significance to the community.
Recreational opportunities are equally rich, from well-developed community programs and facilities to the unspoiled miles of hillsides, landscapes, flowering meadows and photographic countryside. National Geographic Traveler has recognized the Litchfield Hills region of northwestern Connecticut as one of the nation’s top 50 most scenic places to drive. Cyclists and hikers can experience spectacular scenery, waterfalls, woods, ancient trails, and rugged vistas; while water enthusiasts can choose from several rolling rivers for water sports, canoeing, kayaking, and rafting.

With an abundance of natural beauty and available acreage, Litchfield County seems destined for continued development and growth. Excellent schools, lush open space, attractive housing, and appealing towns steeped in tradition make this area ideal.

 

Litchfield, Harwinton, Morris
Litchfield Offices
860-868-7313
www.litchfieldct.com
Harwinton Offices
860-485-9051
www.harwinton.us
Morris Offices
860-567-7430
www.townofmorrisct.com
Chamber of Commerce
860-482-6586
www.nwctchamberofcommerce.org

Primarily residential and agricultural with vast expanses of open space and protected land, Litchfield offers a desirable bedroom community for Hartford and other urban centers. Single-family homes predominate, from impressive old-world mansions to modern construction in a wide variety of architectural styles. Scattered retail stores, services, and limited light industry combine with the remaining farms to anchor the local economy. With its architectural excellence and farsighted planning, Litchfield is ranked among the nation’s finest vintage colonial towns. Recreational opportunities range from planned programs to nearby state parkland and equestrian facilities. The community of Harwinton was formed from land that once belonged to Hartford and Windsor, from which its unique name was derived. Harwinton is home to a number of recreational sites, from a conservation  area to the Cooks Dam Preserve and Roraback Wildlife Management Area. The Town of Morris has traditionally blended a strong agricultural sector with light manufacturing. Most of beautiful Bantam Lake, the largest natural lake in the state, lies within the borders of Morris.

New Hartford, Barkhamsted
New Hartford Offices
860-379-3389
www.town.new-hartford.ct.us
Barkhamsted Offices
860-379-8285
http://barkhamsted.us
Chamber of Commerce
860-482-6586
www.nwctchamberofcommerce.org

Characterized as a rural community, New Hartford claims a diversified economy, a rich sense of history, and natural beauty. The town provides housing options from vintage colonials to country manors, and several leading companies a collection of smaller businesses in this New England atmosphere. Barkhamsted is a tranquil residential haven  15 miles northwest of Hartford, sprawling over 39 square miles of scenic countryside and reservoir area. Providing newcomers with the intimacy and appeal of a small-town setting, Barkhamsted shares important resources like the Beardsley & Memorial Library with neighboring towns. Residents also have quick and easy access to the vast array of cosmopolitan amenities available in the capital city region.

 

New Milford, Washington,
Bridgewater, Roxbury
New Milford Offices
860-355-6000
www.newmilford.org
Washington Offices
860-868-2259
www.washingtonct.org
Bridgewater Offices
860-354-2731
www.bridgewatertownhall.org
Roxbury Offices
860-354-9938
www.roxburyct.com
Chamber of Commerce
860-354-6080
www.newmilford-chamber.com

Panoramic New Milford enjoys the scenic backdrop created by close proximity to the Candlewood Lake shorefront, a portion of the Housatonic River valley, the Berkshire foothills, and fertile farmland. Recreational and cultural amenities are well developed, from the Merryall Community Center to theatre and musical groups. Bantam Lake and Mt. Tom State Park combine to offer a wealth of outdoor adventures. The small town of Bridgewater offers rolling farmland punctuated by white clapboard houses and timeless natural settings. Newer custom homes on generous parcels of land contrast with renovated farmsteads. Lush hillsides and valleys, fertile farmland, impressive estates, and a charming historic district are all characteristics of the tranquil community of Roxbury, where beautiful new homes harmonize with century properties. Home to the famous Gunn Historical Museum, Washington climbs over rolling hills that straddle the Shepaug River Valley.

 

Plymouth
Municipal Offices
860-585-4000
www.plymouthct.us
Chamber of Commerce
860-584-4718
www.bristol-chamber.org

Famous for the manufacture of locks and laying claim to the only lock museum in the entire nation, Plymouth provides a suburban environment for many who are commuters to Waterbury or Bristol. Some employment opportunities are also available locally in the town’s thriving manufacturing sector.  Plymouth actually encompasses several scenic villages like Fall Mountain Lake, Lake Plymouth, Pequabuck, and Terryville. Scattered among the neighborhoods of single-family homes are charming vacation cottages or summer homes. Lakes with boat launches, a panoramic flood-control area, nearby forested land, organized programs, and many clubs ensure quality leisure time. Many residents have deep generational roots in this area, which enhances the sense of civic pride.

 

Salisbury, Kent, Sharon, Warren
Salisbury Offices
860-435-5170
www.salisburyct.us
Kent Offices
860-927-4627
www.townofkentct.org
Sharon Offices
860-364-5789
www.sharonct.org
Warren Offices
860-868-7881
www.warrenct.org
Chamber of Commerce
860-482-6586
www.nwctchamberofcommerce.org

Located in the extreme northwest corner of Connecticut, Salisbury is a traditionally agricultural area that is most famous for its historic ore and forges. Precision machining now complements agricultural activity and replaces yesterday’s forges. Nearby Kent borders New York State and sprawls over 50 square miles. Friendly, stimulating, and scenic, Kent supports light manufacturing but has evolved into a haven for artists and writers. In the state’s northwestern corner is Sharon, where a full half of the total area  is heavily forested. Quiet and semi-rural, the community is determined to preserve its tranquil New England setting. The small town of Warren is a rural village with strong agricultural roots. Hilly and well watered by the Shepaug River, the area is noted for its butter and cheese production.

 

Torrington, Goshen, Cornwall
Torrington Offices
860-489-2228
www.torringtonct.org
Goshen Offices
860-491-2308
www.goshenct.gov
Cornwall Offices
860-672-4959
www.cornwallct.org
Chamber of Commerce
860-482-6586
www.nwctchamberofcommerce.org

Nestled in the scenic Berkshire foothills, Torrington has a high-density central district that flows into a more relaxed suburban setting and eventually changes into a rugged hillside terrain. Torrington serves as a hub of culture, industry, shipping, and lovely homes. Meticulously preserved and restored structures give the area a rich historic legacy. Recreational amenities are abundant at sites like Burr Pond State Park, John A. Minetto State Park, and the Litchfield Hills area. Agriculture and manufacturing anchor the Goshen economy. Enjoying the higher elevation of the hill country, the community showcases a white church that stands as a visible landmark for many miles. Woodridge Lake is a private resort community planned by leading environmentalists and famous as a national model of scientific and ecological planning. Cornwall offers another scenic, rural residential haven and the natural beauty of Mohawk Mountain State Park.

 

Watertown, Thomaston
Watertown Offices
860-945-5255
www.watertownct.org
Thomaston Offices
860-283-4421
www.thomastonct.org
Chamber of Commerce
203-757-0701
www.waterburychamber.org

The community of Watertown is situated in high-hill country. Along with the enclave of Oakville, the town blends local industries and commercial enterprises with farmland, suburban neighborhoods, and a seasonal tourism industry. The town common is designed around the nationally famous Taft School campus, a respected college prep private school. Lake Winnemaug, wooded ravines, and Smith Pond provide panoramic vistas and vast recreational opportunities. Thomaston has been the proud home of the manufacturer of Seth Thomas clocks since 1812. Other local industry ranges from precision brass and machined products to winemaking. Neat, modest homes and scattered farmhouses dominate the housing selection, and large parcels of land are rare. Both private and public clubs enjoy the lush setting of the Connecticut countryside.

 

Winchester, North Canaan, Norfolk, Colebrook, Canaan
Winchester Offices
860-379-2713
www.townofwinchester.org
North Canaan Offices
860-824-7313
www.northcanaan.org
Norfolk Offices
860-542-5829
www.norfolkct.org
Colebrook Offices
860-379-3359
www.townofcolebrook.org
Canaan Offices
860-824-0707
www.canaanfallsvillage.org
Chamber of Commerce
860-482-6586
www.nwctchamberofcommerce.org

Often called the “Gateway to the Berkshire Mountains,” Winchester blends the natural beauty of lakes and freshwater springs with more than 650 flourishing businesses. The result is a strong local economy within a relaxed small-town lifestyle. Winsted is  the downtown district of Winchester, home to the campus for Northwestern Connecticut Community Technical College. The town is noted for its magnificent ecclesiastical architecture and for one of the state’s largest lakes. The community of Norfolk continues a longstanding tradition of welcoming many seasonal visitors to its scenic beauty, cool summers, and culture. Colebrook is one of several small towns nestled in the higher elevation that features a quaint town center and a strongly agricultural economy. Often called “Falls Village,” Canaan also supports several flourishing industries. Once a part of Canaan/Falls Village, the town of North Canaan is actually referred to as “Canaan” by the local residents and shares a hilly landscape with Falls Village.

 

Woodbury, Bethlehem
Woodbury Offices
203-263-2141
www.woodburyct.org
Bethlehem Offices
203-266-7510
www.ci.bethlehem.ct.us
Chamber of Commerce
203-757-0701
www.waterburychamber.org

Woodbury is a residential haven known as the “Antiques Center of Connecticut.”  Modern development has been carefully integrated into centuries-old New England architecture to preserve the town’s charm. Finely crafted colonial farmsteads and rustic lanes harmonize with beautiful hillsides, lush woods, and rushing streams. Artisans, small business owners and commuters bring together strong support for intellectual and artistic pursuits. Bethlehem is a small rural community that has remained relatively unaffected by nearby growth and progress. Two main roads lead into the charming town green, and single-family homes on large lots punctuate the valley and hillsides.

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