When winter arrives, many people head indoors where they spend the vast majority of their winter days. However, I, like so many residents here in Litchfield county, escape to the outdoors where we welcome mother natures white gift as our landscape is transformed into something beautiful, something most of us take for granted. Instead of just looking at it, we explore it! This past week, I had the opportunity to do just that. Anne and Dave, from Backcountry Outfitters in Kent, invited me on a snowshoeing trip to Kent Falls. As someone who loves the outdoors just as much as I love the winter, how could I resist such an invitation!
Kent is one of my favorite towns here in the Litchfield Hills. With its small town charm, it is absolutely hard not to love Kent. In fact, if you really want to know what Kent is all about, spend 10 minutes inside of Backcountry Outfitters as you’ll soon discover that this is the kind of town where everybody knows everybody. Not only that, but everyone also looks out for one another as they treat each other like family. It is this atmosphere that makes Kent such an attractive town.
Meeting up with Anne and Dave at Backcountry Outfitters, I discovered just how unique their shop was, which is conveniently located right off of Route 7. Not only do they carry an assortment of outdoor merchandise and rent snowshoes and other merchandise, they also sell ice cream at their ice cream shop, Annie Bananie Ice Cream, which is located right inside of Backcountry Outfitters. This is certainly the perfect pairing. After all, who couldn’t use a bite of something sweet after a long day in the great outdoors?
As soon as Dave gathered the snowshoes, we were all set to embark on our winter adventure while Anne stayed behind to work the shop. We drove off and made our way to Kent Falls, a very popular tourist destination here in the Litchfield Hills. I couldn’t wait. This was the first time I had ever been snowshoeing. To my surprise, they weren’t what I saw in magazines. They didn’t look like tennis rackets. In fact, they were completely modernized and light weight. Made of metal and durable enough to allow you to discover the backcountry here in Connecticut.
As soon as we arrived at Kent Falls, we quickly, and easily, strapped on our snowshoes and made our way up a winding trail to the top of the falls. Along the way, we discovered so many breathtaking views of the surrounding winter scenery. The cathedral pines were covered with crisp white snow as they glistened in the untouched forest. Once we reached the top of the falls, we stopped to, not only catch our breaths for the long hike up, but also to take in the beautiful landscape that lay before us. The surrounding hills of Kent are the perfect backdrop to view anytime of year. In the winter, however, it seems to shine even more as you realize that you are surrounded by nothing but forest as Dave had pointed out to me as we continued along the backcountry trails of Kent Falls.
As we made our way back down, I couldn’t help but to love the environment that we were in. Everything was so pristine and quiet, that you couldn’t help to allow the landscape to take your mind off of everything. I suppose this was the beauty of snowshoeing as it was, not only a great workout, but also an adventure that everyone should embark on as you cleared your mind and let the magic of winter take over.
Once we arrived back down to the bottom of the falls, I couldn’t thank Dave enough for the opportunity. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon then to head to Kent and take in such a beautiful landscape here in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills.