Topic: Travel

Hike, Stay, Eat, Shop in the Last Green Valley

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The Inn at Woodstock, Woodstock, Connecticut

The Inn at Woodstock, Woodstock, Connecticut

Still River Cafe, Eastford, Connecticut

Still River Cafe, Eastford, Connecticut

Safe Haven Farm, Hampton, Connecticut

Safe Haven Farm, Hampton, Connecticut

Illustration by Beth Griffis Johnson

Illustration by Beth Griffis Johnson

All photos/art by Annie Graves


With more than 130 miles of trails, at least 25 recreation areas, and countless campgrounds, this valley’s the ultimate in green.

Bigelow Hollow State Park, Union
Bigger is better–9,600 acres (combined with Nipmuck State Forest) of scuba diving, fishing, hiking, and biking. Epic mountain laurel in June. 860-684-3430; ct.gov/dep/site/default.asp

James l. Goodwin State Forest, Hampton
All kinds of foliage and flowers, fishing and hiking, plus a natural science and forestry museum. 860-424-3200; ct.gov/dep/site/default.asp

Mansfield Hollow State Park, Mansfield

Big water–that’s Lake Naubesatuck. Water sports and hiking. 860-928-6121; ct.gov/dep/site/default.asp

Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Pomfret
Check out Wolf Den, Indian Chair, and Table Rock. 860-928-6121; ct.gov/dep/site/default.asp


There’s no shortage of inns and B&Bs; here’s a handful to get you started.

Chickadee Cottage B&B, Pomfret Center
As cute as it sounds, with two options: Carriage House and Lower Nest, available as short-term rentals or for families with children. 860-963-0587; chickadeecottage.com

Feather Hill B&B, Pomfret
Beautiful country rooms or a separate cottage with gas fireplace. 860-963-0522; featherhillbedandbreakfast.com

The Inn at Woodstock Hill, Woodstock
Cozy rooms, canopy beds, fireplaces, and country dining in a large, 1816 Federal mansion. 860-928-0528; woodstockhill.com

Go to visitthelastgreenvalley.info and click on “Campgrounds” for a full listing (more than 35).


85 Main, Putnam
860-928-1660; 85main.com

The Golden Lamb Buttery, Brooklyn
860-774-4423; thegoldenlamb.com

Mansion at Bald Hill, South Woodstock
A former Gilded Age estate, it’s gone green, with a seasonal menu and local produce. 860-974-3456; mansionatbaldhill.com

Still River Cafe, Eastford
860-974-9988; stillrivercafe.com

The Vanilla Bean Cafe, Pomfret
860-928-1562; thevanillabeancafe.com

Connecticut Wine Trail
Pick up a “passport” and get it stamped as you travel through the vineyards and wineries, many in the Last Green Valley. 860-267-1399; ctwine.com


Antiques Marketplace, Putnam
All antiques, all the time. In fact, the entire downtown is like one big antiques market. 860-928-0442; putnamantiques.com

Celebrations, Pomfret Center
Ten rooms of original art and gifts in a colorful 1885 Queen Anne. 860-928-5492; celebrationsshoppes.com

The Christmas Barn, Woodstock
Twelve rooms of everything Christmas in a 1795 barn. 860-928-7652; thechristmasbarnonline.com

Majilly, Pomfret Center
Colorful, hand-painted pottery by Italian craftsmen and exhibited in an airy 19th-century barn (the adjacent Victorian farmhouse is also a B&B). 888-625-4559; majilly.com

Scranton’s Shops, South Woodstock
A group shop in a former smithy, with a mix of antiques, crafts, collectibles, and gifts. 860-928-3738


“Sundae Drives”
Pick up a copy of this brochure, listing no fewer than 21 places to sample a scoop, or download the PDF. mysticcountry.com

Creamery Brook Bison, Brooklyn
A bona fide bison farm offering year-round guided tours and wagon rides for groups. Reservations required. 860-779-0837; creamerybrookbison.net

Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm, Sterling & Franklin
Family farm raising free-range turkeys and geese; Brown Cow Cafe with farm-fresh ice cream; and Milkhouse Bakery with pies, cookies, and muffins. 860-564-0248; ekonkhillturkeyfarm.com

Mik-Ran’s Sugarhouse, Brooklyn
Sugaring season is February/March: 3,000 taps; free samples and sugarhouse tours; lots of maple products year-round. 860-774-7926

Safe Haven Farm, Hampton
Baby alpacas galore in the spring and fall. What’s cuter than a cross between a fawn and a fuzzy little swan? 860-455-1101; safehavenalpaca.com


Click here for a route through Brooklyn, Pomfret, Putnam, Eastford, and Hampton, for a visit in Connecticut’s Last Green Valley.

  • Paulette

    I used to live around the corner from the Golden Lamb, and there were often sheep in the road. On my way home one afternoon, I saw a car with New York plates pulled over to the side so that the driver could get out and take pictures of the woolly creatures. One of the sheep decided to take advantage of the man’s lack of attention — and open door — and was halfway into the driver’s seat before the guy noticed.
    I’ve been back on Long Island Sound for many years now, but that memory always brings a chuckle.


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