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Distance:
0.6 Miles / 1.0 km
Type:
Out-and-Back
Difficulty:
Easy
Time to Hike:
~18 minutes
Features:
Surface Type:
Dirt
Town:
Canaan, Connecticut
Directions:
41.963689, -73.372094
Added:
December 24, 2023
Updated:
January 03, 2024
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51 '

Total Change
57 '

Ascent
56 '

Descent

Great Falls Trail in Canaan, Connecticut is an easy 0.5-mile out-and-back hike that features views of the massive 50-foot waterfall, Great Falls of the Housatonic.

Hike Description
This hike begins at the main trailhead located at the public parking for Great Falls along the eastern side of Housatonic River Road. The trailhead is located on the southern end of the parking lot and heads into the woods as it traverses rock-covered leaves and bedrock to reach view points of Great Falls.

Great Falls Viewpoint - Mile 0.05
Within just a few-hundred feet, hikers will find an off-shoot trail that leads to the cliffs adjacent to Great Falls -- here, you can get an unobstructed view from the side of Great Falls. Just watch your step as one false move might mean that you won't be returning home from Great Falls -- as directly below are the raging waters of the cascade.

Great Falls Viewpoint #2 - Mile 0.15
The trail then continues onward to reach a 4-way junction -- take a left-hand turn around mile 0.1 to head out to the dead-end path that leads to a proper fenced-in viewpoint of Great Falls, located around mile 0.15. At this viewpoint, hikers will get more views from the side of Great Falls. This is an amazing spot to hike to and turn-around if you wish, but there's one more viewpoint you might want to checkout before you leave, a view of the entire waterfall from downstream.

Great Falls Base Viewpoint - Mile 0.3
Hikers will hop back onto the trail and keep left at the previous 4-way junction to hike downhill slightly. The trail will curve around the hillside to eventually reach a "clearing" on the hill. From here, hikers will get a view of Great Falls from downstream -- a view of the entire 50-foot tall and several-hundred-foot long waterfall. There's also another path that leads downhill to reach the banks of the Housatonic River located just down the trail around mile 0.33, but it looked pretty sketchy on our hike in late December 2023, so we skipped that view.

After exploring the three viewpoints of Great Falls (Great Falls of the Housatonic), hikers will head out the same way they hiked-in on for a 0.5-mile out-and-back hike.

Parking
Hikers will find a large parking lot at the coordinates provided, located on the east side of Housatonic River Road in Canaan (Falls Village), CT. The lot is large enough to fit a dozen vehicles or so.

Pets
Dogs are allowed if leashed and must be cleaned up after.

Warning
Steep cliffs: This hike leads along some steep and dangerous cliffs. Watch your step and be careful if planning to hike to the cliff's edge where there's no fencing.

Explore 10 trails near Canaan, CT
  1. Parking

    41.963689, -73.372094
  2. Main Trailhead

    41.963551, -73.372243
  3. Great Falls, approx. 50-feet tall (side view)

    41.962764, -73.372397
    Great Falls, approx. 50-feet tall (side view)
  4. Great Falls, approx. 50-feet tall (side view viewpoint #2)

    41.962653, -73.372461
    Great Falls, approx. 50-feet tall (side view viewpoint #2)
  5. Great Falls, approx. 50-feet tall (viewpoint #3), long exposure

    41.962117, -73.373322
    Great Falls, approx. 50-feet tall (viewpoint #3), long exposure
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.

Hazards

Ticks - Lyme Disease More Info (CDC)
Poison Ivy/Oak
Rockfalls / Ledges / or Scrambles

Seasons

All

Photo Albums

2 Trip Reports

No Star-Ratings
Write-up by:
Admin user profile picture
0.6 miles / 1.0 km
Trail added
December 24, 2023
Hiked on
December 24, 2023
Updated on
January 03, 2024
0.6 miles / 1.0 km
December 24, 2023
Hiking

Weather Forecast

In Canaan, CT

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