Ratings : Power - Beauty - Ease of Access -
This classic New England waterfall is one of the easiest waterfalls in all of New England and also one of the more beautiful ones. Although not particularly high or powerful, the main section of Southford Falls is distinctive as Eight Mile River falls down from quiet Papermill Pond in a ledge-type formation about 7 or 8 feet wide. Following the main drop, Eight Mile River flows over several smaller but no less impressive cascades under a convered bridge and into a large gorge which curves left as it deepens.
The waterfall is also an indication of New England's past as it was used to power one of Connecticut's many mills. The remains of the mill are evident nearby in the form of both the mill walls and the stonework in the streambed itself next to the falls which originally created Papermill Pond to provide a constant flow of water to power the mill. In this sense, Southfold Falls is not completely natural, although it doesn't look artificial.
The waterfall itself is very easily reached from the parking lot by following a gravel trail about 200 feet towards the bridge at one end of Papermill Pond. The falls are right below the bridge. The right side of the stream is grass-covered and easy to walk along to see both the falls and the cascades following the falls. Although the stream is powerful enough to discourage rock-hopping, it is very easy to get close to the falls from this side since the stream is not wide. Below the falls are the old mill foundation and the covered bridge which takes you to a trail that goes up the other side of the stream. The trail is separated from the stream by trees, underbrush and a short hill.
Although the pond's constant water supply makes Southford Falls a worthwhile trip at any time of the year, it is especially spectacular in autumn when the leaves have changed colors, surrounding the falls with bright colors. The smooth surface of Papermill Pond reflects the changing leaves well and creates many photographic opportunities.
The park itself is small but pretty. It includes a nice 1.5 mile trail which goes through a hemlock and hardwood forest following the gorge for a little while. Eventually the trail loops back around to Papermill Pond and the waterfall. There are both restrooms and picnic tables at the park for the use of visitors. Access to the park is free.
Other Nearby Waterfalls : Prydden Brook Falls, Cedar Mill Brook Falls, Negro Hill Brook Falls
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