Summer Escapes: Drift Away
The Last Green Valley
Thanks to a rebranding strategy, the “Quiet Corner” of northeastern Connecticut is now called the “Last Green Valley.” Whatever its name, this area is a day-tripper’s paradise, with working farms, pristine woodlands, and some of the best fishing in New England.
Head southwest to Putnam, an old mill town that attracts both antiques shoppers and food lovers. Sample the offerings at 85 Main, where chef James Martin offers a locally sourced menu with Asian influences, or just grab some fruit from a farm stand and enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Natchaug River in nearby Eastford. The state forest has gorgeous trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Later in the summer, look for large-mouth bass in lakes and streams throughout the region.
If you’re taking the leisurely drive along Route 169 (the nation’s first scenic byway), plan a stop at the Prudence Crandall Museum in Canterbury, which celebrates the work of the woman who in the 1830s opened Connecticut’s first school for black women.
On a Friday or Saturday, reserve a table at the Golden Lamb Buttery in Brooklyn, Connecticut, and feast on roast duckling, Châteaubriand, or pan-seared salmon ($75 prix-fixe).
If you’re staying the night, check out the Inn at Woodstock Hill, a 21-bedroom B&B that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the morning, you’ll enjoy a continental breakfast in the elegantly appointed sitting room before starting out on the day’s adventures. >> The Inn at Woodstock Hill (starts at $175 per night), 93 Plaine Hill Rd., Woodstock, CT, 860-928-0528, woodstockhill.net. — S.M.
GPS? Heck, yes! Getting lost is part of the fun, but don’t worry — your GPS will work just fine (though it might take a couple of minutes to acquire a signal).