If you have a knee like mine that snaps, crackles and pops, then you’ll certainly understand my happiness in finding an accessible trail.

Being a big fan of waterfalls, large and small, I was delighted to hear about a small waterfall in Vernon.  I did a little research and found my way to Valley Falls Park in Vernon.  However, once there I realized that this trail offers much more than a waterfall.  It is an multi accessible trail.  Accessible trails are very meaningful to me, mainly because I’m a huge advocate for equal accessibility at my day job in healthcare.  Also, after several knee and hip issues, I too benefit personally from a trail with accessibility features.

Valley Falls Park in Vernon offers a multi accessible trail that delights both the inner hiker and waterfall lover in me.  This tactile trail is not only a braille trail but also accessible for those of us who still love to walk in the outdoors but need less steepness and more opportunities to sit and take a break.  Formerly a textile mill, the trail is full of historic ruins that are described plaques along the way.  Ropes guide the way to the next descriptive braille plaque.  These plaques describe the sights and sounds nearby and sometimes ask you to reach out to touch what is before you.  What an amazing opportunity to use more senses than just our eyes.  A few benches are sprinkled in along the trail which gives walkers a chance to rest while listening to the rambling of the brook.  Everyone is thoughtfully included here.


Besides the accessible trail, the park also offers:  several other complex hiking trails, a waterfall, picnic areas, a pond for swimming and fishing opportunities.  In fact, Valley Falls Park is one of the twelve bodies of water in Connecticut designated as a trout park. The water here is stocked with trout grown at hatcheries in CT to help heighten the fishing experience for beginners, families and those with mobility challenges.  The park has ample parking and free entrance.

If all of this activity helps you build up an appetite, then my recommendation for breakfast or lunch is the Vernon Diner.  The Vernon Diner is a retro diner with delectable bakery items baked on the premises.  I feel that you always know it’s a classic diner when it bakes its own goods.  As you walk into the diner you will see their large glass display case full of handmade delights. such as: red velvet cake, carrot cake, NY style cheesecake, cannoli, tiramisu, etc.  Lunch specials are available, cocktails, homemade challah French toast, fluffy pancakes and the full breakfast gamut.

These two spots in Vernon are a happy place for a leisurely local day.

Valley Falls Park – Town of Vernon (vernon-ct.gov)