Mount Riga Preserve Falls and Swimming Hole

I'll never forget my first trip to Riga Falls and Mount Frissell. The dog (average sized sheppard) pooped in my back seat, I did some off roading in my Jimmy in areas I probably (definately!) wasn't supposed to be in and nearly got stuck in a ditch. One tire of the truck was leaning in. I had to slam on the breaks, put it in 4WD-LO (the strongest setting) and gun it in reverse and then let go of the break pedal. Fortunately I got out of there. This place is pretty cool and very remote. It is part of the Taconics which go through Northwestern Connecticut, Massachussets and New York. These mountain ranges are hundreds of millions of years old and formed during the Taconic Oregeny. At the place itself there is a swimming hole at the bottom of a steep ravine in the Riga Falls Preserve. Its not too deep but deep enough and wide. It was too cool out for a swim when I went but I estimate the maximum depth at around 4 feet in the middle. This depth is not confirmed, however but will be on future visits. Its a great place to cool off after a trip up Bear Mountain or the Round Mountain and Mount Frissell trail. You have to descend down a somewhat steep slope to get to it so be careful but its not too bad.ll

If you go here and Hike the Mount Frissell Trail then I would recommend stoping here aftwerwards. This would be the ultimate outdoor packages. The Round Mountain/ Mount Frissell and Riga falls trip would send one into a very remote section of Connecticut along a very rugged old seasonal road, with a pituresque waterfall, a swimming hole and a hike up and over three mountain peaks with unbelievable views as it bends through three states and a spot where all three converge. No place in CT is as lofty or as wild as Mount Frissell which still hosts bears and bobcats. The hike is challenging and difficult but the rewards are many. Not only that but Lion's Head is also only a few miles from the the Riga Falls swimming hole.

Directions: Right Past the Junction of 44 and 41 in Salisbury you will find its Town Hall (about 100 yards). At this point you need to turn onto Factory Street.which will become Mount Riga Road and later Mount Washington Road. At 1.3 miles the road becomes gravel and it is very curvy and narrow with a steep drop off on the passenger side. Be careful and drive slow. I beep the horn occasionally around some bends. Only one car can fit in most spots at any one time. At 1.6 miles there is a seasonal gate (not sure I'd want to drive this road in the winter anyway even though I have 4WD). THis marks entrance into the Mount Riga Forest Preserve. At 2.9 miles you will come to the RIga Falls and Swimming Hole. Park and make your descent.

Directions From Route 8N: Take exit 44 in Torrington. Proceed straight through first traffic light and then make a left at the second light on CT-4. Afer 6.5 miles go right on CT-63 and follow for 10 miles. Take a left on CT-126 and follow 2.5 miles then CT-126 turns right (Point of Rock Road) for another 3.6 miles. Then make a slight left onto US-44 and follow for 4.2 miles until the junction of US-44/US-41. Just stay on US-44 for 100 yards or so and make a Right onto Factory Street just across from the Town Hall.

Latitude 42.00513 Longitude 73.45833
Google Map LInk



The parking area. Falls are visible just before from the road. I couldn't get a great picture of the falls from the road due to lighting and trees.
Picturesque Riga Falls from behind some trees.
Picturesque Riga Falls Straight on.
Picturesque Riga Falls from the Right.

Don't Climb the Slippery Falls.

Cross over the creek instead to

get a top down-view..

View of Falls from Top
View of Swimming Hole from Top

Quick Walk to Right shows a small river cut

and drying stream with some exposed

rocks and a tree growing out of it.

Video Files:

I reccomend you right-click and

"save target as"

It will open in a new window if you just click it but you won't know how long the wait is...should be 2 to 4 minutes...

Falls From Below with a narrator (me): (15 seconds, 27.1MB

Falls uptop with the Dog (24 seconds, 44.6MB)

Falls from Below across the Creek (19 seconds, 35.8MB)

Connecticut Day Trips Home Page