Groton, Connecticut

RATING: 2.0 / 5.0 stars (Good) Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut (see below for larger image and additional photographs)
STATE: Connecticut
COUNTY: New London
TOWN: Groton
PARK: Sheep Farm
TYPE: Lower falls is a horsetail; upper falls are cascades
HEIGHT: Lower falls is 10 feet; upper falls is 5 feet
WATER SOURCE: Fort Hill Brook
TRAIL LENGTH: 0.2 mile one-way lower falls; 0.4 mile one-way to both falls; 0.9 mile for entire loop
TRAIL DIFFICULTY: Easy to both falls or entire loop
HIKING TIME: 8 minutes one-way to lower falls; 15 minutes one-way to both falls; 30 minutes for entire loop
ALTITUDE GAIN: Down 60 feet to lower falls; down 60 feet, up 20 feet to upper falls; down 80 feet, up 80 feet for entire loop
WHEN TO VISIT: April to May
SWIMMING: Not Possible and/or Prohibited
DELORME ATLAS: Page 29, F-20 (the falls are not marked on the CT atlas/map)
DOGS ALLOWED: Yes (by permit only though)
COST TO VISIT: Free (as of 2017)
LENS TO BRING: Lower falls: standard (35-70mm) and/or short telephoto (70-105mm)
Upper falls: wide-angle (14-35mm) and/or standard (35-70mm)
GPS-TRAILHEAD: 41°21.35, -72°01.33
GPS-WATERFALL: Lower falls: 41°21.21, -72°01.25
Upper falls: 41°21.32, -72°01.03
COMPASS: Lower falls: 310 degrees
Upper falls: 10 degrees
(when N on the compass is pointed towards the falls)
INCLUDED IN BOOK?: No, the falls are not currently included within the guidebook
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Before starting your hike, consider downloading a trail map online from the Groton Open Space Association because the trailhead currently doesn't offer any.

You'll be following a red-blazed trail the entire way to both waterfalls. To begin your trek, walk across the field in front of the circular parking area and look for both blue and red blazes. When the blue trail goes left, take a right and follow the red trail as it winds its way gently downhill. About 0.1 mile from your vehicle, bear left at a fork to stay on the red trail (the right fork is the yellow trail). 200 feet later and you'll come to a junction with red blazes in all directions. Take a right and one of those red trails will take you 200 feet down to near the base of the lower 10-foot falls. After you visit the lower falls, return the junction with all the red blazes. Head straight (upstream) when a left would have brought you back to the trailhead. About 750 feet later, go straight through an intersection with a blue-blazed trail. Continue on the red trail for 0.1 mile further upstream and the 5-foot upper falls will be visible on your right after ascending a small hill. After enjoying the upper falls, you can either return the way you came, continue on to make a loop back to your vehicle, or hike back and take a right onto the blue-blazed trail you saw earlier. I suggest just completing the 0.9 mile loop by continuing upstream on the red-blazed trail. The trail does take a few abrupt turns on the remainder of the loop, but all of these turns are well-marked.


From I-95 in Groton, take exit 88 for CT 117. Follow CT 117 south for 0.1 miles (0.3 miles if you were traveling on I-95 heading south) and take a left onto Hazelnut Hill Road at a sign for the Lawrence & Memorial Pequot Health Center. Follow Hazelnut Hill Road for 0.4 miles and take a right into a parking area for Sheep Farm. As of 2017, there were two signs in place here: "Sheep Farm" and "Groton Trails".

To get to Groton, take I-95 south from Mystic or I-95 north from New London.



If you know of any updates to this waterfall, or notice any errors either on this website and/or within the New England Waterfalls guidebook, please send me an email at or leave a Facebook comment at the bottom of this page. Updates to all of the waterfalls in the latest edition of the guidebook can always be found here: book updates


None noted.


Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut
the lower falls of Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut

Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut
the lower falls of Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut

Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut
the lower falls of Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut

Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut
the upper falls of Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut

Fort Hill Brook Falls, Connecticut
a sign at the trailhead in 2017


Our 376-page New England Waterfalls: 2nd Edition guidebook contains detailed information on over 400 waterfalls throughout New England. Click on the image below to read reviews and/or purchase the guidebook on

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Here are some tips to help ensure that your trip to New England's waterfalls and swimming holes will be a safe and enjoyable one:
  • DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS - When you visit waterfalls, you should consider bringing all of the following: (a) bug spray; (b) food/snacks; (c) water/sports drinks; (d) camera/smart-phone; (e) guidebook/trail map; (f) daypack/backpack; and (g) hiking shoes, hiking boots or watershoes. A full day hiking packing list can be found here.
  • CONSIDER BUYING WATER SHOES - You won't see too many people using them, but watershoes are fantastic pieces of equipment that can make your trip to waterfalls and swimming holes safer and more enjoyable. Merrill and Keen make some fantastic watershoes (here are some great ones from Merrill: womens / mens).
  • LEAVE NO TRACE - When you visit waterfalls and swimming holes, you'll often see some trash and sometimes you'll even find clothing left behind by others. It's really, really sad, and it irks the heck out of us. Won't you consider carrying out some of trash and clothing left by others when you leave? That would leave the spot more beautiful for the next person. Bring a trash bag and be a hero!
  • PRIVATE PROPERTY - Many waterfalls and swimming holes are located on private property and so we are truly fortunate that many landowners allow us to enjoy them. If you want to ensure that they stay open to the public, please do your best to leave no trace. If you see a sign that says 'Private Property', turn around and find another waterfall to visit or a different place to swim.
  • BRING A DSLR CAMERA AND TRIPOD WITH YOU - If you want to take high-quality photographs of waterfalls, your smart-phone just won't cut it. Get a DSLR camera, a tripod, and learn to master the art of waterfall photography.
  • SCOUT FIRST, SWIM SECOND - Never enter a swimming hole without first scouting it, even if you see somebody else swimming in it. Stop and access the risks based upon the depth of water, the power of the current, evidence of slippery rocks, and other safety factors.
  • CLIFF JUMPING - Cliff jumping is dangerous. Like, seriously dangerous. Understand the risks before you partake in this activity. Many have died from doing this in New England. Here is a list of all known deaths at waterfalls and swimming holes in New England.
  • PLEASE DON'T BUILD ROCK CAIRNS - Please do not build new rock cairns at waterfalls or swimming holes. Cairns are a strong reminder of human presence, and don't we all want to see waterfalls in their natural state and glory? Photographers get particularly annoyed at seeing cairns, so please resist the urge to build them.
  • DON'T RELY ON YOUR GPS TO GET YOU TO THE TRAILHEAD - Waterfalls don't have addresses, so relying on your GPS to get you to a trailhead is great way to get yourself lost. You need a guidebook, a road atlas, and/or a hiking map to visit the vast majority of waterfalls in New England. Also keep in mind that waterfalls are often located in wild areas, where smart-phone map apps and car GPS units may not work at all.
  • WATERFALLS IN SPRING - The best time to visit waterfalls is generally in the spring during the annual snowmelt (which is April to June). However, most waterfalls will often look great for several days after a significant rain storm.
  • HELP KEEP THE ULTRA-SECRET SWIMMING HOLES A SECRET (FOREVER) - If you find some ultra-secret swimming holes, please do your best to keep them a secret. Do not post their locations online or wildly share directions or photos with others. All of the swimming holes that are included in the guidebook and online through this website are the well-known swimming spots. There are many more holes that are much further off the beaten path, but they deserve a chance to stay wild and pristine.
  • DON'T SCRAMBLE UP WATERFALLS - So many people been seriously injured and killed in the waterfalls of New England. Many of these folks got too close to a waterfall and slipped and fell. Don't become a statistic: stay far back from the edge.
  • WEAR TRACTION IF YOU VISIT WATERFALLS IN WINTER - Visiting waterfalls in winter can be rewarding, but there is often a higher element of danger. You may need crampons, snowshoes, and/or some other form of traction (like Microspikes) in order to safely hike to waterfalls in winter.
  • SUPPORT NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT CONSERVE WATERFALLS & SWIMMING HOLES - There are some organizations in New England that work diligently to conserve and maintain waterfalls and swimming holes. Please consider supporting these organizations, either with their trail maintenance projects or with monetary donations. Here are three excellent organizations engaged in this extremely important mission: the Trustees of Reservations, the Vermont River Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy.


Here are some helpful links to help you explore and enjoy more waterfalls and hikes throughout New England:
  • Waterfalls of Connecticut = link
  • Waterfalls of Maine = link
  • Waterfalls of Massachusetts = link
  • Waterfalls of New Hampshire = link
  • Waterfalls of Rhode Island = link
  • Waterfalls of Vermont = link
  • Best Waterfalls in New England = link
  • Best Swimming Holes in New England = link
  • Top 25 Day Hikes in New England = link
  • Top 25 Family-Friendly Day Hikes in New England = link
  • Waterfalls Near Boston, Massachusetts = link
  • Waterfalls Near Lincoln, New Hampshire = link
  • Waterfalls Near North Conway, New Hampshire = link
  • Waterfalls Near Stowe, Vermont = link
  • Waterfall Photography Tips = link


In addition to the New England Waterfalls guidebook, there are several other guidebooks that can help you find waterfalls and swimming holes:
  • Vermont Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2015) = link
  • Hiking Waterfalls in New England: A Guide to the Region's Best Waterfall Hikes (1st Edition: 2015) = link
  • Waterfalls of the White Mountains: 30 Hikes to 100 Waterfalls (2nd Edition: 1999) = link
  • Connecticut Waterfalls (1st Edition: 2014) = link
  • Rodrick's Guide to Vermont Waterfalls, Cascades & Gorges (1st Edition: 2014) = link


Join the growing communities of waterfall aficionados on Facebook! You can share your photographs, follow the adventures of other waterfall hunters, and find new places to explore:

  • Request to join the "New England Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "New Hampshire Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Northeastern Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Vermont Waterfalls" community > link
  • Request to join the "Waterfalls of the United States" community > link

And if you'd like to follow the New England Waterfalls page on Facebook, click here.


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Waterfalls, swimming holes, and hiking can be extremely dangerous. Hundreds of people have been injured or killed in the waterfalls and swimming holes of New England over the years. Never swim in strong water currents. Don't jump into a swimming hole without scouting it first. Do not climb up or along the side of waterfalls. Be weary of slippery rocks. Never swim in pools above waterfalls. Use of this website and all of its information is at your own risk! and the authors of the New England Waterfalls guidebook will not be held liable for your actions. Be safe out there - and always use common sense!