Kent Connecticut Is Becoming The Place For Nuptials, Hiking, Camping and Sking

GUEST AUTHOR LYNDON EVANS
shares his take on Kent, Connecticut.

When folks think of travel and tourism in Connecticut most think of the southeastern part of the state from Essex/Deep River over to Mystic and up to the casino area of Uncasville and Mashantucket. But I’d like to tell you about my part of Connecticut the western side.

Recently the Litchfield County Times ran an article by Kathryn Boughton about same-sex marriage and how the village of Kent is becoming the place to celebrate nuptials.

A quiet revolution has been taking place in Kent as same-sex couples have made their way to the beautiful little town to solemnize their marriage vows. Town Clerk Darlene Brady said that the number of marriage licenses issued in the town has more than doubled since a New York State minister started to promote Kent as a location for gay and lesbian weddings. She reports there have been 161 gay marriages in Kent since 2008 and another 13 civil unions performed before that.

Also boosting the number of same-sex marriages are the occasional unions between current town residents and weekenders, she added. But the largest number of weddings comes through the Rev. Sara Henderson of Pawling, N.Y., who has reached out to the gay community through her Web site, gaylesbianweddings4u.com. Ms. Henderson is an interfaith minister and a graduate of The New Seminary in New York City. She was ordained at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City. On her Web site she defines “interfaith,” as a “spiritual philosophy [that] honors and values the fundamental beauty and wisdom in all religious traditions/spiritual paths.”

While Kent may becoming the “Rainbow Wedding Capitol of CT”, Kent and the surrounding area has a great deal to offer those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of other tourist areas of Connecticut. Kent (and similar small towns in Litchfield County) has long been a getaway, second home or primary residence for many writers, actors, artists, singers and politicians. Sorry no name dropping .. okay just one, Henry Kissinger.

Kent is a reasonable drive from New York City time wise and once you get off I-84 in either Danbury or Brookfield, you traverse Route 7 in the northerly direction (Route 7 begins in Norwalk, CT and ends at the Vermont/Canadian border) towards New Milford. As you’re driving up Route 7 to Kent those of you who enjoy antiquing will have the time of your life. When you get to New Milford be sure to get off Route 7 long enough to take a ride around the village square and it’s quaint New England setting. Back on Route 7 make a quick stop at one of the couple of shops in Gaylordsville and then it’s onto Kent. Route 7 in spots runs parallel to the Housatonic River and up in Bulls Bridge be sure to check out the covered bridge.

As far as places to stay, once you get away from Danbury which has the usual prolifera of hotel chain accommodations you’ll find bed and breakfast inns. One of these is The Inn At Kent Falls (photo at top) which is listed at the website Purple Roofs, is gay owned & operated, and has been voted Best B&B for 2010 by Connecticut Magazine. A photo at the Inn’s website taken during winter looks like something right out of the Miller or Budweiser Christmas holiday commercials. Speaking of winter you skiers will like staying in Kent and skiing at nearby Mohawk Mountain.

Campers and RVers will find the Kent area a place to stay with Macedonia Brook State Park in which the Macedonia Brook traverses the picnic and campground with some pools of water deep enough to sit in or swim and cool off on a hot summer day. A bit further up Route 7 and almost into Sharon is the Housatonic Meadows State Park which shoulders the Housatonic River. No trip to Kent is complete without taking in the cascading Kent Falls and driving up to West Cornwall and taking a photo of probably one of the most famous covered bridges in New England, the West Cornwall Bridge. Auto racing enthusiasts will enjoy Lime Rock Park in Sharon with its winding race course and picturesque Connecticut background. For those who just like to drive there is no better and scenic road than Route 7 going into Massachusetts and onto Vermont.

So nuptials or not, with the fall foliage season coming soon why not take a trip to Kent Connecticut and see what the western side of my state has to offer. By the way you antiquers may what to consider renting a U-haul trailer to take home the goodies you’ll buy.