Thanks to local photographers who shared their images on this site: Tom Allen, Tony Vengrove, Victoria Schaefer and Linda Pouder
Nestled in the lush, rolling hills of Litchfield County, New Milford at first glance represents quintessential New England. But there’s much more to this western Connecticut town that lies on the banks of the Housatonic River — it’s an intriguing blend of then and now.
Incorporated in 1712, New Milford has a history that runs deep. It was home to Roger Sherman, one of the country’s Founding Fathers and the only man to sign all four documents related to the birth of our nation.
The town green, part of the Center Historic District, has been the heartbeat of New Milford since its early days. Among its iconic landmarks is an 1890s bandstand that has hosted concerts, political speeches and rallies — and still does today. Walk along the green and you’ll no doubt notice one of town’s most recognizable and beloved landmarks: the Stuart Army tank, which has stood as a memorial to war veterans since the 1940s. The green remains a vibrant part of community life, with a year-round calendar of events that include the annual Village Fair Days, summer concert series, a farmers market and holiday caroling.
The bustling Center Historic District features numerous restaurants with a rich array of enticing cuisines to satisfy any palate, from the casual to the upscale. The district is also a shopper’s paradise. You’ll find antiques, fine jewelry, toys, specialty foods, wine, clothing, gift shops, boutiques — even a pet shop. Looking to pamper yourself? Visit one of the district’s superb salons. (Convenient big-box retailers are located outside the district.) While browsing the shops, you’ll see that the buildings they occupy reflect the town’s diverse architectural history. Among the styles are Colonial and Greek Revival, Romanesque, Federal, Georgian, Victorian and early 20th-century brick. Step outside the district and take a self-guided tour that showcases New Milford’s significant agricultural legacy: the New Milford Barn Quilt Trail, the first such trail established in Connecticut. Along the route are 19 eye-catching quilt patterns hand-painted on large blocks that hang on vintage barns and historical buildings.
The district is but one portion of the 62 square miles that make up New Milford, the state’s largest town land-wise. Within its borders are 9,500 acres of natural splendor and open space. You can hike and bike miles of trails, bring your kids to the playground or soccer fields and explore scenic Lovers Leap State Park, one of many outdoor recreation spots. If you’re into swimming, canoeing and other water sports, visit Candlewood Lake, Connecticut’s biggest lake at 8.4 square miles. In the winter, enjoy ice skating, cross-country skiing or ice fishing on the lake. The Housatonic River is also a great place to fish, especially for trout.
New Milford’s breathtaking scenery and stunning vistas offer the perfect setting for celebrating special occasions, with a variety of venues to meet your needs. With plenty of places to stay, New Milford also makes for an excellent home base to explore the tri-state region. It’s just 77 miles from New York City, 50 miles from Connecticut’s capital of Hartford and 80 miles from Springfield, Massachusetts.