LAKE WARAMAUG - NEW PRESTON, CONNECTICUT
North from New Preston Village on State 45 is Lake Waramaug (L), 0.6 m., one of the most beautiful natural bodies of water in the State. Bordered by many summer residences, hotels of the better type, a private country club, and, agh the head of the lake on the west shore, a State Park of 75 acres offering camping, bathing, fishing, and picnic facilities, this pure lake is a favorite vacation spot for New York and Connecticut people.
—Connecticut, A Guide To Its Roads, Lore, and People (WPA, 1938)
Chief Waramaug summered in this area and used it as his winter hunting grounds. While he supposedly had a 20,000 square foot longhouse, your weekend accommodations are no less noble, and involve refrigeration. Currently an 8-mile drive takes you around the 680-acre lake. While you make that loop you’ll pass through the Connecticut towns of Kent, Washington and Warren. You’ll pass new homes and old, some teardowns and renovations, some 1900 Adirondack classics still relevant, some artistic and beautiful studios built on the grandfathered foundations of old boathouse footprints. Not a longhouse in sight, but you can camp at the state park on the lakeshore.
You can make a day trip, just a half hour off the I-84 east-west corridor northeast of Danbury, to a place that feels a bit like somewhere else—someplace not so close. Or you can celebrate your parents’ 50th Anniversary in style, only do it two plus years later because of hurricanes and the erratic schedules of all involved.
This would be true for probably any lake, that when you go there you don’t want anything to take you away. You just want to be on the lake. Or on the porch staring at the lake. Although if an emergency room visit for stitches and a tetanus shot is required because someone manhandled that metal canoe a bit too roughly, then you’ll make that trip, too.
On that last day (not so ironically it is Labor Day), when you see your 12-year-old niece snapping early morning pictures of the lake with her new iPhone, you know you’re not the only one that could chuck it all for a simpler life.
But you leave it all behind for someone else and their security deposit.
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Guide to the Northeast Brett Klein lives in Connecticut and works in New York, but prefers small town life and his home state of Maine. Any chance to get rural is a mental vacation. Follow Klein on Tumblr at The Coast is Clear. His curatorial collection of Americana, rural life, other artists and ephemera can be seen on Tumblr at Tons of Land.