SCENIC ROAD INVENTORY
Old Northville Road in New Milford, CT
In 1981 the Connecticut General Assembly enacted Section 7-149a
of the General Statutes, the States "Scenic Roads
Act". This enabling legislation has authorized cities
and towns to designate lightly traveled local roadways characterized
by identified scenic qualities as protected Scenic Roads.
designation as a Scenic Road the road must, by law, be free
of intensive commercial development and must meet at least
one of the following criteria: It is unpaved; It offers scenic
views; It is bordered by mature trees or stone walls; The
traveled portion is no more than twenty feet wide in width;
It blends naturally into the surrounding terrain; Or it parallels
or crosses over brooks, streams, lakes or ponds.
for designation to occur the owners of a majority of the land
fronting the roadway (or portion to be designated) must agree
to the designation by filing a written statement of approval
with the town. Usually this takes the form of a petition signed
by abutting owners, which will then be verified by the municipal
assessor to assure that more than fifty per cent of the road
frontage concurs with the designation.
a scenic road ordinance and designating a certain road as
a scenic road, a municipality may regulate improvements or
changes to the roadway which would alter its character. Such
alterations include widening, paving, straightening, changes
in grade, and removal of mature trees or stone walls, whether
proposed by municipal departments, utilities or abutting property
road ordinance does not interfere with normal maintenance
activities, nor prevent essential safety improvements or the
construction of new roads or private driveways which intersect
with the designated scenic road.
in the State enabling act and seven scenic road ordinances
which have been adopted in the Housatonic Valley Region, the
clear intent of this regulatory process is to protect and
preserve those areas of exceptional scenic beauty which occur
along the more rural roads of the Region.
road designations protect an irreplaceable part of community
heritage and visual character, and thereby contribute significantly
to the quality of life in each section of the Region in which
See full map of scenic roads in Region.
in the Preamble to Newtowns Scenic Road Ordinance: "The
natural landscape and visual quality of a community provide
it with a sense of pride and individuality, setting it apart
from other places. The protection and preservation of these
resources is of immeasurable benefit to the people ...."
of the ten municipalities in the Region have, to date, adopted
scenic road ordinances. In order of adoption these towns are
Redding (1986), New Milford (1987), Brookfield (1989), Bridgewater
(1991), Ridgefield (1994), and Newtown (1997) and Danbury
(date unknown). An unsuccessful effort for adoption was made
in New Fairfield (1995) and there is evidence of support in
half of the Regions 45 locally-designated scenic roads
are in rural areas of New Milford, where 22 have been officially
designated so far and four more are currently in the planning
or review stage.
has the next largest number, with 14 roads so designated and
a number of others recommended for designation on its 1998
Town Plan. In its six years of ordinance history, Ridgefield
has designated 6 scenic roads.
roads have been designated in Newtown, one in Bridgewater,
one in Danbury, and despite the adoption of an ordinance,
none are yet designated in Brookfield, although the plan of
development update is to make recommendation in that regard.
Most of the towns with ordinances also have files which show
a number of unsuccessful efforts by local residents to achieve
scenic road designation which failed to achieve majority frontage
number of scenic road designations, inventoried in the next
section, is evidence of citizen concern for conservation of
the many scenic qualities of the Region.
in this section, by municipality, are the locations and general
characteristics of each of the Regions 47 locally-designated
Scenic Roads and its one State-designated Scenic Road, as
of June 2000. (The inventory below and text above were prepared
by John Hayes, Planning Consultant, Redding, CT). Significant
features of terrain or character which contribute to a roads
scenic quality are noted in parenthesis.
CT SCENIC ROADS
A scenic road ordinance does not yet exist in Bethel (Source:
conversation with Planning and Zoning Official and other Town
officials). The 2007 Town Plan update recommended that a scenic
road ordinance be enacted.
CT SCENIC ROADS
Bridgewaters Scenic Road Ordinance, adopted at a special
Town meeting October 22, 1991, particularly references just
one road, the Towns only designated scenic road: Second
Hill Road, from Route 67 north to New Milford Town Line
(upland area with distant views, stone walls, mature trees).
Second Hill Road in Bridgewater,
CT SCENIC ROADS
Brookfields Scenic Road Ordinance became effective November
9, 1989. At least three roads have been proposed for designation
in the intervening years (Longmeadow Hill, Obtuse South, Dingle
Brook), but none have been adopted according to Town officials.
Consequently Brookfield does not yet have any designated scenic
CT SCENIC ROADS
The City of Danbury has adopted a scenic road ordinance with
one road designated thus far. Section 17-110 through 17-116
of the City code became effective August 1992. Long Ridge
Road, from Church Road northerly approximately 5,800 feet
to a point approximately 1,300 feet south of the intersection
with Brushy Hill Road. (upland valleys and ridge, nature trees,
stone walls, sharp curves, narrow road).
FAIRFIELD, CT SCENIC ROADS
An unsuccessful effort was made in 1995 to secure adoption
of a scenic road ordinance (proposed for Pine Hill Road, according
to town officials). Consequently New Fairfield does not yet
have a scenic road ordinance or designated scenic road.
MILFORD, CT SCENIC ROADS
Since adoption of New Milfords Scenic Road Ordinance
in September 1987, 22 roads and sections of roads have been
officially designated scenic roads: Barker Road, from
West Meetinghouse Road to Squires Hill Road (hilly terrain,
woodland and meadow views, stone walls). Bucks Hill
Road, from paved portion to Merryall Road (wooded upland
area along shoulder of stream valley, dirt road). Burnett
Road, from Cherniske Road to Kent Town Line (upland valley,
pastoral and mountain views).
Also, Cherniske Road, from Squires Hill Road to Sawyer Hill
Road (hilly upland terrain, distant views). Crossman Road,
from Buckingham Road to Upland Road (valley to hillside, forest
and meadow, dirt road). Front of the Mountain Road,
from Browns Forge Road to Long Mountain Road (steep
hillside, woodland, distant views, narrow dirt road).
New Milford Hine Road, from West Meetinghouse Road
to Long Mountain Road (high ridgeland on Long Mountain, woodland,
meadow, distant views, dirt road). Indian Trail Road,
from West Meetinghouse Road westerly approximately 4,400 feet
(valley and hillside, woodland, meandering dirt road). Judds
Bridge Road, from Mine Hill Road easterly approximately
3,700 feet (varied terrain, woodland, dirt road). Legion
Road, from Lillis Road southerly approximately 3,115 feet
(ridgetop meadowland dirt road). Lillis Road, from
Second Hill Rd. (loop, entire length) (gentle upland terrain
meadowland, dirt road).
Judd's Bridge Road in New Milford,
there is Long Mountain Road, from the CL&P powerline
easement (between North Valley Road and Noble Lane) to South
Kent Road; designated separately in two sections which are
now contiguous (high ridgeland, woods and meadows, distant
views). Mud Pond Road, from Long Mountain Road to Kent
Town Line (valley between mountain ridges, woodland, dirt
road). North Road, from Barker Road to Chapel Hill
- Tamarack Hill Road Intersection (upland valley, meadowland
views, meandering dirt road). Old Mill Road, from Upland
Road to Wheaton Road (wooded glen along rushing stream, historic
buildings, winding dirt road).
with New Milford, Old Mine Road, from Barker Road to
North Road (upland valley, meadow and woodland, dirt road). Old Stilson Hill Road, from Sherman Road (Rt. 37) to
Stilson Hill Road (steep hillside, distant views, mature trees,
winding dirt road). Old Stone Road, from South Kent
Road northerly 0.75 mile (upland valley, woodland, dirt road). Rooster Tail Hollow Road, from River Road to Long Mountain
Road (small hillside glen, meadows, forested slopes, winding
Also, Sand Pit Road, from Litchfield Road (Rt. 202) to Upland
Road (lowland valley, stream and meadow views, winding dirt
road). Stilson Hill Road, from Sherman Road (Rt. 37)
to Gaylord Road (upland ridge, open meadows, mature trees,
distant views, dirt road). West Meetinghouse Road,
from Barker Road to Kent Town Line (lowland valley, wetlands,
densely forested, road at base of hillside).
6/2000 report time Newton Road from Gaylord Road to Webatuck
Road had qualified for designation and three others (Old Northville
Road, Tamarack Road, and Hartwell Road) were in the process
of application for designation.
CT SCENIC ROADS
Newtowns Scenic Road Ordinance became effective in July
1997. A planning study for the Town had previously identified
a number of scenic vistas, not specifically related to roads,
which were recommended for protection.
To date two roads have been accorded scenic designation: Sanford
Road, from Tamarack Road to Echo Valley Road (small dell
along stream, woodland, winding dirt road). Zoar
Road, from Berkshire Road (Rt.34) to Bennetts Bridge Road
(upland woods and meadows, mature trees, winding dirt road).
August 2002; a three quarter mile segment of Pond
CT SCENIC ROADS
Reddings Scenic Road Ordinance was adopted and became
effective in January 1986, the first in the Region. Since
that time fourteen local roads have received Scenic Road designation,
listed below, and an additional sixteen are recommended for
such designation in the Towns Plan of Conservation and
Development adopted in 1999. The Regions only State
designated Scenic Road is also in Redding as noted below.
Highway, from Hill Road (Rt. 107) to approximately 700
feet easterly of Newtown Turnpike (hills and valley, meadows,
mature trees, historic buildings, distant views). John
Read Road, from Lonetown Road (Rt. 107) to Black Rock
Turnpike(Rt.58) (upland terrain, meadows, stone walls, woodland,
dirt road). Lee Lane, from Redding Road (Rt. 107) to
end (gentle terrain, mature trees, narrow winding road). Limekiln Road, from Redding Road (Rt. 53) to Lonetown
Road (valley to rugged upland, woodland, distant views, winding
Also, Marchant Road, from Simpaug Turnpike to Umpawaug Road
(gentle terrain, meadows, stone walls, mature trees). Mark
Twain Lane, from Diamond Hill Road to end (upland slope,
stone walls, meadows, mature trees narrow road). Old Hattertown
Road, from Poverty Hollow Road to Newtown Town Line (broad
valley, meadows, woods, winding dirt road). Pine Tree Road,
from Black Rock Turnpike (Rt. 58) to Easton Town Line (narrow
stream valley, rushing brook, wooded hillsides, narrow road).
Poverty Hollow Road in Redding,
with Redding, Poverty Hollow Road, from 500 feet south
of Stepney Road intersection to Newtown Town Line (valley
terrain, rushing stream, ponds, waterfalls, meadow forest). Sherman Turnpike, from Newtown Turnpike to Sanfordtown
Road (valley to hilltop, steep hillsides, woodland, narrow
partly-dirt road). Side Cut Road, from Simpaug Turnpike
and Long Ridge Road to Redding Road (Rt. 53) (broad valley,
mature trees, stream). Topstone Road, from Chestnut
Woods Road to Umpawaug Road (rolling terrain, woodland, meadows,
mature trees, dirt road).
inventory continues with Wayside Lane, from Redding
Road (Rt. 107) to fork and thence on both branches to Umpawaug
Road (ledgy terrain, woodland, stone walls, narrow winding
roads). Whortleberry Road, from Gallows Hill Road to
Limekiln Road (ledgy upland terrain, woodland, narrow winding
Redding works to maintain the
attractive appearance of its state roadways.
Shown here is Route 53 northbound by the Saugatuck Reservoir,
the only state designated scenic roadway in the Region.
Scenic Road: Route 53 (Newtown Turnpike and Glen Road),
from Weston Town Line to Route 107 (Redding Road) intersection
(hills, gorge, lake, marsh and stream views, forest, winding
CT SCENIC ROADS
The Scenic Road Ordinance of Ridgefield became effective in
April 1994, and was amended in 1996 and 1999. Six local roads
have been designated Scenic Roads to date: Florida Road,
from 600 feet north of Brook Lane to Florida Hill Road (narrow
valley, ledgy terrain, woodland, stream, winding road). Lounsbury
Road, from Ivy Hill Road to Cains Hill Road (upland terrain,
mature trees, stone walls, distant views, winding road). Neds
Mountain Road, from Neds Lane to Old Mill Road (rough
terrain, woodland, narrow winding road).
there is Old Branchville Road, from Branchville Road
(Rt. 102) to same (loop) (hilltop to valley, rough terrain,
woodland, partly winding road). Pelham Lane, along
Wilton Town Line, from Nod Hill Road to Beechwood Lane (fronts
on National Historic Park) (upland, gentle terrain, stone
walls, historic site, narrow road). Silver Spring Road,
from West Lane (Rt. 35) to St. Johns Road (gentle terrain,
woodland and golf course, winding road).
CT SCENIC ROADS
Sherman adopted a scenic road ordinance in July of 2005. As
of late 2006 five scenic road designations have been made,
summarized by Andrea O'Connor in this excerpt from a recent
Town of Sherman newsletter:
Spring blossoms, consider taking a stroll along one of the
Town’s recently designated scenic roads. While some
would argue that all Sherman roads are scenic, residents along
these designated roads have sought “scenic” status
in an effort to ensure the preservation of their special characteristics.
Working from the southern end of Town to its northern tip,
here’s a scenic road itinerary that anyone can follow.
So get our your walking shoes and ramble along Sherman’s
Hollow Road, one of the oldest roads in Sherman,
began as a winding wagon road that connected towns to the
west with the Leach Hollow farm area, now beneath Candlewood
Lake. Although the road is now paved, it wanders along the
contours of the land with a number of sharp bends, just as
it did when it began as a dirt track. The view across Lake
Mauweehoo as one enters Leach Hollow Road at its juncture
with Route 37 South, is beautiful at every season.
the first curve is Coburn Cemetery, with graves dating from
the Revolution as well as a number from the Civil War. Bordering
the road along the front of the cemetery is an antique stone
wall which is probably as old as the graveyard itself.
down the hill, one encounters a small stone bridge crossing
Glen Brook, one of several such bridges in Sherman. The brook
itself joins another stream to parallel the road before turning
to empty into Squantz Pond.
of the old houses, dating from the early 1800s, still stand,
including the large farmhouse overlooking Lake Mauweehoo at
the corner of Route 37, the house at #50 fronted with sugar
maples dating from the late 1800s, the house at #22, also
sporting antique sugar maples, and the Leach house, near the
corner of Route 39, with its front garden bounded by an old
stone wall of extremely large stones, probably drawn there
by ox sledges.
A stroll down the winding Leach Hollow Road as it passes antique
features built by early residents as well as the woodlands,
lake, and stream provided by nature provides pleasant respite.
north on Route 37 toward the center of Town, Briggs
Hill Road appears on the left. A hike to the top
of the hill provides views which reach out as far as Massachusetts,
with beautiful natural splendor. The mature trees of many
scarce and rare species are something of a natural treasure,
unusually to find in one area.
trail maintained by Naromi Land Trust has its entrance on
Briggs Hill. The natural stone walls, which date back to the
1600s when the land was cleared by the Briggs family, are
still in existence. The road has several brooks and a beautiful
vernal pool. Briggs Hill Road provides beauty and serenity
to the stroller.
at the intersection of Routes 37 and 39 near the Sherman School,
and proceed up Route 39 North to encounter Spring
Lake Road on the left. Winding past lake, stream,
and forest, Spring Lake Road exemplifies the beautiful Connecticut
countryside. Towering maples, beech, and ash trees shade the
old stone walls, and deer can be seen grazing in lush meadows.
The many sources of water attract herons, ducks, and swans;
a resident osprey watches for the flash of fish.
Brook, locally known as Naromi, meanders about and around,
allowing glimpses of waterfalls and rushing water. Walking
along the curves in the road, the near hills and further mountains
are visible, and the call of the coyote is often heard. This
is a road where walking, biking, or pushing a baby stroller
means chatting with neighbors, catching up on family news,
and finding tranquil moments.
up Route 39 North until the highway forks at Anderson
Road. Entering Anderson Road, the visitor is plunged
into the cool, soothing shade of a tall maple forest on the
east side of the road. Along the west side is a stone wall
built more than 200 years ago by Jedediah Graves, the pioneering
settler who officially christened our town with name of his
close friend, Roger Sherman.
about 100 yards, the road opens out and drops steeply down
into an agricultural vista, with an old silo and pumpkin field
to the east and, on the other side of the road, an open slope
of pasture and lush wetlands. This lower field leads to a
hayfield that slopes up to a crest of old hardwoods, forming
a dense natural ridgeline against the western sky.
Just before the intersection with Anderson Road Extension,
the road passes over Wimisink Brook, which provides a haven
for amphibians and other small wildlife, and encourages lush
wildflowers on both sides of the road.
right onto Anderson Road Extension, the fifth
of the named scenic roads, just 500 feet in length and 14
feet in width. This early farm road is nestled between two
large ridges running perpendicular to it at each end, both
of which are free from development and in a natural state.
Anderson Road Extension is tree-lined and canopied by very
mature soft- and hardwood trees for most of its length. A
year-round running brook continues along the entire length
of the road to its south. Two colonial-style homesteads—one
of them among Sherman’s earliest farm homes—face
the road along its northern border; both exemplify the simple,
rural character of the area.
to Anderson Road, the visitor begins a steep but leisurely
rise, climbing nearly 100 feet over the next quarter-mile
as it winds gently through alternating patches of forest and
open space. Just past the junction with Wimisink Road, the
visitor has a southeasterly view of the heavily forested ridgeline
of the distant hills. The east side of the road is bordered
with a stand of sizeable maples, elms, and cherry trees. The
red barns, open fields, and mature trees offer welcome shade
and a sense of serenity.
Anderson Road flattens out and proceeds almost due north,
past working farms where goats and horses graze immediately
to the west of the road. Just past the junction with Smoke
Ridge Road, Anderson is lined by a massive stone wall along
the east side.
then begins to twist gently to the west, plunging again into
forest shade. Just past #36, a large vernal pool, which often
retains its moisture even into the late summer, lies just
southwest of the road, at the foot of a steep drop from the
roadside. Mature ash, cherry, and maple trees, many at least
50 feet high, line both sides of Anderson as it takes its
sudden, winding dive into the deep woods.
drops into a quick corkscrew for about a third of a mile,
turning a bit easterly and eventually looping back to the
west past an undisturbed marshland habitat to the southwest.
Passing a small manmade pond to the northeast, it ends in
a stand of old maples and cedars at the “four corners”
with Anderson Road East, Anderson Road West, and Hoyt Road."
Hill Road from Route 37 to Route 39.