Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Let's Go to the Hop(yard)!

This Tuesday it was back to rain, clouds, and cool weather here in the Constitution State but last Tuesday was blue sky, puffy clouds, and the perfect day to take a drive out to Devil's Hopyard State Park in East Haddam. After grabbing my camera and my Dad's old walking stick, the girls and I headed west out of Norwich and had a very pleasant 25-mile drive to reach our destination.

Devil's Hopyard is an 860-acre parcel of land that became State property back in 1919 and it boasts some lovely campgrounds, picnic sites, excellent bird-watching and hiking, and - more importantly - Chapman Falls which drops over 60 feet in a series of steps. I had read about the falls but never actually seen them so it seemed like the perfect time to rectify that oversight.

As a kid, I can remember my beloved grandfather telling me the story of how Devil's Hopyard got its name - the Devil had passed by the falls accidentally getting his tail wet which made him so mad he burned holes in the stones with his hooves as he bounded away - but truth of the matter is no one exactly knows how the place got its name. No matter the origin of the park's name, though, it's a pretty cool place and was well worth the journey out to see it.

The picture above was taken at the very top of Chapman Falls before it begins its descent down to the pool below where swimming is prohibited but teenagers who apparently think they are outside of the law do so anyway. Should one find themselves in trouble at the falls, you are pretty much up the proverbial creek without a paddle as cell service out there is non-existent.

Another feature of the Hopyard is the covered bridge located downstream from Chapman Falls ...

Even if it's not an antique one, I do so love me a covered bridge!

The girls posed for a few obligatory photos and then Amanda took charge of the camera to snap a few pictures herself; she does that whole "MySpace" thing so much better than I do! I think she's hoping that if I ever upgrade from my D60 that she'll 'inherit' the Nikon but I think she's got a long time to wait for that to happen! As a teenager, though, she should be used to disappointment!

All in all, we had a nice trip out to see Chapman Falls and as neither girl tried to push each other into the water I chalked it up to a good day all the way around!


  1. What an awesome mother-daughters day out! You must be one of the coolest Moms! These memories will be absolute treasures later on!

  2. Anonymous8:33 AM EDT

    Love the hat, Jamie!

    That is one pretty area... perfect for photos...

  3. oh my gosh i love those photos!!! the girls look adorable but don't tell them, they'd die of embarrassment i'm sure! ha ha

    love the covered bridge too!

    smiles, bee

  4. I love Devil's Hopyard! I used to come here with my boyfriend for hikes when I was in high school. And I didn't drink then, but it's where all of my friends went to do so. It's so pretty there. I love my home. :)

  5. I love the story your grandfather told you about how the place got its name! Fabulous photos Linda, that covered bridge is fab.

  6. The three muskateers....
    awesome photos

  7. How fun Linda. This kinds of excursions are priceless. I really love that covered bridge. One of my passions by the way.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  8. Those falls look soooooo inviting. I could use a nice cool place to sit and cool off these days. Great outing and great pictures, again. Happy Wednesday.

  9. Great photos, Linda. I've never been there, but I have been to Kent Falls and Southford Falls, both of them are pretty as well.
    Love the covered bridge. How New England can we get? ;-)

    I like the poses that the girls struck for the photos.

  10. A great trip out. Very scenic. I like Amanda's new hair colour.

  11. cool pics! I want one up close of that walking stick though!

    oh and I love the one of the "steps" of the falls...that's my favorite type of it sounded perfect too.

  12. That is such a gorgeous place! I could just perch there for hours. If I could design a house, it would have to incorporate those falls! Sigh...
    I'm glad you all had a murder-free trip!

  13. what a great time...I am so glad the three of you are getting to do so many things together.

    the waterfall and covered bridge are great!

  14. What a neat place! And I think you've done some great portraits of you and the girls.


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