The Quiet Corner – Connecticut State Route 169 National Scenic Byway
Connecticut State Route 169 is a 38.6-mile scenic byway that runs North/South between the town of Lisbon, Connecticut to the Massachusetts state line. This National Scenic Byway is one of two of America’s Byways in Connecticut and is known for its vibrant autumn foliage and historic communities. Travelers pass through picturesque small towns and colonial structures and farms along this route, where beautiful foliage greets you around every bend in the fall. This peaceful byway meanders by scenic woodlands, and quaint farmsteads amid rivers and the rolling hills of the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor.
Known as “The Quiet Corner” of Connecticut, the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor is recognized for its early American historical and cultural significance. The area is dotted with recreation outlets and interpretive displays detailing the history of the byway’s abundance of 19th-century mills and mill villages. Connecticut State Route 169 is a classic example of New England’s wooded landscape and offers some of the State’s most breathtaking views.
Visitors pass through the towns of Lisbon, Canterbury, Brooklyn, Pomfret, and Woodstock. Many of the towns along the byway were founded in the early 1700s to mid-1800s and some of the roadways, buildings, stores, taverns, shops, restaurants, and points of interest are over 300 years old!
From Canterbury to Woodstock, take a time-out during your travels to walk in vast forests. In the fall, the deciduous trees put on a dazzling display of color, from crimson reds to golden hues of orange and yellow. Along the byway near the multiple Woodstock towns in the north, expect to see densely forested areas among the sprawling fields and pasturelands. You may want to stop in Woodstock to view the pink Roseland Cottage which is a prime example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture.
Further south, in Canterbury, explore the Prudence Crandall Museum, which was once a schoolhouse, to learn about the first academy opened for young black women. Visitors can see wood sawmills and mills for grinding grain; many mills can be found along streams reflecting the early history of these settlements.
Connecticut State Route 169 is an ancient road with a lengthy history. Traveling this byway offers a glimpse of what life was like for early farmers who worked the gentle rolling fields into productive farmlands, with corn stalks and apple orchards stretching as far as the eye could see. Beautiful old barns still dot the landscape here, this is the place to relax and enjoy a scenic drive through America’s early history.