Do not buy the rumors. While it’s no New York, Boston, or Los Angeles, Middletown does not suck.
With that said, my two favorite places around campus are the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown and Wadsworth Falls State Park, just over the Middletown border on Route 157 in Middlefield.
The Wadsworth Mansion
This place is beautiful, and it’s hard to believe that something like this actually exists in Middletown. Rich in history and architectural beauty, the Wadsworth Mansion is a not-too-quick walk or a short drive from campus. Tours are provided weekly and cost a small bit of cash. On non-tour days, if you’re lucky, it’ll be unlocked and you can look around inside; other times, you’ll just have access to the grounds.
But that’s no disappointment. After you pass the flowers and trees lining the driveway, and get past the beauty of the refurbished (previously vandalized) mansion, you’ll see the gardens and sprawling backyard. Several trails loop around the mansion’s grounds, taking you through a huge birch forest and onto hills from which you can see all of Middletown. It’s a bit of a hike, with steep inclines, so do wear sneakers.
Wadsworth Falls State Park
Abutting the Wadsworth Mansion grounds is Wadsworth Falls State Park, a big wooded area featuring Wadsworth Falls, a powerful waterfall, as well as several miles of walking and biking trails, a pool, and grassy areas.
By far, the best time to visit the waterfall is in the midst of a big rainstorm. Bring your significant other. Though soaking wet, it’s strikingly beautiful. Find a place on the dirt cliff, take cover under the big trees there, and watch as torrents of water crash over the falls. Hug and kiss. Then promptly change your soaked clothes to avoid hypothermia.
Take Church Street past Freeman and bear left where the road forks. Walk down Long Lane to the first intersection. Turn left. Continue past pond on left, and follow posted signs. Wadsworth Mansion entrance is on the left.
You can walk right into Wadsworth Falls State Park from the property and then follow some trails a long way in the woods to get to the falls, or you could go back on the street and take a left out of the mansion exit. Continue walking, eventually entering Middlefield. Stay on road, continue into Rockfall, bear left at fork in road, and then turn left at first intersection. Entrance to park is on the left. Walk to railroad tracks, take left, follow. Falls is over hill on your left.