The Fascinating Tale of How Lovers Leap in New Milford Got Its Name
The tale is told in many different articles and in many different ways of how Lovers Leap Park in New Milford acquired its name.
Once upon a time, as the tale is told in Tomaino's book, sometime in the mid 1600s, Princess Lillinonah, the daughter of the Great Native American Chief, Sachem Waramaug, was walking in the forest on Great Mountain, which is now the Lover's Leap area. During her walk, she spotted a white youth also exploring. She had heard about the white man, but had never seen one before, especially this far north. Princess Lillinonah eventually revealed herself to the white youth and took him to an ancient fishing cove below what the Native Americans named the Great Fall of Metichewan, which is now called Lover's Leap.
Princess Lillinonah took "White Youth Found Wandering" back to her village to meet her father, Chief Waramaug. Surprisingly, the Chief welcomed him, and invited the boy to stay for the season. The Princess and "White Boy Wandering" eventually fell deeply in love and Lillinonah asked the Chief if they could marry. Chief Waramaug told them he needed to walk to his favorite high place, Pinnacle Rock and meditate on his daughter's request.
To make an exceptionally long story much shorter, the Chief sent "White Youth Found Wandering" back to his people to tell them of his plan to marry his daughter, and then once he returned, they could marry. The young man did not return, and Chief Waramaug promised the Princess to a Chief of the Wepawaug Tribe. Lillinonah was having none of that, vowing only to marry her true love.
On the day of her wedding, dressed in her deerskin bridal gown, she snuck away into the forest and headed to a birch bark canoe she had hidden away to execute her plan of riding the current, and eventually, letting her canoe fall over the precipice of the Great Fall of Metichewan (Lover's Leap). If she couldn't marry her one true love, there was no reason to go on.
You guessed it. Her love had returned and was running up on the ridge trying to somehow save her from being flung over the 100-foot drop of the waterfall.
Princess Lillinonah looked up and their eyes locked. "White Youth Found Wandering" immediately leaped off the cliff trying to get to the Princess. As Lillinonah reached out, they embraced one last time before, "They were swept away in the thundering mist below and were married in the arms of the Great Spirit."