Hiking Around Sleeping Giant

The Quinnipiac Blue Blazed Trail & Sleeping Giant State Park

New Haven in the distance, From Sleeping Giant - MT Carmel - Hamden CT
New Haven in the distance, From Sleeping Giant - MT Carmel - Hamden CT

Sleeping Giant State Park is one of Connecticut's most popular state parks. The Quinnipiac Trail is one of the original - no, the original - Blue Blazed Trail. The rocky hills that create Sleeping Giant are a traprock ridge that from afar (say, from Castle Craig) appears to be the form of a giant man sleeping on his back. Children love the hike up to the summit because there is a lookout tower that resembles a castle - with arches and turrets. The views of New Haven are grand. And, the picnic areas are alive with weekend revelers.

I have to apologize for not taking many or good photos on this trip. I will go back to get more; and I won't be too sorry. This large state park is crisscrossed with a matrix of good hiking trails.

It was the first weekend after Labor Day, when everyone had returned from The Cape and from Maine, and from the beaches where they spent their last days of summer. And, it was a crisp and beautiful day. The DEEP website erronously told me that for some reason, this weekend there was no charge to enter the state park. When I arrived there were 100's - no, thousands of cars - and an attendant happily taking money. Who knows? maybe he was just an enterprising college freshman from Quinnipiac University across the street. But, the lots were full, and so was all of the street parking in front of "no parking anytime" signs. And the gates to Quinnipiac's mostly empty parking lots had guards, presumably taking money as well. So, I took out my good map from the good book (CT walk book) and found parking on the opposite side of the park. There was plenty of it ... and free.

I took a short jog on the yellow trail to reach The Quinnipiac and followed the blue blazes the rest of the way to the lookout tower. The Quinnipiac sported Connecticut's famed uneven loose rocky trails. So, despite its not having extraordinary elevation - there were lots of up and down climbs - and it was pretty difficult. But, it was a pleasent day after all, and I enjoyed it.

The castle-like lookout tower had apparantly been sacked by an army of
 laughing and crying children. The views from its height were pretty good. New Haven really looks romantic from this far away.

I had a late start, so I cut the trail short by cutting down the red triangle trail and back across on the yellow - which was similar in terrain and challenge to the blue trail.

There are good weekends remaining for families and friends to get out to the parks. It turns out, that some of the places in our back yard are as popular and fun as a weekend at The Cape. And, Fall is already in the air. We New Englanders wait all year for Fall. The prime hiking season in Connecticut has begun.

The Quinnipiac Trail, in Sleeping Giant Park
The Quinnipiac Trail, in Sleeping Giant Park

Quinnipiac Trail - Sleeping Giant Section

COUNTY: New Haven

DISTANCE: 4.25 miles linear

LOWEST ELEVATION: 396 FT above sea level
HIGHEST ELEVATION: 709 FT above sea level

Directions and Map

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Address for your GPS: 200 Mt Carmel Avenue Hamden CT
| Coordinates: N41.421104,W072.89885 |
From Bridgeport30 Minutes
From New Haven10 Minutes
From Hartford30Minutes
From New London1 hour
From Providence2 Hours
From New York2 Hours