Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden, CT

August 18, 2012
Distance: 3.8 miles
Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Map: Sleeping Giant State Park There were also printed black & white copies of the map at the trail head. A color map (as on the website) & a larger copy would be really helpful!

Parking: Parking spots on Chestnut Lane - about enough space for 6 cars. Parking was free here. At the main parking lot, the fee is $10 for out of state visitors.

Restrooms: n/a (I believe there are some at the main parking lot)
Post hike dinner: n/a

Hard to describe - I was lost a lot! Even so, it was not hard to re-find yourself.
There were several unmarked trails which added to the confusion.
I didn't do my original planned route - so I ended up improvising, with the goal to pass Hezekiah's knob.

Lots of trails start at this trailhead.
Started at violet trail on the right.
     Pass unmarked trail on left
     Pass red square trail
     Pass unmarked trail
     Violet trail turns left (stay on it), unmarked trail goes right.
     Pass another unmarked trail on the right
Turn left on the blue trail (light blue blazes)
     The blue trail then splits - you can go straight or to the right. We went straight.
     Pass unmarked trail on the left
Turn right on the red square trail
Turn left on the green trail
Turn right on the blue trail
     Arrive at Hezekiah's knob - has a view
     Continue straight passing white trail
     Hike downhill
     Pass yellow/green trail
     Pass orange trail
Turn right on horshoe trail
     Pass yellow trail
     Walk in chestnut grove
     Pass unmarked trail on right
Turn left at Chestnut Lane for brief road walk
     Walk along road (this will take you to the parking area, but I added more trails)
Leave the road and turn left onto the blue trail
Turn right onto the yellow trail
Arrive at parking area.

This was an easy/moderate hike. There were no outstanding views. There are around 30 miles of trails in the park. There are so many trails - it makes it easy to form a loop of any distance. On the other hand - there are so many trails - that it is confusing. I carried my map in my hand for the whole hike. It would have been much easier with an enlarged map printed with a color printer! This park is very convenient for doing a post-dog show hike - only 3 miles away from our dog agility trial. I'd like to do a longer hike here at some point when I have more time.

Dogs are not allowed off leash. There was a warning sign about coyotes & pet dogs. That was enough for me to keep Trek on leash. We only crossed one person (with a dog) on the hike, which surprised me since it is in such a populated area.

There were some numbered spots of attractions on the hike - but they are not on the printed map - so aren't good for helping you orient yourself.

A rock scramble on the violet trail
The blue trail leaving the violet trail
These numbered sites are described in a guide on this site: Sleeping Giant Park Association
View at Hezekiah' knob
Trek at Hezekiah's Knob
The horsehoe trail, which passes through a chestnut grove
Sign at the end of the chestnut grove - right before turning onto the street.

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