Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sleeping Giant Hike

This past weekend I had free time and took the opportunity to head over to central Connecticut for a hike. I went to one of the best reviewed parks in the state, Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, CT. Arrived around 10AM after a not very enjoyable drive on crowded I-95. The place has an abundance of trails, so I wasn't really sure where to go. After finding out that a large group was taking the tower trail, which seemed to be an easier path, I looked the official trail map for other options. I found that the Quinnipiac (blue) trail was rated as the most difficult trail with challenging climbs, so I decided to take that. It took some searching to find it, but when I continued on the park road it was eventually off to the side. It immediately came out to a point with views in several directions before I started an awesome climb to cliff's edges.

Neat and large parking lot, I liked the trees.

The park was just across the street from Quinnipiac university which was interesting.  
The climb was steep and rocky, probably my favorite kind. The effort was much more challenging than I had anticipated and I was impressed. The trail then went along a steep edge where I could stand on 200ft climbs and look at everyone taking the tower far below. I was fortunate enough to be the only person on this trail. I felt that I had completed my ascent which was surprised because I thought the ascent would end at a lookout tower and the tower was nowhere to be seen. I continued only to descent towards the bottom of the cliffs which was surprising.

The views were mostly panoramic, but...

This view was by far the most spectacular (I think "The Giant's Head")


This was a rather difficult part of the trail.


This steep section was perhaps the most fun.


After the first amazing climb, first mile or so the hike was only mediocre. The trail became much more boring and standard after that. It was a slight climb to the tower, but the grades were so minimal that it didn't really feel like. I eventually reached the tower which wasn't much of a climb to get to. The older tower was neat to see and walk around in, but some annoying people were just sitting in the path of the lookout so I was unable to see the full views. I got pretty close to the top and was able to catch some of the views, but those views were far inferior to the ones I got on top of the cliff.

The best views came on top of these cliffs.




I got out quickly as many more people were coming. I ended up taking the tower trail because it was the most direct/easy and I was short on time. It was a pretty boring trail- nearly flat (very, very gradual incline), wide and manicured. There were also a ton of people on it. I was maybe two on the blue trail but maybe north of 50 on this one (just an estimate, I really have no idea). I got down pretty quickly and got out there.




The cliffs I was on top of earlier.

I made a video with lots of commentary, posted below so if you have time check that out.


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