"Into the woods....." Sleeping Giant State Park by leics
Sleeping Giant State Park Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 3 photos
Lovely place, this.
Sleeping Giant State Park is a range of wooded hills near New Haven...and yes, the shape of the hills is reminiscent of a 'sleeping giant'.
I visited one hot midweek afternoon and had a lovely time wandering through the woods. If it hadn't been so hot I'd have explored much, much further than I did...but it simply wasn't feasible.
There are numerous trails marked out (32 miles of them!) and one could very easily spend a whole day exploring yet not see most of the park (or many other people, if you walk the less-popular trails). Perhaps you will be lucky enough to see deer, fox, raccoon or chipmunks....I certainly saw lots of squirrels!
Or maybe you can birdwatch: I saw a most beautiful pair of blue jays as well as several others I could not identify...there are tens of different species which have been recorded.
Then there are the plants.....lots of ferns and lots of flowers (if you go at the right time of year).
There are two small lakes as well as numerous springs and watercourses.
I (foolishly, in hindsight) wore walking sandals. This is not a good idea in the US (I'd not realised), not only because of snakes but because of poison ivy (I'd entirely forgotten about that). So if you are going to explore away from the main trails (which are wide beaten-earth and safe enough to walk) then you'll need sensible shoes/boots.
One of the most popular trails leads up to the Tower, built in the 1930s and with the most fabulous 360 degree views across the surrounding countryside. No, I didn't get there myself..but my son has, so I know it's a good spot to aim for!
There are free trail maps available at the parking area, and a free nature trail guide. This is the trail I chose to follow, each 'place of interest' marked out along the trail and detailed information given in the booklet. You'll find information not only about the trees and the plants and the wildlife but also about the geology and formation of the landscape.
Trailmaps and booklet can also be downloaded from the website.
If you are in the area this place is a definite 'must-see'...there are picnic tables and barbeques provided, and even midweek it was clear that local people thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful facility.
In fact, it's best to go mid-week if you can. At weekends there is a charge to park your car (in 2011 it was 9USD for Connecticut residents, 15USD for anyone else)...and I imagine that the park can get very busy indeed.
- Pros:Trees, walks, plants, animals, birds.
- Cons:Could be very busy at holiday times
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