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Monday, October 17, 2022

Sleeping Giant State Park (Tower Trail) - Hamden, CT


Sleeping Giant State Park is a well-known landmark here in Connecticut and has been since 1924. Named for the five ridges that form a "sleeping giant" in the 2-miles of the mountainside and is known for its climbable towers that offers sweeping views of the valley. The park has public restrooms (at the bottom and at the tower), a rentable picnic area, fishing options, and a lot of scenic hiking trails (30 miles). 

The tower trail is a very popular gravel trail 1.5 mile trail (one way) to the scenic tower and is family and fido friendly. If you want time to yourself, there are miles of other trails throughout the park that are far less traveled. Truth be told, I hadn't been to hike Sleeping Giant since 2006 while a freshman at Quinnipiac University. The campus is conveniently located directly across the street and you can often find college students, family and friends sporting their bobcat gear on the trail. 

Tower Trail state/signage 

Tower Trail - gravel trail

I hiked this trail on a sunny Wednesday during the month of October. It was surprisingly busy for mid-day during the week, but I think this is the kind of place that is always busy on the main trail. The views from the tower were gorgeous and perfect for enjoying the CT fall foliage. Unfortunately, the bathroom at the castle was closed for the season. There was a picnic table at the tower, making this a great place to pack a lunch and enjoy a quick hike up the mountain. If you want to escape the crowds, there are a lot of trails in the park where you can easily find solitude (but don't expect it on the tower trail). The dogs and I had a great hike and can't wait to come back with the whole family. 

Trail map

Tower Trail 
3 miles round trip
610' elevation gained 
Parking area at the main entrance (200 Mt. Carmel Ave, Hamden, CT)
 **this is a popular park and the parking areas fill up quickly 
Free to park for CT residents with a CT license plate
Dog-friendly (on-leash) - there are even doggie waste bins along the trail 
Family-friendly (elevation, but a wide gravel path) 

Main parking area

Dog-friendly park

Foliage in the park

Doggie bins along the trail

Picnic area at the tower

Tower at Sleeping Giant 

Views from the top of the tower

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