5 Great Hiking Trails Near Hamden, CT
The New England weather is finally, slowly, fitfully getting warmer, and that means we have our minds set on enjoying the outdoors! There’s nothing like a good hike to clear the mind and refresh the soul. Plus, hiking (or even just walking) remains one of the best ways to get the blood flowing, improve cardiovascular health, and manage or prevent health risks like diabetes and neuropathy.
Of course, if you’re getting bored of the same 2-mile loop around your home or apartment—or you’re simply ready for something a little more challenging—you have dozens of great options in and around the New Haven area. In fact, here are 5 of our favorite day hikes, all accessible within a 30-minute drive or so of our office in Hamden, CT.
Sleeping Giant State Park
What, did you expect us to start the list with something else? There’s a reason we call our city “The Land of the Sleeping Giant,” after all. The striking, picturesque ridge is hard to miss. The park itself offers around 30 miles of trails, and while the hike can be a moderate challenge (especially for a beginner), the vistas are totally worth it. On an exceptionally clear day, you can see all the way across Long Island sound!
Sleeping Giant is, of course, one of the most popular trails in the state, so you’ll probably see lots of other hikers and pets out and about—especially if you go on a weekend. For some people that’s a positive, but if you’re looking for something a little more secluded, you might have to look elsewhere.
West Rock Ridge State Park
Another no-brainer choice for Hamden residents. The main trail (“Regicides Trail”) is easy-to-moderate in difficulty and follows the main ridge, which of course offers a lot of great views of the surrounding region. A second main route, known as the white trail, takes you past Lake Wintergreen.
Besides those two paths, there are plenty of shorter connecting routes and other trails that take you through forests, along streams, and past Judge’s Cave—a historic landmark where, in 1661, Edward Whalley and William Goffe, two of 59 English judges who had previously sentenced King Charles I to death, hid from agents of Charles II.