|This hike occurred on May 1, 2013|
Chestnut Lane, Hamden, CT – Parking: For this hike, we parked on Chestnut Ln, on the far side of Sleeping Giant. There was roadside parking for easily 1/2 dozen vehicles. We have hiked through here before and never had a problem finding parking. They don’t charge for entering the park this way which is nice (though there aren’t any bathrooms).
We completed a loop hike using 1/2 of the Orange trail and 1/2 of the Yellow trail which according to the Sleeping Giant Park Association is 2.6 miles. According to my GPS tracking program, our route was 3.15 miles for a total of 5.8 miles between the Orange and Yellow trails (we did walk the connector twice).
Summary: We began our hike approximately an hour before sunset. We were able to finish by 15 minutes after sunset with enough ambient light to see our way. We hiked on the Orange trail first. Towards the beginning of our hike, we had to walk through a swampy section of the trail. Thankfully, it hadn’t rained lately so it wasn’t too bad.
There was a bog nearby as well. It looked pretty nasty.
After some gradual assents, we found ourselves on a rocky rise under some pine trees.
From there, we could see the tower through the trees (center of photo).
From there, it wasn’t too far to the Orange/Yellow connector.
After we reached the Yellow trail and began following it back towards Chestnut Ln, we came upon a clearing that allowed us a spectacular view of the countryside, including East Rock, New Haven, and Long Island Sound in the distance.
Right near this area, we did see 3 white-tailed deer. After this, the trail trended downwards, while also wrapping around some rock cliffs.
Near this area, we interrupted a flock of Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) roosting for the night.
From here, it was a short distance back to the Chestnut Ln trail head. Overall, it was a fairly light hike with some rewarding views and a variety of wildlife.