|This hike occurred on August 3, 2013|
West Peak Dr., Meriden, CT – Parking: Using the Hubbard Park auto road, we parked at the top of the Hanging Hills’ West Peak and did a loop hike.
Length/Distance: According the Connecticut Walk book, the route was 1.2 miles. According to my GPS tracking program, our route was 2.24 miles, which included a non-trail road walk to complete the loop.
Summary: Near the trail head where we parked our car, we saw some beautiful yellow flowers. They were Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also known as Sunchokes. They have edible tubers similar to potatoes with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
Along the road, we found Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora) as well. They are edible but potentially toxic eaten in larger quantities.
We saw some pink Long-bristled Smartweed (Polygonum caespitosum) by the trail head next to Castle Craig.
As well as some purple Great Burdock (Arctium lappa).
There was also some white flowers that were probably Carpetweed (Mullugo verticillata).
Soon after the trail enters the woods, there were some beautiful views, including a wonderful view of Sleeping Giant.
We saw Low-bush Blueberries and American Red Raspberries at the peak. There was also mysterious plant with berries we didn’t recognize.
There was a cool fissure in the cliff.
The trail then began to climb back up.
There was quite a significant drop off to the left side of the trail.
The climb continued as the woods opened up to a rocky area.
On the other side, there was a cliff.
At the top of this, there was an odd cave-like place between a few large rocks.
We saw some Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia).
After a bit more climbing, we reached West Peak. There were many radio towers.