Sunday, April 25, 2010

The White Trail, Yellow Trail and center Yellow/Green connector

6 miles, 3 hours.

Describe the view of the Giant from the south.  After the head, you see the chest, the hip and leg, the knee, the foot...   the hills, peaks and ridges that make up the Giant's profile.  You know what else they have in common> they are the White Trail.  Up and then down the chest, up and then down the hip, along the leg, up and then down the knee... you get the idea.  This trail is a workout - sometimes hiking, sometimes hands, knees and feet climbing up the rock face.  But along the way are great views of the cliffs, and then Hamden, New Haven and the Sound to the south.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Red Square Trail

April 18, 2010

Red Square Trail - 1.6 miles, 45 minutes
Full Hike- 3½ miles, 2 hours

I almost didn't make it.  A group of four deer ran across Tuttle Ave in front of me as I was driving to the trails today.  I saw them, I could stop.  But the guy behind me was paying more attention to his phone call than what was going on in front - so two things:  watch for deer around here, and put down the damn phone!!

The Red Square trail is a north-south trail at the eastern end of Sleeping Giant Park - up and down over the Giant's shins.  I parked on Mansion Ave at the north trail head, so had to walk back north after I finished the trail.  I took a leisurely route - back the Square trail to the Yellow, then Yellow/Green, then Green trail to the Chestnut Lane parking lot, and then north on the Horse trail along the park's boundary back to the Square trail parking area. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Name That Trail

It's early on a drizzly Saturday morning.  I'm wandering and then hiking the Red Diamond and Hex trails again to make sure I hit them in spring!  The only ones out today are fishermen and cross country runners (up won't be bad, but it's pretty slippery on the way down!).

Can you pick the trails and locations from these pictures?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Orange Trail

April 10, 2010
2.8 miles, 1 hour

Back in the woods.

Take a look at an aerial photo of Sleeping Giant Park.  You can see the peaks that make up the Giant's profile - the head and chin, the chest, the knees.  See the two ridges than run the length of the mountain?  The Green and Orange trails run between them.  Last week I was on the Green, today it's the Orange. 

We began at the Chestnut Lane parking lot, and hiked west along the trail ending in at the park's main entrance picnic area.  The trail starts off a level, easy walk.  Then climbs between the two east red trails, levels out again, and then runs back down along the south face of the hills (it wouldn't be Sleeping Giant if there weren't a rocky climb to two).  The forest hasn't started to fill in yet, so there are views through the trees all around - the cliffs below the Tower, the south skyline and Quinnipiac campus, and the chin cliffs to the north as you cross the Tower trail.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Waterfall Hike

April 1, 2010
1 ½ Miles, 45 minutes

Some days, I just need a quick nature-fix. This hike loops around from the Red Circle to Triange trail, across the Violet trail and back down the Circle trail. If you want a quick lunchtime walk, or a relaxing hike at the end of the day, this might the route for you.

Park at the Circle trailhead on Tuttle Avenue (about 1 mile off Whitney Ave) and take the horse trail west to the red Triange trail. After all the rain the last few days, the horse trail was flooded in some spots, marshy in others, and crossed about five new streams that had formed.

The Triangle trail is a steep hike up the hill - 350' ascent - along a stream for most of the way. If you lose the trail, just keep hiking up hill and keep the water within ear-shot. This is a small stream, but you'll pass a series of waterfalls on the way up. Turn east at the Violet trail and hike back across the park. The trail is fairly flat, and a nice walk beneath the ridge that forms the Giant's left hip and leg. It feels cooler and calmer here, this should be a nice spot come summer.

The Red Triangle trail crosses the Violet trail at another stream. Turn and head back north, following the stream as it winds toward the Gorge Cascade. The trail follows the stream all the way down. Feeder streams join in, and the rocky descent forms small waterfalls along the way.

As the trail works its way back down along the falls, check the trees. One looks like it pulled itself up and was running away from the rising water. Maybe, here in the land of the giant stone spirit Hobbomock, there's an Indian legend that covers that.

The only animal life I ran into (or the other way around) was a chocolate lab bounding up the trail at the Cascade. We played a little tug of way with a stick he conquered. His owner came puffing up the hill a minute later, leash in hand, scolding the dog for running away (but isn't that what dogs do?) The dog was a lot friendlier than the owner - relax pal, enjoy the walk.


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