Sunday - Boxing Day - low 30's, driving wind, snow threatening - perfect day for hike (but just a short one). Hiking with some of the Sleeping Giant crew on a small section of the Mattabesett Trail: Giuffrida Park and Chauncey Peak in Meriden.
Giuffrida Park is just off Westfield Road in Meriden, with a parking lot at the south end of Crescent Lake. The hike takes us on the white trail around the west side of the lake, then up Chauncey on the blue blazed Mattabesett Trail, back down the mountain and around to the parking lot - a 3 mile loop around the lake with views all around from the mountain peak.
|No skating yet, good thing we're just here for a hike|
Once around the lake, we crossed a bridge over the stream to start the climb up the hill on Chauncey. It's an easy climb - just a few steep, rocky sections. Once up top, there are views from Sleeping Giant to the southwest, the lake and park to the west, up to Hartford to the northeast. Like Higby and Beseck, the Mattabesett Trail tracks the cliff edge on Chauncey for tremendous views all around.
|Crescent Lake with Sleeping Giant in the distance|
|Crescent Lake, Giuffrida Park entrance and Hunter Golf Club|
Past the peak, the trail crosses over the east side of the mountain. Chauncey Peak is a trap rock mountain. This side is all quarry - The York Hill Trap Rock Quarry Company (Suzio) maintains the quarry and rock crushing operation. It looks like half the mountain is quarried already, but the ridgeline is protected.
|The quarry operations on the east side of Chauncey Peak|
The blue trail has been rerouted a few times. There is a blue/red blazed section that just seems to cut some of the switchbacks off the blue trail. We got off trail and came across faded blazes making the trip back down the mountain a little more interesting. It's a steep trip down the mountain, out along Westfield Road and back into the park.
|and back to the parking area just as the snow starts to fall.|