Sleeping Giant Trail Map
Sleeping Giant – Hamden, CT
IIRC Sleeping Giant is the most popular hike in CT. All for good reason; lots of trails, amazing views, view tower, waterfalls, and great for all experience levels. Sleeping Giant is located across the street from Quinnipiac University so there’s always college kids at the park. There is a main tower trail that goes directly up to the tower from the parking lot. It’s a wide gravel path that’s pretty easy to hike and gets crowded. I believe it’s about 1.5 miles to the top so 3-miles round trip.
If you want a harder, longer, less crowded hike, I recommend the blue trail and loop back to the white for about 6 miles. It’s a lot harder and the blue trail quickly gains about 300ft in the beginning. Lastly, if you make a left onto the red trail right at the “left leg” area it leads you to George Cascade (about .5 miles down) which is a nice waterfall. Once you reach the Mt. Caramel tower, you get some pretty amazing views. On a clear day, you can even see Long Island!
My pup has struggled with some of the steeper sections on the hard part of this trail as he doesn’t like going down steep sections. There’s on stop with about a 3ft drop down that we always have to take a long off trail route to get around cause he won’t do the 3ft jump.
Parking fees are in effect weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend through the end of October. You can park for free on the entrances on Mt Carmel Ave. These are smaller parking areas that fit about 3-6 cars. You can also park for free at the East Lot parking area which is on the opposite side of the mountain from the tower. This makes for a nice long hike to the tower!
Why is Sleeping Giant called Sleeping Giant?
Because from a distance, it looks like a sleeping giant!