Extensive views of Long Island Sound, and the New Haven area are revealed from atop Sleeping Giant Tower on Mt. Carmel at 739” at the west end of Sleeping Giant State Park.
Sleeping Giant State Park is one of Connecticut’s most popular state parks. It is 3 miles north of Hamden CT, 8 miles north of New Haven and 16 miles southeast of Waterbury. The 1439-acre park offers picnicking, fishing in Mill River and 30 miles of hiking trails including part of the Quinnipiac Trail.
Trails range from easy to difficult for all ages and abilities. Horseback riding and cross-country trails are below the Giant. The Tower Trail to the summit is a favorite of kids with a castle like lookout tower with arches and turrets. Its views reveal New Haven at its best.
The Works Project Administration built Sleeping Giant stone observation tower on the summit in 1936. Picnic areas are placed to refresh hikers. The park has bathrooms, picnic tables, shelters and Youth Group Camping by permit.
The park name was derived from a distinguishing feature of two miles mountaintop resembling a sleeping giant on Connecticut’s skyline. The Sleeping Giant is 2.75 miles long by 1.75 miles wide. Traprock outcrops and ridge crests topographically symbolize the giant’s features, a distinct head, chin, chest, hip, knee and feet.
Park acreage of its lower eastern slopes supports an oak hickory forest with chestnut oak and red cedar. Its varied terrain supports plant and animal species that are rare in the state and globally.
The park is also an important raptor migration path.
Sleeping Giant State Park
200 Mt Carmel Avenue
Hours of operation
Daily 8:00 AM – sunset
Weekdays no charge, parking fees are enforced weekends and holidays.
Connecticut vehicles - $9.00
Out of state vehicles - $15.00
Lower rates after 4:00 PM
Quinnipiac Trail is part of Connecticut’s hiking rail system, a 24-mile blue blazed hiking trail. The trail runs along the west bank of the Quinnipiac River and the east side of the Wilbur Cross Parkway.
Hamden CT Is a suburban town of New Haven with 60,960 population. The towns name is “The Land of the Sleeping Giant”. After purchase from the local Quinnipiack Native American Indian tribe in 1638 the Puritans settled it. Mill River flows from the northern part of the town down to Long Island Sound. Fortune Magazine recognized Hamden for its exceptional education system and its ‘New England Charm”.
Sleeping Giant State Park Is a 5 1/2 hour drive of 345 miles from Rochester NY at a gas cost of $33.45. Drive I-90 east past Albany to Springfield Massachusetts. Exit onto US 91 driving south past Wallingford CT, then take exit 10 driving west onto route 40. Follow park signs to the park entrance across from Quinnipiac University.
A visitor gave the following comment of the park.
“A beautiful park with amazing scenery. Has trails for most ability levels.”