Of the guess-timated more than 100,000 people who visited Sleeping Giant Park last year, most folks climb the Tower Path to the Giant’s “castle”.
While the path was constructed at a 10 percent grade, and in its ‘infancy’ was dubbed ‘the fat man’s trail’ and ‘the pregnant lady’s trail’ (it WAS the 1930’s), it can still be a challenge to make it up to highest spot on the Giant (739 feet) for the 360-degree views. For the first three-quarters or so it’s all up!
If you’d like a change of pace, or a simpler and more diverse “walk in the woods”, try heading for the east end of the Giant. To get to Hobbomock’s “feet”, drive down Mt. Carmel Avenue (away from Whitney Avenue) and take a left onto Chestnut Lane. At the second sharp bend in the road you’ll find a small parking area. You can park along the road as well. Just use caution and don’t block the fire road.
On the “East End” you’ll find Horse Trails (marked with a horseshoe) and Cross-country ski trails, wider and with gentler rises and falls than on the Giant’s upper torso. You’ll still need to watch your step for rocks and tree roots, and be in otherwise good shape, but the footing is not nearly as tricky, and the changes in elevation not quite as dramatic.
There are fewer views and vistas, but still…to take a phrase from Robert Frost … "the woods are lovely, dark, and deep…"
In summer it can be buggy on hot, humid days, but this time of year, in the early morning or later afternoon, the bird song is amazing! There are wildflowers … Herb Robert, Wild Geranium, and Canada Mayflower, to name a few… AND …it’s quiet.
If you go in winter, be considerate of skiers; try not to walk in or break up ski tracks of those who may have gone before, and/or leave ‘new snow’ for skiers to glide on.
In other seasons, horses have "the right of way." Please keep dogs on a leash, as required by Park regulations, so as not to startle the horse, thereby endangering the rider, you or your pet.
So…go tickle the Giant’s toes! Safe hiking and happy trails!
Learn more about Sleeping Giant State Park at sgpa.org - and follow us on FaceBook.