The last time I hiked with Karen she said she thought a mountain should have something special on top, "like a castle". So I told her I knew just where to go.

It had rained for several days leading up to the hike, but on Saturday it was a clear, warm, Indian summer day. We brought jackets but didn't wear them. The foliage was at or just a little past peak.

There are a lot of trails crisscrossing Sleeping Giant State Park, and even though there's only about 600 feet of elevation difference between the park's high and low points, very few of those trails are flat, so you're constantly gaining, losing, and regaining some of that 600 feet.

Navigation was a little tricky at times, since there were fresh leaves on the ground, but we never got lost. We were pleasantly surprised by the lack of mud, given the amount of rain which had fallen during the week before.

We followed the Quinnipiac Trail up the top of the Giant's head, past the quarry, along the chin, down to the neck, and up to the castle. The first part of the that is the steepest part of the whole hike, and probably the toughest trail in the park. It has good views all along into the quarry, out to Hamden, and over to New Haven and Long Island Sound. The chin, which is a cliff, has great views down to Quinnipiac University, and to the multicolored chest of the Giant. Given that is was such a nice weekend day in prime foliage season, the castle was more crowded than I've ever seen it.

After that, though, we continued east on the Quinnipiac Trail, and the trail quickly got less crowded. We continued until the Red Circle Trail which we took south to the White Trail, which we took back to the parking area. There were a lot of good views along the way, especially on the White Trail. Long Island was clearly visible beyond the Sound.

It was a perfect day to be on the Giant.

Here are the pictures.

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Cumulus

NE111: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2); Cat35: 32/39; WNH4K: 32/48; NEFF: 43/50
LT NB 2009

"I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Lewis Carroll