Back in June I hiked at Giuffrida Park in Meriden, Connecticut for the first time ever. Despite the fact that it’s really close to where I grew up I’d never even heard of it until now, when a friend posted that she hiked there on social media. I’ve now hiked the main loop trail several times — I park in the main lot, skirt along the end of the pond towards the cliffs, ascend for like 10-15 minutes (it’s a decent workout), enjoy views from the top, then come down the other side and loop back around the pond towards the parking lot. The whole thing doesn’t take very long — maybe 45 minutes — and the views are terrific. Fair warning: there have been reports of snakes, including one where a snake killed a small dog in 2016, so leave Fido at home.
Here is the main map. There are more hiking trails deeper into the park, but I’ve yet to explore them:
And a closer look at the trail I hike, outlined in bold red:
I’m sure there are more worthwhile trails in the park — the full Mattabesett Trail is five miles, but I’ve only ever done the shorter loop identified above. I’d like to further explore on future trips.
Here are some photos I snapped on my first visit. This is the view next to the parking lot:
I scoot around the end of the lake heading towards the cliffs. From here the trail starts to ascend.
When the trail levels out near the top, there is a view off to one side (opposite direction as the lake below) with a quarry in the distance. You know what this reminds me of? The quarry in Stranger Things.
And here is the view back towards the lake in Giuffrida Park:
At one point, the cliffs begin to stick out more prominently:
Then the trail dips back down below the tree line. I came across these flowers in late spring:
Then I take a hard left to loop around the lake back to the parking lot.
Up in the distance, you can see the cliffs I just came from:
A closer view of the exposed cliffs:
From there, it’s a pleasant stroll back along the lake.
I bet the views are even better this time of year in the fall. I’ll make a point to visit this month and report back.