Directions: 95 south to I-91 north to exit 10. Take Route 40 connector and stay on until the end. At the light, take a right onto Route 10 north and drive 1½ miles. Take a right onto Mt. Carmel Ave. The park entrance is on the left across from Quinnipiac University.
For the Chestnut Lane entrance, continue east on Mt. Carmel Ave. to left turn onto Chestnut Lane; there is a sign at the trailhead for the violet, white, green and orange trails on the left.
Where to Park: Parking is available at the main entrance and at the Chestnut Lane entrance.
Description: This 1,650-acre parks has 32 miles of varied terrain hiking trails plus a horseback trail that follows the periphery. The 1.6-mile tower trail leads to an observation tower that affords views of Long Island Sound on a clear day.
Regulations: Open 8 a.m. to sunset; dogs must be on a leash.
Amenities: Bathrooms and outhouses; picnic tables and picnic shelter; fishing on the Mill River, which is one of the state's Trout Management Areas. There is also a 1.5-mile loop nature trail marked with pine tree blazes. A guide to the trail is available at the main entrance kiosk, provided by the Sleeping Giant Park Association.
Natural features: The park gets its name from the series of mountains that resemble a man in repose. Trails range from the rigorous, steep orange and blue trails to the moderately challenging orange and green trails. The violet trail is mostly level, but with some moderately steep sections, while the tower trail is a gradual climb on a wide path. Several scenic vistas can be found along the trails.
Fees: Parking fees are in effect weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day and from Sept. 8 through Oct. 31.
Things to note: Except for the tower trail, all the trails are uneven, rough and rocky. Hiking shoes or boots are recommended. The park has an active friends group, the Sleeping Giant Park Association, that sponsors 16 guided hikes per year and other activities.
Owned by: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
More information: http://www.ct.gov/deep; Sleeping Giant Park Association: www.sgpa.org.
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