April 24, 2022 – Hamden, Connecticut
Problem: Simple – Average
Size: Roughly 3.8 miles
Max elevation: 441 ft.– whole elevation acquire roughly 408 ft.
Route sort: Circuit
Trailhead parking: Lake Wintergreen Parking Space
Composting bathrooms on website – No entrance or parking charges
Roughly 30 parking areas on the Lake Wintergreen trailhead.
Rising as much as 627 toes above imply sea stage, West Rock Ridge is among the most outstanding options of the New Haven area. West Rock affords guests a spectacular view; it’s estimated that one can see roughly 200 sq. miles from varied places on the ridge with wonderful views of New Haven Harbor and Lengthy Island Sound.
West Rock Ridge State Park is situated in elements of New Haven, Hamden, and Woodbridge, Connecticut. The state park is known as for the 400 to 700 ft. lure rock West Rock Ridge, which is a part of the Metacomet Ridge extending from Lengthy Island Sound to the Vermont border. The park’s 7 miles of open west-facing cliffs supply vistas encompassing Metropolitan New Haven and suburban cities to the west. The park contains Judges Cave, a colonial period historic website; Lake Wintergreen; and the 7-mile lengthy Regicides Path, a part of the Connecticut Forest and Park Affiliation’s Blue Path system. The park is a component of a bigger space of protected open area together with state, municipal, and non-profit owned land.
The park is open for walk-in entry from 8 am to sundown.
The drive to the summit is open for autos on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend till the final weekend in October from 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
There’s a composting bathroom by the Lake Wintergreen parking zone, which is the one restroom facility accessible within the park.
The park started as a metropolis park in 1826, when Elijah Thompson donated 50 acres to the Metropolis of New Haven. In 1927, Governor Simeon Baldwin donated over $100,000 to the New Haven Park Fee, resulting in acquisition of a giant portion of the ridge and building of Baldwin Drive within the 1930’s. Baldwin Drive (as soon as often called Baldwin Parkway) was constructed alongside the ridge by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) within the 1930’s.
In 1962, the State of Connecticut endorsed the necessity for open areas preservation. In 1975, the State legislature unanimously created West Rock Ridge State Park and established the boundaries of the bigger Conservation Space.
New Haven’s metropolis park, which had grown to greater than 600 acres, was transferred to the State in 1982, and the State has continued to amass parcels throughout the West Rock Ridge Conservation Space through the years, for a complete now of over 1700 acres.
Between 1863 and 1978 Lake Wintergreen offered water for the Metropolis of New Haven. The lake was created when an earthen dam was constructed by Honest Haven Water Co. to flood the bedrock basin. After they’d used the water provide for 13 years, the Honest Haven Water Co. was purchased out by the New Haven Water Firm, which quickly purchased extra land within the watershed. In 1978 the lake was taken out of the water provide system as a result of strict new Federal requirements would have required building of a filtration plant.
There are greater than 25 miles of marked trails in and close to West Rock Ridge State Park, all of that are marked with painted blazes. If two blazes are stacked to resemble an equal signal, then this image signifies the top of the path. There isn’t any particular marker to point the beginning of a path.
The Inexperienced, Pink, Pink-White, Yellow and White blazed trails are designated as multi-use. Driving horses and mountain bikes on these trails is inspired. All different trails are footpaths for mountaineering exercise solely.
Trails used on this hike:
The Pink Path (6.75 miles) runs roughly parallel to the Regicides Path (Blue Path) with a number of connecting trails slicing between the 2. This enables hikers to make a wide range of loops throughout the park. The path has some rolling ups and downs within the center and a steep downhill (or uphill) on the southern finish and the same climb or descent on the north finish the place the path climbs as much as meet the Regicides Path (Blue Path) on the ridgeline.
The blue-blazed Regicides Path extends 6.8 miles northerly from the South Overlook of West Rock to its terminus on the Quinnipiac Path on the west slope of York Mountain. Alongside the best way, the Regicides Path intersects with a sequence of various coloured trails that climb the ridge. With these quite a few path choices, hikers can simply customise the size of their hike. The Regicides Path additionally crosses Baldwin Drive six instances.
The Regicides Path is taken into account considered one of Connecticut’s most spectacular cliff walks. Alongside the western aspect of the ridge, hikers are rewarded with prolonged views of reservoirs and forests in Woodbridge and Bethany. On the japanese aspect, the path has a dramatic perspective down the size of West Rock Ridge, together with Farm Brook Reservoir and the forested slopes of the state park.
The Pink-White Path is a brief connector path alongside the japanese shore of Lake Wintergreen, close to the southern finish of the lake by the Lake Wintergreen spillway. It’s rocky and has loads of uncovered roots.
The Orange Path is 0.3 mile lengthy and begins on the southern finish of Lake Wintergreen, close to the intersection of the Pink and White Trails, and ends on the junction of the Regicides Path and Baldwin Drive. The path is a gradual climb from the lake as much as the ridge, gaining about 200 toes of elevation. It’s largely rocky with a couple of moist areas.
A mixture of park roads and an unmarked trails had been additionally used.
This hike was a final minute change of plans which meant not that a lot analysis was executed on the world. I didn’t know that the park roads had been closed to motor autos till Memorial Day weekend. That meant that we needed to park on the Lake Wintergreen parking zone. Though there are quite a few authorised parking areas close to connecting trails simply outdoors the park, I used to be unaware of a few of their places. A few of the parking places alongside Wintergreen Avenue appeared a bit of desolate and fairly frankly appeared like not being a protected spot to depart a automobile unattended.
The hike that I had mapped out bought scrapped and I made one up on the fly. A number of factors of curiosity from the unique plan weren’t included, but it surely nonetheless turned out to be hike.
Utilizing a mix of blazed and unmarked trails, together with park roads, we made our manner alongside the lake and as much as the ridge to get pleasure from some views. We bumped into a couple of individuals, however largely close to the lake. Lake Wintergreen, the South Overlook, and Judges Cave, are the three most heavily-used areas at West Rock.
The hike begins on the northern finish of Lake Wintergreen, heads south then climbs the Orange Path as much as the ridge for some west-facing views. Then south on the Regicides Path previous a ventilator shaft over the Heroes Tunnel and returns on the Pink Path.
This hike is rated easy-moderate with just one steep ascent on the Orange Path. The remainder of the hike is comparatively simple.
We walked in direction of the signal and turned left on the huge gravel highway. That’s the Pink Path. Virtually instantly we turned proper on an unmarked footpath and headed in direction of Lake Wintergreen. We walked on a large footpath, which follows the contour of the scenic lake. In about 1/2-mile, the unmarked path meets up with the Pink Path, the place we turned proper.
In a brief distance, the Pink Path veers left at a junction with the Pink/White Path which runs throughout the highest of the earthen dam. From this space you may get a few of the finer views of Lake Wintergreen. The Pink Path can be your return route, for now proceed straight on the Pink/White Path.
Lake Wintergreen is a 44-acre artificially impounded physique of water. It has a shoreline of roughly 1.6 miles and sits at an elevation of about 239 toes above sea stage.
The Pink/White Path continues south on the earthen dam and shortly crosses a footbridge over the Lake Wintergreen Dam Spillway.
After crossing the footbridge, the Pink/White Path travels alongside a a pure rock ridge with steep drop-offs on either side. This part of the path is roofed with roots and is kind of rocky. Train warning on this space, particularly when the path comes near the sting. Please observe: this part might be bypassed by veering left on the Pink Path by the earthen dam.
View of Lake Wintergreen from the southern finish of the Pink/White Path.
In about 0.4 mile, the Pink/White Path ends at a junction with the Pink Path which is available in from the left. Flip proper briefly becoming a member of the Pink Path. When the Pink Path turns left, proceed forward on the White Path which begins on the southern finish of the lake.
In about 200 toes, flip left on the Orange Path. The Orange Path climbs steeply on a number of switchbacks, gaining about 200 toes of elevation in lower than 0.3 mile.
On the high of the rise, the Orange Path is joined by the blue-blazed Regicides Path, which is available in from the left. Each trails cross Baldwin Drive.
The Orange Path ends the place the Regicides Path turns sharply proper and continues north. Stroll a couple of toes previous the tree to Konold’s Pond Overlook, a west-facing view of the West River Valley and Konold’s Pond.
The ridge was quarried right here, so the cliffs are steep and uneven with a couple of 300-foot drop. Be conscious of your footing on the overlook, staying a respectful distance from the sting and benefit from the views.
In 1911, the Pond Lily Firm bought twenty-six acres of land from William J. Konold. On the southern border of this parcel, they constructed an earthen berm and a cement spillway, creating Konold’s Pond. This challenge was executed as a backup water supply for his or her dyeing operation.
When you find yourself able to proceed, retrace your steps to Baldwin Drive and switch proper. Baldwin Drive is a paved park highway presently closed to motor autos, apart from upkeep. It was named for New Haven native Simeon E. Baldwin, governor of Connecticut from 1911 to 1915.
There’s an unmarked path between Baldwin Drive and the sting of the cliffs that gives extra views from varied rock outcrops.
Baldwin Drive continues south, not removed from the sting of the cliffs. As Baldwin Drive makes a pointy left, proceed forward on a gravel highway that connects Baldwin Drive to a tall antenna on the ridge. Quickly you’ll cross an previous airway beacon.
Airway beacons within the US had been constructed by the Put up Workplace and the Division of Commerce between 1923 and 1933. Roughly 1,500 airway beacons had been constructed to information pilots from metropolis to metropolis, masking 18,000 miles. At this time, many of the beacons have been eliminated.
A brief distance later after reaching a fenced off constructing, we turned proper into the woods and jumped again on the blue-blazed Regicides Path which descends steeply.
Because the path descends, the air flow shaft for the Heroes Tunnel (previously West Rock Tunnel) is seen by the timber on the left.
The massive stone constructing covers a concrete air flow shaft marking the 1,200-ft. tunnel’s midpoint. There’s a management room on the base of the shaft. The followers within the shaft would draw exhaust fumes from the tunnels beneath and blow it up into the shaft and out of one of many 4 ducts. The sounds of automobiles might be heard whispering beneath. If in case you have ever pushed on the Wilbur Cross Parkway (Connecticut Route 15) between Exits 59 and 60, then you will have actually pushed beneath the park.
Shut the door on the best way out.
A brief footpath leads downhill from the ventilator shaft to Baldwin Drive. Flip left and comply with Baldwin Drive all the way down to the hairpin flip and proceed previous the guard rail on the flip, becoming a member of the Pink Path that is available in from the fitting.
Observe the crimson blazes north because the path climbs barely, ranges off then descends alongside a slender part of path beneath tall evergreen timber. The path quickly widens to a woods highway because it nears Lake Wintergreen.
On the junction the place the White Path turns left and the Pink/White Path begins straight forward, flip proper to remain on the Pink Path because it descends round a curve. On the base of the descent, the path passes the stone ruins of an previous pump home courting from when Lake Wintergreen was water firm property.
After crossing the Lake Wintergreen Dam Spillway, the path climbs alongside the earthen dam and shortly ranges off on the junction with the Pink/White Path. The Pink Path is now a flat, huge woods highway with a stable gravel floor. Observe the Pink Path a brief distance north, again to the Lake Wintergreen parking space, the place the hike started.
A really good hike with tons to see. The views of the lake are fairly good in addition to from Konold’s Pond Overlook. The paths are effectively marked and simple to comply with. Obtain the Avenza Maps app together with a park map and also you gained’t go astray. When you go to the park when the park roads are closed, the farther away you get from Lake Wintergreen, the much less individuals you’ll run into. All in all a pleasant place to spend a while open air. I sit up for a return go to.
Fantastically maintained park and trails, not a lot foot visitors.
Some highway noise might be heard close to and across the tunnel.
Take a hike!