A Long Fall Foliage Hike On Sleeping Giant

It was the perfect day to take in the fall colors at Sleeping Giant State Park, which is what I did with my friend Harvey.


Whatever yesterday was weatherwise today was the opposite! It was sunny, dry and mild. The sky was the kind of blue you see in the desert. It was the perfect day to take in the fall colors at Sleeping Giant State Park, which is what I did with my friend Harvey.

sleeping giant foliage hike.jpgHarvey’s original thought was a leisurely pace up-and-down the Tower Trail taking lots of photos along the way. I had another idea. We’d take two cars, parking one in the main lot and the other on the opposite side of the mountain&#185.

In the abstract this was a great idea. Even while we hiked it seemed smart.

I came home exhausted… and still am even after a nap! On top of that my knees are sore–probably from the walk down where every rocky step was taken with meticulous care. On top of that I carried extra lenses and accessories in a backpack with a small tripod strapped to the bottom.

The mountain was jammed! Parking, normally $7 goes to $14 on October 1.

This is the state renting a parking space. I question whether it’s in our collective best interest to make this a family budget decision.

sleeping-giant-macro-leaf.jpgThe Tower Trail was as busy as I’d ever seen it. We took our time, stopping for lots of photos.

Mostly the colors were yellow and orange. Reds, usually associated with maple trees, were tough to find.

We made it to the tower at the top of the mountain, climbed some rocks for a beautiful view north toward Meriden and headed out on the Blue Square trail.

The Tower Trail is big enough for an SUV to drive to the top (I’ve only seen this once, carrying Channel 3’s Scot Haney and Mike Fisher). The trails we’d take down were more like meandering paths.

sleeping-giant-brook.jpgBefore long we heard the sound of running water. We turned left and picked up the Red Circle trail which parallels a normally dry stream bed.

Not so today! After yesterday’s downpours the stream was full and running strong. It’s never more than a foot or two wide (often less) but there are dozens of small cascades and little waterfalls.

sleeping-giant-brook-waterfall.jpgI took out my tripod and attempted to get some stream shots. With little direct sunlight under the canopy of trees these are tough shots to get right. It’s going to take some quality time with Photoshop to see what can be salvaged.

Harvey originally expected a few hours up-and-back. We ended up on the mountain for five hours!

Later tonight or tomorrow I’ll have some more shots to post. I hope it’s worth the wait.

&#185 – If you lve somewhere with ‘real’ mountains, forgive me. Sleeping Giant is about as close as we get even though the summit is less than 800 feet above sea level.

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