West Rock Ridge State Park

West Rock Park spans over 1,700 acres along the traprock ridgeline of West Rock, which rises over 700 feet above the surrounding landscape. The park is situated in the western part of New Haven and is easily accessible by car or public transportation.

The park features an extensive network of hiking trails that wind through forests, rocky outcrops, and scenic overlooks. Trails range from easy strolls to more challenging hikes, offering options for visitors of all fitness levels. Popular trails include the Regicides Trail, Lake Wintergreen Trail, and the iconic Ridge Trail, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

The Regicides Trail commemorates Edward Whalley and William Goffe, who signed King Charles I’s death warrant during the English Civil War. After the monarchy was restored in 1660, they sought refuge in New Haven. The two judges were admired by Puritan colonists for their anti-monarchy stance. To avoid British capture, they often used aliases and were rumored to be hiding in caves at West Rock Park. Judges Cave, a rocky alcove nestled in the cliffs of West Rock, is believed to be one of their hiding places.

One of the highlights of West Rock Park is its breathtaking vistas, which offer sweeping views of New Haven, Long Island Sound, and the distant hills of Connecticut. The park’s rocky cliffs and ridgelines provide numerous vantage points for photographers, nature enthusiasts, and sightseers to enjoy the beauty of the natural landscape.

In addition to hiking, West Rock Park offers opportunities for picnicking, birdwatching, rock climbing, and mountain biking. The park’s diverse habitats support a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and migratory birds, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.

address

1080 Wintergreen Ave, Hamden, CT 06514, USA

phone

203-287-5658