Other Ways to Enjoy the Park
While perhaps best known for its 32-miles of trails, Sleeping Giant State Park offers much more than hiking.
Visitors from around the state come to the Giant for birding, fishing, climbing, and other opportunities afforded by this rugged and natural landscape.
Birding and Wildlife Spotting
Comprising over 1500 acres of pristine woodlands, wetlands, cliffs, and talus, it’s no wonder that Sleeping Giant is a paradise for wildlife. Over 125 species of birds have been observed at the park, including a number of threatened and endangered species. In fact, Sleeping Giant has been designated as a “Hotspot” on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird app.
Other wildlife sightings are not uncommon, including occasional encounters with deer, bear, bobcat, foxes, and more. Please remember to give wildlife space, observe from a distance, and keep your dog(s) leashed.
Picknicking & Events
While the park’s picnic area was heavily impacted by the 2018 tornadoes, there are still picnic tables, fireplaces, water, restrooms, and a covered pavilion for visitors to enjoy.
Visitors wishing to use the pavilion should rent the space using CT DEEP’s rental page.
Cross Country Skiing
In addition to hiking trails, SGPA constructed and maintains a cross country ski trail. While deep snowpack is less frequent than it once was, the trail can still be enjoyed after a good winter storm.
The trail, marked with crossed white skis and poles on a black blaze, is accessible from: the Red Circle trailhead on Tuttle Avenue; the Red Square trailhead on Mansion Road; or the multiple trailheads on Chestnut Lane.
Youth Group Camping
A limited number of camping areas are available to non-profit, youth-oriented organizations. Youth Group Camp areas are available by written application through CT DEEP. All other camping is prohibited.
For more information, please visit DEEP’s Youth Group Camping website.
The clean, cold waters of the Mill River flow through the park, and provide habitat for a variety of fish species. The park is a designated Trout Management Area, and all fishing must be licensed and done in accordance with laws and regulations set forth by CT DEEP.
In the early 1900s, Sleeping Giant was the epicenter of climbing in Connecticut. Many legendary climbers established routes here, including Hassler and Roger Whitney, Fritz Wiessner, Jim Adair, John Reppy and Sam Streibert. The state banned climbing in the park following an accident in 1953, but has since reopened the park to climbers.
Rock climbing at the park should only be undertaken by experienced climbers, with appropriate training, on established routes. Climbing on the quarry is prohibited, as there is abundant loose rock from historic blasting and quarrying.
The park is a great place for many other forms of passive recreation, including meditation, snow shoeing, photography, and more.
Whatever activity brings you to Sleeping Giant State Park, please be sure to adhere to the rules of the park, set forth by CT DEEP.