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Sleeping Giant State Park in Connecticut takes its name from the mountaintop that runs through the center of the state park and resembles a giant sleeping on their back when viewed from either the north or the south. The ridge, also known as Mount Carmel is almost three miles long and can be seen from miles around, and was formed around 2 million years ago through earthquakes and land movement, and it’s now at the center of the popular recreational area. According to Native American legend, the sleeping giant is Hobomock, who was an evil spirit that was put into a permanent sleep by the good spirit of Keitan.
Sleeping Giant State Park is located midway between the towns of Meriden to the north and New Haven on Long Island Sound to the south. It’s a beautiful area for exploring in a rental RV, with many state forests, lakes, and the coastal towns along Long Island Sound to discover.
Hiking is a great way of getting out and exploring Sleeping Giant State Park, with over 20 hiking trails, many of them graded as either easy or moderate. The 3.2-mile Sleeping Giant Tower Trail is a popular route that starts from the parking lot near the park entrance and takes you to the 739-foot summit of Mount Carmel. At the summit is a four-story observation tower, which is open to the public and gives wonderful 360-degree views of the surrounding area.
For something a little more adventurous, try the Sleeping Giant Head Blue and Violet Loop Trail, which takes you on a 6.5-mile loop through the park. Some of the trails need a bit of rock scrambling, but it’s a fun way to get to some great viewpoints. Due to the nature of the rocks, it is best to have a guide if you don’t have any experience. There are designated trails for horse-riding and mountain biking, and during the winter months, the trails are open for snowshoeing.
Only scout group camping is allowed at Sleeping Giant State Park, so you will have to look further afield in your rental RV. To the north close to the city of Waterbury is the Gentiles Campground. This small campground has less than 20 mostly shaded RV camping sites, but it could be the perfect place for a quiet getaway. All the sites are provided with electrical hookups and free WiFi. There are also on-site restrooms with showers. There are plenty of recreational facilities, including a swimming pool, outdoor games areas, indoor games room, and organized events. This could be a great spot for a motorhome camping vacation for the whole family.
To the southeast is the Riverdale Farm Campground, with over 130 overnight RV camping spaces. This is a large campground, with plenty of amenities and a lot going on. Should you be new to camping with an RV, this could be a good first overnight stop, as it offers large pull-thru campsites to make setting up a breeze. On-site, there’s a swimming pond, plenty of outdoor activities such as a kid’s playground, sports courts, and indoor gaming areas. The site management organizes regular activities to keep everyone occupied. Anglers will love that they can fish on the Hammonasset River that’s full of trout and runs right past the campground.
When you book an RV in New Haven County, you have an excellent opportunity to explore the many forests and lakes in the area, plus there are plenty of attractions to visit, keeping the whole family happy.
Popular actor Ernest Borgnine was born in the town of Hamden, on the southern edge of the state park, and an interesting place to visit in the town is Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, on the Quinnipiac University campus. The Irish Famine occurred from 1845 until 1852 and killed around 1 million people. The museum describes how and why the famine occurred, and the responses of nations around the world.
While in Hamden, spend a few hours relaxing in Bassett Park, maybe with a picnic, as there are picnicking areas along with a playground for the kids.