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West Rock Ridge State Park is currently Connecticut's second-biggest state park. The state park covers 1,700 acres and offers an idyllic escape from everyday life. The state park is named for the huge 400 to 700 trap rock, which dramatically juts out from the landscape. West Rock Ridge State Park is part of a larger area of protected open space that offers plenty to explore beyond the park when you book an RV in New Haven County.
West Rock Ridge State Park has something for everyone to enjoy, including miles of multi-use trails, beautiful views out over the countryside, Judges Cave, a colonial-era historic site, and stunning Lake Wintergreen. During various seasons, some of the parklands are open to vehicles, which allows for easy access to the nearby towns of New Haven, Shelton, and Milford.
Overall, 21 miles of trails wind their way around West Rock Ridge State Park. One of the most popular of these trails is 7-mile Regicides Trail, which runs along the Ridgecrest. The Red Trail is another well-trodden trail that runs the length of the park and is a good way to see the beauty of the area. For some lake views, try the White Trail, which passes along the shores of Lake Wintergreen. Although these are the main routes, a number of shorter trails wind between the bigger ones, so there is plenty to explore when you are motorhome camping in the area. Be sure to pay a visit to South Overlook, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding landscape.
Mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed on some of the trails, which can be a great alternative to hiking. There are routes for all kinds of cyclists, with 11 miles of dirt trails specifically made for cycling. These range from a flat, wide double track which offers an easy yet scenic ride to twisting and rocky single track up and down the ridge, more tailored to experienced cyclists.
Picnic tables are also scattered around the park, so you're able to enjoy lunch with a view. Due to the cliffs in the park, which form part of the West Rock Dolerite formation, rock climbing has been taking place in the park for many decades. Today it is still very popular for New Haven campers.
There are plenty of places to go RV camping at West Rock Ridge State Park, such as Bear Creek Campground. All sites at this campground include WiFi, a picnic table, and fire pits, ideal for outdoor dining. There is a general store that stocks firewood, snacks, and souvenirs. There are restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, plus a range of sports courts and a playground to help keep the kids entertained.
Another option available when camping with an RV is Tokoket Valley RV Park, which has 18 full hookup sites available. The RV park is family-owned and operated, and offers a warm, friendly feel. Sites offer 20, 30, 50 amp service, with sewer connections, and water hookups. There is also free WiFi and basic cable. Each site is set on a concrete patio with a picnic table and is pet-friendly.
The city of New Haven is just a short drive away from West Rock Ridge State Park and offers visitors a huge range of things to do. One of the best ways to get to know the area when you camp in an RV near New Haven is to head to the New Haven Museum. Founded in 1862, this museum is home to a huge collection of art, artifacts, photographs, and furniture that covers the history of the city from the very first settler all the way to the present day. You'll learn more about key local features in the area as well as people who have shaped the city into what it is today.
Yale University Art Gallery is worth a visit as well, especially if you are a fan of art. It is located on the campus of the university and includes art that spans all different time periods, cultures, and styles. The gallery is one of the oldest art museums in the northern hemisphere. In addition to local artists, work is displayed by some well-known artists such as Degas, Miro, Picasso, and many others. Special programs and events take place throughout the year, so check the calendar of events before visiting.
Carousel at Lighthouse Point Park is a lovely place to spend the day. The ride itself dates back from the 1920s, with the building constructed in 1916. The carousel features two chariots and 70 figures, all directed by a figure of George Washington. Both the building and carousel are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the park is open during the summer months.