Sleeping Giant

The Metacomet Ridge runs roughly along the Connecticut River from the Vermont border through Massachusetts and into Connecticut.  In that state, close to Long Island Sound in Hamden, is Sleeping Giant State Park.  This is a part of the Metacomet Ridge and for my money the most interesting formation in the entire ridge.  If you look at the ridge from the North or the South you can see what looks like a giant person lying down…. thus the name.

This is considered a trap rock mount, made from flowing lava and forming a step formation.  In fact, much of the Metacomet Ridge is trap rock and geologically distinct from other mountains in New England.  The ridge was previously called the Traprock Ridge, which is more descriptive but not nearly as interesting.  The name Metacomet comes from Native American chief who fought with the colonists.  He’s better known as King Philip.

This picture shows what the “head” of the giant and the upper torso.  Other vantage points offer up the entire body of the sleeping giant.  The foreground, is “progress” in the form of a Dunkin Donuts, liquor store, etc.  I’m sure there were better places to take this photo, but this was what I had to work with today.  The head is also known as Mount Carmel.  Right at the base of Mount Carmel is Quinnipiac University.  There was a time right before Sleeping Giant became a state park when there was an active quarry at Mount Carmel.  With the establishment of the park it ceased operations, thus protecting the park for forever being known as the Headless Giant State Park.