Lake Wintergreen

Lake Wintergreen
Lake Wintergreen near the spillway

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Welcome to the West Rock Trails website

West Rock Ridge State Park is located in Hamden and New Haven, Conn. (with a small portion in Woodbridge and Bethany), and is the second largest state park in Connecticut with 1,691 acres.*  There are many recreational opportunities available at West Rock.

This website has pages arranged by topic. Click on the link at the right to access the page that interests you.

General Information
  • West Rock User Guide (includes boating and fishing)
  • Safety at West Rock
  • West Rock Driving Directions and Parking Information
  • Getting to West Rock by Bus and Foot
  • Web Links for Maps, Trails, General Info and Outdoors Clubs
Trail Descriptions
  • Trails Overview and Trail Map Updates
  • Regicides Trail
  • Westville Feeder and Sanford Feeder
  • Red, White, and Red-White Trails
  • Colorful East-West Trails: Green, Orange, Gold, Purple, and Yellow
  • North Summit, Old Oak, Teal, and Solar Youth Trails
Information for Specific Activities
  • Suggested Hikes
  • Bicycling, Cross Country Skiing, and Horseback Riding
  • Fishing and Boating
  • Rock Climbing
  • Web Links for Hiking, Bicycling, and Traveling
Natural Features
  • Wildflowers at West Rock
  • Web Links for Natural Features
Historical Information
  • On the Trail of the Regicides
  • Looking Back Through a Window in Time
  • West Rock Historic Postcards
Trail Maintenance
  • West Rock Completed Wish List
  • West Rock Wish List
  • Invasive Species and the Problems They Cause

The trail descriptions are spread across so many pages to make the information easier to access.

* The largest state park by area is Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent with 2,302 acres. Gay City places third in size with 1,569 acres. Sleeping Giant is fourth in size for state parks with 1,465 acres of property.
All these state parks are dwarfed Pachaug State Forest in northeastern Connecticut with 28,804 acres, Cockaponset State Forest with 17,186 acres divided among multiple properties in eastern Connecticut, Centennial Watershed State Forest spread over 15,370 acres of current and former watershed land in Fairfield County, Housatonic Meadows in Litchfield County with 10,894 acres, and Meshomasic State Forest, east of the Connecticut River with 9,026 acres.
There are numerous other state forests larger than any state park.

What is the difference between a state forest and a state park? There are two basic differences. The state actively manages state forests for both lumber and habitat, cutting areas of trees on a regular basis. The state also allows hunting in state forests, except where they are close to roads and buildings.
Hunting is generally prohibited in state parks. One exception is a limited deer hunting season at Collis P. Huntington State Park in Redding/Bethel. The park name is a coincidence, as it was named for its wealthy donor.