View from the Ridge

View from the Ridge
The late afternoon sunlight warms East Rock and West Rock Ridge in this view from the overlook on the Red Trail.

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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 (and growing).*  The 40th anniversary of the park is on July 21, 2015, forty years after July 21, 1975, the date the park was created by the Connecticut General Assembly. There are many recreational opportunities available at West Rock.

This website has pages arranged by topic. Click on the web page name below or the links at the right to access the page that interests you.

(The date of Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 listed above is the date I started this website. Do not let that trick you into thinking this website is out of date. This most recent update took place Tuesday, April 14, 2015.)

General Information
Trail Descriptions
Information for Specific Activities
Natural Features
Historical Information
Trail Maintenance
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.

The state of Connecticut continues to add land to the park as it comes on the market (or is donated) and as funds are available for purchase.

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.