It’s a popular spot that attracts many visitors to southern Connecticut.
Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden welcomes all adventurers with a 1.5-mile trail that will take you to the peak of Mount Carmel.
It's an adventure for people like Char Hemstock and her friend Deb Amodio-Gross.
“I love the chipmunks, I love the deer, I love the smell of the fresh-cut trees that were cut down, it is just spectacular,” said Hemstock.
“It is peaceful, you walk with friends, it is really really nice,” adds Amodio-Gross.
The park and its people have proven to be resilient. In 2018, a tornado ripped through the site, uprooting trees and snapping others. The park re-opened after roughly a year on the mend.
“We were obviously devastated when they went through, but we were so happy to be back, it’s just nice,” said Amodio-Gross
This summer, Connecticut state parks have seen record attendance. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said due to crowd restrictions over COVID-19, they've had to close state parks over 500 times with capacity filled.
Visitors at Sleeping Giant are eager to recommend the spot.
“I get out and get my little loop in and it’s very invigorating,” said regular Larry Coulter.
“I think they did a wonderful job cleaning up, and it is a great place to come and exercise and meet nice people,” said Hemstock.
“There is just so much here that we took for granted before. You can now stand back and take a good look at it, you know?” says Coulter.
Sleeping Giant opens to visitors at 8 a.m. and closes at sunset.