As Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer continually remind us, it is all about location, location, location. New Haven can be seen as the ideal town for the New Yorker with a need for space. When you live here, you’re a two hour train journey away from the city that never kips, the Big Apple, the capital of the world, the centre of the universe, the big city, the melting pot, the modern Gomorrah… Scratch that last one. Either way you’re in a prime spot, but it would be doing New Haven, Connecticut a disservice not to talk about the opportunities that are only a 20 minute drive away, and which don’t involve smog. So – let’s go hiking! You have plenty of trails, from easy to moderate to moderately easy, some of which you can walk to from campus in about 10 minutes.
The Sleeping Giant: These trails out in Hamden are so called because from a distance the sequence of hills look like a head, belly and legs/feet of a giant.
The head is a favourite for those who like a bit of a challenge with their hikes, as you scramble up some great bits of rock, and some pathways which might make you think about how high up you are. Luckily for you, ‘bouldering‘ is big at Southern, so you get a taste for it, you can join the club and make some rocky buddies!
You can drive to the bottom of these walks and walk up a single trail, or join them up and walk the whole giant, it depends on how much you like to walk. The forestry area down below has plenty of seats as well as bbq’s for free usage if you fancy a snack afterwards.The nature is stunning, it is trees as far as the eye can see. There are critters to be found and water to paddle in. Watch out for copperhead snakes. But do go hiking, the air is fresh and the wind blows cool. Every way you look is a new site to be seen, even if your luck is out on the wildlife, the nature alone really creates an idyllic yet exciting atmosphere far flung from the hustle and bustle of student life.
Unlike home, you’re expected to stay safe without a multitude of health and safety laws or a giant fence to stop you enjoying the view. However, I must add that this does require you to stay super safe – don’t go alone. Make sure you’re of sound mind and able body. Do not do anything really daft near the edge. Please.
West Rock: A delightfully short stroll from the campus and though there are more complex routes, it’s super accessible to you for a lovely view of New Haven. You can follow the road, heck – if you have the means, you can even drive to the top. You’ll probably see some wildlife. Here’s a white-tailed deer. We got very excited – Bambi! Then we were told they are pests and cause too much damage to peoples’ cars for any of the locals to like them.
East Rock: East of West Rock is East Rock (funny that). Both have lovely views of the surrounding areas and are easily accessible from the campus. Groups of rag tag young students, including your new group of friends, love heading to the top of these rocks en masse and drinking various soft drinks and eating healthy cucumber based snacks. Both of these offer more difficult routes but have the simple trails for a leisurely autumnal stroll.
Be safe and enjoy!