598 acres in Meriden, CT
Parking: Medium sized lot near 800 Westfield Rd, Meriden, CT
Trail Map Trails: 24.8 miles Rating: ★★★★★
Giuffrida Park is one of the great parks of Connecticut for its mix of trails, beautiful overlooks, and peaceful settings. There are easy trails around the Bradley Hubbard Reservoir (formerly Crescent Lake), a two mile section of the Mattabasett Trail, and many loop options. The Mattabasett was rerouted in 2017 and they did a fantastic job adjusting rocks to create a flatter switchback trail avoiding the previous scramble to the Chauncey Peak.
There are also overlooks from Chauncey Peak, Mount Lamentation, and outcrops above the east side of the reservoir.
Mattabesett Trail – 3.6 miles
- This section of the blue blaze Mattabesett Trail runs in a U-shape entering the park from the northeast climbing to the traprock ridge overlooks and Chauncey Peak. Out over the reservoir here are views of Castle Craig, the Hanging Hills, and Sleeping Giant.
- The trail then descends on a series of rocky switchbacks to the southern end of the reservoir before working along the flat western side of the water and then up to the next set of ridges and the edge of Lamentation Mountain State Park.
White Trail – 1.5 miles
- The white trail is a flat to gently rolling trail around the reservoir. The trail follows the water closely nearly the entire way providing many views from old pines and up to the traprock ridges.
Red and Yellow blazed trails provide connections between the major trails and there are plenty of side and unblazed trails to explore at the north end of the park.
Established as a park in 1967. From the park’s brochure,
“Giuffrida Park was originally part of an area farmed in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s by Jonathan Gilbert and later Captain Andrew Belcher. This farm, the first European settlement in this region, became known as the “Meriden Farm”, from which the whole area eventually took its name.”
According to a history of the area, travelers came to the western edge of the mountain in 1735 in search of gold, but never found any.
The park is named for the late Dr. Francis Giuffrida who practiced medicine and surgery and had one of the largest practices in Meriden. He also served as team physician at both city high schools and had a passion for helping children and teenagers. He was a World War II Navy and Marine Corps veteran who was awarded a Bronze Star.
Peter Marteka – A Park With A Nice Back Story (2010)
Peter Marteka – Giuffrida Park In Meriden Offers Golden Opportunities (2010)
CTMQ – Mattabesett Trail: Section 1 – May 2008
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Last updated January 15th, 2023
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