598 acres in Meriden, CT
Parking: Medium sized lot near 800 Westfield Rd, Meriden, CT
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 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.
Trying to write a proper experience of this park is difficult without just listing all the great points. I have visited here for a quick two mile hike along the along the ridges as well as longer loops up and down the slopes. Until I figure how best to approach it here, go and experience it for yourself!
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