Cockaponset State Forest
Rumor has it this state park was named after a chief that was buried in Ponest, Haddam. Located a few miles away from my residence, Cockaponset State Forest was a place I often visited when I was younger. From camping, to swimming, to hiking, I did it all. In total, this area is about seventeen thousand acres and is tucked away deep in the woods. Cockaponset State Forest is a Middlesex County gem; a place that only the townies and hiking enthusiasts. On the weekends during the summer the beach is usually covered with people, whether they’re picnicking, hiking, or fishing. My dog and I briefly went to some of my favorite spots from when I was younger. These are pictures of my favorite places
Haddam Meadows State Park
This too, is close to my residence and in the 1600s this land was an essential spot for the people in both Haddam and Higganum, Connecticut. Haddam Meadows State Park, before receiving its title, was a broad flood plain that mainly served the town for agricultural and shipping purposes. The land sits on the Connecticut River and was essential for transportation at one point. From boats to trains, a lot of activity went through this area. Like Cockaponset, Haddam Meadows State Park is a gem, but it is usually way more packed because of its location right off of Route 154 and its popular boat launch. I spent a lot of time in my younger years here as well. The park is not only known for its scenic views, it’s known for being spacious. The land during the warmer portion of the year hosts recreational sports, annual car shows, and town gatherings. These pictures are the hotspots that people visit frequently.
Sleeping Giant State Park
Sleeping Giant State Park, unlike the others, is about thirty minutes from my house and is located in Hamden, Connecticut. This park is regionally known for its scenic views and fairly difficult trail. It’s said that when you get to the peak of the mountain the hills in the far-off distance resemble a sleeping giant, hence the name Sleeping Giant. Based on where I went, this is the place for those interested in hiking and photography. This was my first time at this park, but it will not be my last. Pictures were taken in chronological order from the base of the mountain to the summit. The biggest difference between this park and the others, besides location, is the fact that the hike was an uphill trek. The other two parks seemed to favor the picnickers and the leisurely strollers; if you’re looking for a rewarding challenge, this is the park for you.
Carl Stuckey is a staff writer for Blue Muse Magazine
Photos by Carl Stuckey