Trail Length: 21 miles
Towns: Hamden, Cheshire, Bethany, Prospect
Allowed Uses: Hiking Only
Partners: The Sleeping Giant Park Association, Quinnipiac University, Hamden Land Conservation Trust, Cheshire Land Trust, Town of Cheshire, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), West Rock Ridge Park Association, South Central Regional Water Authority, Prospect Land Trust
The Quinnipiac Trail is the oldest in the Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System. Although essentially a wooded trail, it traverses a series of traprock ridges on steep, challenging terrain. The trail passes through Sleeping Giant State Park, West Rock Ridge State Park, Naugatuck State Forest, and, at its most northern end, follows the rocky ridgeline of the Prospect-Cheshire border. The trail additionally crosses the forested property on this ridge that has been protected by the Cheshire Land Trust and the Town of Cheshire. In 2020, the trail was extended to a new northern terminus at the 82-acre Kathan Woods Nature Preserve, managed by the Prospect Land Trust.
The trail offers a succession of commanding views of the central valley, with ascents of York Mountain in Hamden and Bethany, and Mad Mare Hill and Mount Sanford in Bethany. The trail passes the dramatic chasms of Roaring Brook Falls, which are recognized as Connecticut’s highest single-drop waterfall. The Roaring Brook Falls is located 0.2 miles east of the Quinnipiac Trail, on an orange-blazed Cheshire Town Trail.
The Quinnipiac Trail also connects to the north end of the blue-blazed Regicides Trail in Hamden, offering additional hiking opportunities.