Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Q-Trail: Descending the Giant

At about Mile 8, the Quinnipiac Trail begins a long descent from the Tower at Sleeping Giant, at one point following the top of an enormous basaltic cliff that was created by a quarry. This is where I saw a copperhead last year. The descent can be treacherous if wet.

A short detour onto the Red Diamond trail brings you to the floor of the quarry, where you can look up at tiny hikers on the cliff top, or admire the rust-streaked trap rock. I enjoy seeing the distinctive plant assemblages growing in the quarry, including Bayberry and native Creeping Juniper.

Back onto the Q-Trail, there is a short stretch of serious rock climbing, then the last overlook before leaving the Giant at Mile 9. The picture below is looking back up the head...

...and then west to a flock of geese (why are they flying north?)

Finally, the trail reaches the scenic Mill River, and follows it out of the park towards busy Route 10 (Whitney Ave).

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