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Regicides Trail

Regicides Trail
West Rock
Length 7.0 mi (11.3 km)[1]
Location New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
Designation CFPA Blue-Blazed Trail
Trailheads Quinnipiac Trail Junction in north, West Rock Ridge State Park South Overlook parking lot by pavilion in south
Use hiking, snowshoeing, geocaching
Highest point Junction with Quinnipiac Trail on York Mountain, 680 ft (210 m)
Lowest point Wilbur Cross Parkway Tunnel Roof, 380 ft (120 m)
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Easy to moderate
Sights New Haven, Woodbridge, Lake Watrous, Lake Dawson, Lake Wintergreen, Konold's Pond, Long Island Sound, Judges Cave
Hazards deer ticks, poison ivy, falling off cliff heights

Regicides Trail is a Blue-Blazed hiking trail, about 7 miles (11 km) long, roughly following the edge of a diabase, or traprock, cliff northwest of New Haven, Connecticut. It is named for two regicides, Edward Whalley and his son-in-law William Goffe, who signed the death warrant of King Charles I of England. Upon the restoration of Charles II to the throne and the persecution of the regicides, the pair hid in Judges Cave near the south end of the trail in 1660.

The trail is a narrow footpath marked with blue blazes, sometimes rocky with difficult footing. It is roughly paralleled by Baldwin Drive, a paved road currently closed to motor vehicles, except for maintenance vehicles, named for New Haven native Connecticut Forest and Park Association, in conjunction with the West Rock Ridge Park Association.[2] At its southern end, the Regicides Trail terminates behind a pavilion at the park's South Overlook, which has a panoramic view of South Central, Conn., including Sleeping Giant State Park, East Rock Park, New Haven Harbor, and the Long Island Sound. At its northern end, the Regicides Trail connects with the Quinnipiac Trail. Both trails are part of the state's system of "Blue-Blazed Trails" totaling more than 800 miles (1,300 km).[3]

Lake Watrous in Woodbridge and Bethany, Conn. is visible from an overlook on the Regicides Trail, about one mile south of its northern junction with the Quinnipiac Trail.

There are two connecting Blue-Blazed Trails to the Regicides Trail. The Westville Feeder, which starts off Blake Street in the Westville section of New Haven, CT and extends for 0.6 miles, terminating with a junction at the Regicides Trail, just south of Judges Cave. The trail is blazed Blue-Yellow. The Sanford Feeder follows an abandoned town road, running from Brooks Road in Bethany, CT to its junction with the Regicides Trail near Baldwin Drive. The Sanford Feeder is 0.6 miles and is blazed Blue-Red.[4]

The Regicides Trail also connects to a series of other trails within the park that are not part of the Blue-Blazed system. These trails include the Red Trail that creates a trail loop within the park; the Green Trail, connecting down to the park's main entrance on Wintergreen Avenue; the Orange Trail, connecting to the south end of Lake Wintergreen; the Gold Trail, connecting to the northern end of Lake Wintergreen; the Purple Trail, connecting to Main Street in Hamden, and the Yellow Trail, connecting to Mountain Road in Hamden.[5] The Regicides Trail has a connection to the Woodbridge trail system via the red-blazed North Summit Trail, which intersects the Regicides, just west of Baldwin Drive near a U-shaped overlook. The North Summit Trail extends for 0.8 miles and intersects with the Bishop Estate and Darling House Trails, off Connecticut Route 69 in Woodbridge, CT.[6]


  • See also 1
  • References 2
  • External links 3
  • Further reading 4

See also


  1. ^ Colson, Ann T. (2006). Connecticut Walk Book West (19th edition). Connecticut Forest and Park Association.  
  2. ^ "West Rock Ridge Park Association website". West Rock Ridge Park Association. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Connecticut Forest and Park Association website". Connecticut Forest and Park Association. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Coulson, Ann (2006). Connecticut Walk Book West. Rockfall, CT: Connecticut Forest and Parks Association. pp. 242–248.  
  5. ^ "West Rock Ridge State Park" (PDF). Conn. Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Bishop EstateDarling House Trails" (PDF). Retrieved 6 December 2011. 

External links

Specific to this trail:

  • Official West Rock Ridge State Park Web site
  • West Rock Ridge State Park map
  • West Rock Ridge Park Association
  • West Rock Nature Center
  • Bishop Estate & Darling House Trails
  • West Rock Ridge trails information
  • CT Museum Quest Article on the Regicides Trail

State and Municipal government websites:

  • Connecticut Public Act No. 03-131: AN ACT CONCERNING WEST ROCK RIDGE STATE PARK.
  • City of New Haven, Connecticut
  • Town of Bethany
  • Town of Bethany Conservation Commission
  • Town of Hamden

Land Trust / Conservation/Preservation Organization:

  • West Rock Ridge Park Association
  • Bethany Land Trust
  • Woodbridge Land Trust
  • Connecticut Forest and Park Association
  • Regional Water Company website

Further reading

Books – Connecticut Hiking
  • Colson, Ann T. (2005). Connecticut Walk Book East (19 ed.). Rockfall, Connecticut: Connecticut Forest and Park Association. pp. 1–261.  
  • Colson, Ann T. (2006). Connecticut Walk Book West (19 ed.). Rockfall, Connecticut: Connecticut Forest and Park Association. pp. 1–353.  
  • Emblidge, David (1998). Hikes in southern New England: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont (1 ed.). Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books. pp. 1–304.  
  • Keyarts, Eugene (2002). Pietrzyk, Cindi Dale, ed. Short Nature Walks: Connecticut Guide Book (7 ed.). Guilford, Connecticut: Falcon Publishing. pp. 1–192.  
  • Laubach, Rene; Smith, Charles W. G. (2007). AMC's Best Day Hikes in Connecticut (1 ed.). Guilford, Connecticut: Appalachian Mountain Club Books. pp. 1–320.  
  • Ostertag, Rhonda; Ostertag, George (2002). Hiking Southern New England (2 ed.). Guilford, Connecticut: Falcon Publishing. pp. 1–336.  
Books – Connecticut History and Geography
  • De Forest, John (1853). History of the Indians of Connecticut from the earliest known period to 1850. Hartford, Connecticut: Wm. Jas. Hamersley. pp. 1–509. 

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