Historical Hamden, CT: Places You Should Visit

Known as the “Land of the Sleeping Giant,” Hamden, CT is a well-known town in New Haven County. Hamden has a significant role in Connecticut’s history, and people come from all over the country to visit the different historical sites found here. We partnered with the Hamden Historical Society to showcase some of Hamden’s best historical sites. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, you should try to visit the following places.

Historical Sites to Visit in Hamden

Sleeping Giant State Park

Sleeping Giant State Park

Source: Wikimedia Commons

One place you should visit is the Sleeping Giant State Park, a historical park located near the Quinnipiac University. The park’s name comes from the two miles of mountaintops that resemble a large sleeping man. This mountain’s large size makes it a distinguished landmark throughout the entire state.

This park is home to many different hiking trails that allow you to get a great view of the surrounding Hamden area. If you are looking for recommendations, the Tower Trail is one of the best trails offered at this park. At the base of the park is the Sleeping Giant Golf Course, a nine-hole public golf course that has been open for nearly a century. If you need to stop for lunch, you can stop at one of the park’s many picnic areas.

Wentworth Homemade Ice Cream

Wentworth Homemade Ice Cream

Source: Yelp

Located off Whitney Avenue, Wentworth Homemade Ice Cream is a popular ice cream shop located between Hamden and Cheshire. The shop’s staff use only the best ingredients to make sure that the best ice cream is made for customers. This is a great place to visit when you finish up with a hike at the Sleeping Giant State Park.

Wentworth offers many different flavors of ice cream, and you can click here to view the complete list of options. Tables and gazebo are set up in the yard in front of the shop, so you can sit down and enjoy your ice cream when the weather is nice. You can also order custom ice cream cakes for any special occasions that are coming up.

West Rock Ridge State Park

West Rock Ridge State Park

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Another popular park found in Hamden is the West Rock Ridge State Park. This park is home to the West Rock Ridge, a tall trap rock mountain range that is visible all the way in New Haven. You can use one of the park’s hiking trails to climb up the mountain and get a view of New Haven Harbor and Long Island Sound.

You can also walk through the nature trail that surrounds the Wintergreen Lake, a large lake found within the park. Additional activities you can take part in include horseback riding, fishing, and canoeing on the lake.

Farmington Canal

Farmington Canal Entrance

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Farmington Canal was a major canal that was built in New Haven County during the 19th century. Also known as the New Haven and Northampton Canal, this canal was built to make trading easier for citizens of Connecticut. The canal was transformed into a railroad only twelve years after it was finished, since it was mostly abandoned when trains proved to be more effective for transporting goods.

This railroad remained in use until a flood rolled in and damaged into an unrepairable state in the late 1900’s. In the 1990’s a trail was created along the route of the original railroad so people see the places the old trains traveled through. The trail stretches 84 miles, and it is a popular destination for walkers, joggers, bikers, and skaters.

Eli Whitney Museum

Eli Whitney Museum

Source: Yelp

One other place you can visit is the Eli Whitney Museum, which is located off Whitney Avenue. This was originally the site of the Eli Whitney Armory, a gun factory that was established in 1798. The museum showcases the works of Eli Whitney, an inventor who was known for creating the cotton gin. The museum also houses the works of Alfred Carlton Gilbert, an inventor who developed toys for children.

In addition to being a museum, this building is used to teach children about how to design and invent things. Students and other children come here throughout the year to take part in hands-on projects that teach them the important aspects of inventing. If you want to spend a day out with your kids this is a great place to check out.

Interested in moving to Hamden? Read about the Aspen Glen apartment community located there.