At just under 3-miles round-trip, this out-and-back hike is a great option for a quick outing or for families with young children or beginner hikers. The climb ends at East Peak where you'll find the unique vantage point of Castle Craig, a stone observation tower reminiscent of a Middle Age castle.
The hike starts from the small parking area northwest of Mirror Lake. If this small trailhead is full, you can park in the large lot to the east and hike along the paved Mirror Lake Drive to reach the trailhead.
From the trailhead, start your hike on the White Trail
. This trail is wooded and roughly parallels the highway. While you won't escape the traffic noise, the dense trees do at least make this section a bit more pleasant. About 0.5 miles into the trail, you'll use a pedestrian bridge to cross the highway.
Once across the highway, the White Trail
climbs a bit more steeply until coming to a junction with the Red Trail
. Stay to the left here to continue on the Red Trail
. This short trail connects back to the White Trail
0.2 miles later. Alternatively, you can stay on the White Trail
or take it as an alternate route on the way back down to add a little variety to your hike.
After rejoining the White Trail
, keep an eye open on your left for the White Spur Trail
. This short connector climbs steeply up to the Metacomet Trail
and the parking area at the summit of East Peak. Perched at the southern end of the parking area near the edge of the rocky outcropping, you'll find the Castle Craig observation tower. This stone tower stands 32 feet high, and from the top, hikers can enjoy 360-degree views of the Meriden area.
After enjoying the views, simply retrace your steps back the way you came, or, if you are looking for a longer hike, explore some of the other trails that Hubbard Park has to offer.