Icy Past Creates Boulder Playground for Park Visitors - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Icy Past Creates Boulder Playground for Park Visitors

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A bumper crop of boulders to climb A bumper crop of boulders to climb
Boulder slab provides shade for visitors Boulder slab provides shade for visitors

Ledyard Glacial Park


There’s a sea of rocks as far as the eye can see. And for hikers looking for the extraordinary, you’ll have to head to Ledyard to find it.

Ledyard Glacial Park is only 22-acres in size, but it packs a punch with almost every step taken. On this hiking adventure, I took my husband, Tom, and the kids, figuring it would be fun for the 5 and 11-year-old we had in tow.

The main trail - blazed in blue - starts easily enough with the trek heading up a slight hill through the forest. As soon as we began, we found random boulders could popping up through the brush – a mild precursor of what we would soon find soon enough.

Right away, the kids found adventure, climbing whatever random rock looked promising. Pretty quickly, we came across an off-shoot of the trail where a stone slab appears to teeter on top of a smaller rock. Of course, the sight alone sent my kids scrambling to claim ‘victory’ atop of the prize attraction.

After this small detour, the real adventure began. Labeled on the map as ‘steep and treacherous’, we had every intention to avoid the most rugged part of the trail and hike a parallel, yellow one that seemed easier to maneuver.

But, so intrigued by the boulders before us, we hardly noticed the turn-off and headed straight for the rocks instead. This stretch is known as the ‘boulder belt’ created by a Wisconsin glacier thousands of years ago. The stones range in size from that of a beach ball to an oversized truck. But what was truly a marvel was the sheer number of boulders that surrounded us.

Scrabbling to the top of these rocky remains wasn’t necessarily hard, but it is not a trek to take likely. Our travels were time-consuming. We had to gingerly step and jump from boulder to boulder. And, I’m glad Tom was with me to help guide our youngest out of this minefield.

After a slight dip into a ravine, we climbed up a steep hillside to finally make it out of the trenches. We took a moment to catch our breath before our short trek back to the lot.

But, before we left, we glanced back from where we came - captivated by the sheer beauty of this rocky landscape. It's a true snapshot of history stuck in time. And, for us, a true sense of accomplishment.

Directions: Take CT-2 E/Hwy 2 E. Take Exit 28 S for I-395 S/CT-2A S toward New Haven. Merge onto CT-2A E/I-395 S. Take Exit 9 for CT-2A E toward Preston/Ledyard. Continue onto CT-2A E. Turn right onto CT-12 S. Turn left onto Whalehead Rd. Park is on the left.

Trail Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Trail Distance: 1 mile

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