Doug at the stemming start of Cat Crack showing th...
This area lies above the town of Meriden. A small "Castle" (Castle Crag) sits at the summit of the peak and affords an excellent view of central CT. The road to the top is closed evenings and during the winter - check the sign at the gate and make sure you don't get locked in. When the road is closed a bit of hiking is needed to get to the crags.Most of the best crags overlook Merimere Reservoir, part of the Meriden water supply.
From Left to Right the crags are as follows:
1. Castle Crag
2. Rite of Spring
3. Dihedral Section
5. Fall Wall
6. Merimere Face
Take Exit 4 off I-691 and head southeast on Rt. 322 towards Meriden. Go about .7 mile and turn sharp left into Hubbard Park. Follow Mirror Lake Dr. around lake and past the swimming pool until it ends at Hubbard Park Dr. Turn left. Just beneath the highway overpass is a gate that closes the road to the castle at night (currently 4:45 pm) and in winter (November through April).
If gate to castle is open, note posted closing time and drive up road 3 miles (taking left fork) and park in lot by castle. Follow the blue-blazed trail east from the parking lot for 5-10 minutes. The top of the cliffs are on your right.
If the gate to castle is closed, park and walk past the gate up the road. Just as you reach the reservoir, turn left onto a gated dirt road. Follow the dirt road a couple hundred yards until it curves sharply left. Take a faint trail on the right. The trail crosses a small stream and heads up left through the woods several hundred feet to an open scree slope. Follow the trail diagonally left up through the scree to a steep, faint trail that leads to base of the cliffs near route "Shades of Grey" and "Grey Corner" (Amphitheater Area). A sketchy, loose goat trail skirts the bottom of the cliffs. Go left for Rite of Spring and Dihedral Section; go right for Fall Wall and Merimere Face.
Weather station 3.3 miles from here
35 Total Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',16],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]
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Dol Guldur 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
: Central Valley
: ... : Amphitheater
Climb the crack with a variety of thin fingers and face holds to the top of the crack, traverse left, go up and back right. Tricky and sequential, and tough to protect on the lead. You'll need every trick in the thin crack book. I am a bit embarrased to be posting this since after many tries I only managed to do this once during the mid 90's shortly after Ken Nichols had made his 1000th ascent of the line! I gave it the traditional 5.11 grade, but let me say this is a SOLID 5.11. One migh...[more] Browse More Classics in CT
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