NEW HAVEN, CT #2
STEP GOAL: 10,000
INTENSITY LEVEL: MODERATE
DISTANCE: ~6.5 MILES
I love the East Rock area of New Haven. It’s an ideal combination of neighborhood and park mixed with proximity to an urban downtown. It also has lots of sidewalks making it great for walkers and strollers (meaning the kind with wheels, but it’s also good for a slower paced walk, too! Haha.) It’s fairly flat until you start to make your way up the Rock to the Summit, which then has a significant incline and will make your muscles work. (But if you go at your own pace, it’s doable for most fitness levels.)
A Buzzworthy Start
We started at The Coffee Pedaler, which is one of my fav locations. They take their coffee very seriously, but are still very friendly to people like me who don’t have the patience for a pour over and go for things like the iced mocha or vanilla latte.
With some pep to our step and after stopping by the restroom, we started on our way! (IMPORTANT NOTE: There isn’t a bathroom at the Summit of East Rock and the bathrooms in the park along the way aren’t always unlocked, so make sure to go before you really have to go :))
A Plethora of Paths
My mom has never been BFFs with the outdoors, but is willing to head to new locales especially if it has a view! And the top of East Rock park definitely gives you that. She also sometimes struggles with back pain, so it’s important that our walking routes have clear smooth paths.
The route I decided on for this trip made sure to stay on easy to navigate, paved paths that are also used by cars and bikes to head to the Summit. Thankfully, it’s not a highly trafficked route by cars, so it still feels very peaceful.
Before you get to the entrance where you’ll start to climb to the Summit, there’s a playground that’s worth a visit and don’t miss the views of the Mill River as you cross the bridge.
East Rock has a number of options to get to the top, including the Giant Steps and more rigorous climbing paths! And the areas are all free and open to the public (so no, fees!).
If you’re deep in conversation on the way up, that’s a great sign. Fitness instructors often use the talk test to see if you’re overworking or if an exercise is too strenuous. If you can still talk, then you’re doing well!
And once you’re at the top, WOW! You’ll get a full view of New Haven, the Quinnipiac Bridge and all the way out to the Long Island Sound.
Before Your Tummy Grumbles
Once we took in the view and looked at the war memorial, we started back. There aren’t any snack or food vendors at the top, so if you don’t bring your own, you’ll want to head back. (I would say it’s a great spot for a picnic!)
We followed the same path down and walked along Orange Street where there are several local markets that have outdoor patio seating. There’s P&M, Romeo & Ceaser’s, Nica’s, and Cafe Romeo. We went for a bite at Nica’s to get in a few extra steps. They have high top table seating, and you know, as I always say, why sit when you can stand?!
These are all family and pet friendly locations with salad, sandwich, hot and cold food options. So, there’s bound to be something that will get your mouth watering!
Walking at a consistently moderate pace, the whole walk took us about an hour and a half to two hours including making it to our lunch destination.
My Step Count: ~13,440
- Start at The Coffee Pedaler, to feel like a local.
- Walk along Edwards St to Livingston St to East Rock Rd to Farnam Dr, then to the Summit.
- Take the same route back, but continue on Farnam to Orange St.
- Pick one of the tasty markets on Orange St for a snack: P&M Market , Romeo & Ceaser's, Nica's Market or Cafe Romeo.
Amp It Up!
Here are a couple fun ways to add a challenge to your adventure:
- Instead of walking the paved path, take the Giant Steps.
- Runners love East Rock park, so try running the paved route instead of walking it!
Other Useful Link(s):
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