Hi all, it's long overdue for their to be a thread about the ~7 mile Regicide Trail which runs North-South along the spine of West Rock State Park in the New Haven / Hamden / Woodbridge / Bethany area. The Regicide doesn't have a lot of vert but is quite consistently technical and rocky. It's end points are (South) the gap in the wall near the shelter at the Southern Overlook. The Nothern Termnous is when it intersects unceremoniously at the Quninnipiac Trail as it bends East to head towards Sleeping Giant. the Blue blazed Regicide can be a little tricky to follow at times because to crosses Baldwin road several times and would be quiet tricky any time after a rain or particularly if there were ice in the rocks.
weather permitting, Jeff Grant (and maybe others) and I will take an initial crack at the single and double crossing next Saturday or Sunday the 18th or 19th of November 2017. This will be more of a recon to learn the twists and turns and figure out the pacing for a faster future attempt.
As a disclaimer: this, like many unlisted routes, OF COURSE have been done many times by many people, maybe faster than we'll do it, but the FKT thread has to start somewhere right? Best,
Regicides Trail is a Blue-Blazed hiking trail, about 7 miles (11 km) long, roughly following the edge of a diabase, or traprock, cliff northwest of New Haven, Connecticut. It is named for two regicides, Edward Whalley and his son-in-law William Goffe, who signed the death warrant of King Charles I of England. Upon the restoration of Charles II to the throne and the persecution of the regicides, the pair hid in Judges Cave near the south end of the trail in 1660.
Alex, you beat me to it! I've been meaning to start an FKT for the Regicides for some time now, but have never got around to it, mostly because I rarely run the trail in its entirety or by itself. Your post inspired me to establish a route with the entire Regicides, out and back, separating the link-in trail on my Strava. The run, which has become somewhat of a Thanksgiving tradition for me over the past few years, can be viewed below:
I ran it connecting in from the Hill Street trailhead. It's about a half mile climb up to the Regicides where I started my watch. There are a zillion ways to link into the trail. For a person coming from out of town, the most logical way might be to park at the southern end of West Rock, the southern terminus of the trail. The northern end of the trail is where it connects to the Quinnipiac trail after a nasty traprock climb. As Rafael indicates, I created a Strava Segment there but I'm not sure how accurately I pinpointed the start/end points.
I have a lot to say about this oddball trail, so please excuse the ramble to follow. First of all, the trail has some really cool history. It's name comes from three judges, or regicides (Dixwell, Whalley, and Goffe), who signed the death warrant for the beheading of King Charles I. The judges ran for their life to New England and hid in the cliffs and caves of West Rock where they were supported by local farmers. The trail also constantly crosses over an abandoned road named after former Connecticut governor Simeon Baldwin. It's closed off and in dilapidated condition, yet for some strange reason it's almost always plowed in the winter!
The trail follows a south/north traprock ridge which is incessantly technical, consistently laden with traprock. It doesn't feel very hilly at all, with the exception of the notches in the ridge at the northern and southern ends. There are very few points where you can open up a full stride. Mostly it's just rock-hopping the whole way. I like running this trail in the winter the most. It is really hot in the summer because of the southwest exposure, there is no water for the dog, and weeds hide the rocks. The trail is very well-marked but not well-trodden. Don’t expect to see many people out there. You might see some rattlesnakes if the weather is right.
There’s definitely some wiggle room with the time, so “have at y’all” (Jimmy Mac).