Chauncey Peak and Lamentation Mountain

When I first began doing research into mountains back in August of 2016, the first mountain I ever discovered by myself was Chauncey Peak. This mountain, along with nearby Lamentation Mountain, is part of the Metacomet Ridge running from New Haven, Connecticut to Greenfield, Massachusetts. These two peaks happen to be part of Giuffrida Park in Meriden, Connecticut. Chauncey Peak is only 688 feet, and Lamentation Mountain is 720 feet. This factor doesn't keep them from offering some great views.

Looking up from a lower ledge on Chauncey Peak.

My dad found a parking spot in Giuffrida Park, and we began up the New England Trail. If you don't know much about the New England Trail, it begins in Guilford, Connecticut and ends in Royalston, Massachusetts. This section happens to also be part of the Mattabesett Trail. The trail is steep as it rises to the ridgeline of Chauncey Peak, but it takes little effort to arrive at the first view looking southward.

Looking down the Metacomet Ridge from Chauncey Peak.

From these ledges, I was able to name off Higby Mountain, Beseck Mountain and Fowler Mountain. After spending some time to take photos on the ledges, we headed to the southern side of Chauncey Peak. This portion has sadly been quarried away over the years.

View of the Suzio Quarry.

We followed the light blue-blazed New England Trail for the rest of Chauncey Peak. The many ledges over the reservoir are a fantastic contrast to the bustling cities below. Many of the towering cliffs have deep ravines cutting in between them, and it adds more thrill to the trail.

Looking up a ravine that the trail passes through.

After following the ledges for a bit, we started to descend into the trees. This portion of the trail appears as if it was cut recently. Many portions of the trail have been dug up and blocked off with rocks. We passed by a piece of an old truck, and soon arrived at Harbor Brook with a bridge going across it.

Looking down Harbor Brook and the New England Trail.

We abandoned the New England Trail and decided to head up to the Red Trail. The brook passes through a canal and gorge below the Red Trail, and there's a small waterfall to the left of the trail.

Looking at the waterfall.

I didn't want to follow the Red Trail the entire way, as it would cut off most of the views from Lamentation Mountain. We followed it until we came to the Yellow Trail, and took it the rest of the way. The Yellow Trail wraps around the mountain until it reaches the grassy summit. The first ledge we visited was to the north, and it offers a great view looking over to the Hanging Hills and up to Hartford.

Looking up the ridge with Hartford in the distance.

The whole ridgeline of Lamentation Mountain is grassy, and it may be from logging or farming that took place long ago. While following the ridge, you go in and out of fields and ledges. Looking south, we could see the Sleeping Giant, and we could see the Hanging Hills to the west.

The view from Lamentation Mountain, with the Hanging Hills to the right.

After passing through fields and following dirt roads, we arrived back at the parking lot. While I couldn't find how Chauncey Peak gets it's name, I discovered that Lamentation Mountain is likely named after a story about a young Native American girl who jumped from the cliffs after discovering that her lover had died.

Peering at the Hanging Hills from Chauncey Peak.
The trail on Chauncey Peak.
A prominent cliff along the ridge with Lamentation Mountain tucked away behind it.
Looking at Lamentation Mountain from Chauncey Peak.
Another shot of a ledge on Chauncey Peak.
A rusty piece of a truck along the New England Trail.
Looking up Harbor Brook as it passes through a gorge.
Looking over at the Hanging Hills from Lamentation Mountain.
A portion of trail atop Lamentation Mountain.
Bella looking up the trail.
Looking down Lamentation Mountain with the Sleeping Giant in the distance.
Bella sitting on the trail.
The Hanging Hills from the southern end of the ridge.

These mountains are quite unique due to their location and geology. If you would like to learn more about the traprock that makes up these peaks, I would recommend reading my blog on Mt.Tom (blog here). These were some great peaks to visit, and I can only imagine how much better they'd be in the summer. If you go, I would recommend going on a weekday, and not a weekend. On our visit, we saw no one. I promise that this place is worth visiting!


  1. Nice write-up Evan! Rosanne and I will have to check these trails out. Thanks! Paul Hebert

    1. Thanks for reading! This is definitely a great hike, and it's worth the drive!