Saturday, October 22, 2011

Castle Craig - Meriden, CT

My fiance and I were lucky enough to take a road trip to visit a friend from college over the summer in Meriden, Connecticut. Neither of us had ever visited the New England area and wanted to make the most out of our trip. We took a lot of adventurous chances that we wouldn't have otherwise done, like making the 13+ hour trip or battling the monstrous mountain at Hubbard Park to see Castle Craig.

Hubbard Park

Hubbard Park Trails

I was under the impression that it was a little hike up more of a hill to get to Castle Craig, so I wore flip flops, shorts, and a 3/4-sleeved cardigan. My camera was around my neck, and I was ready to go take some photos. Boy was I wrong!

The little hike up the hill was fine. I made it with no problem. We even reach a walk-through bridge that crossed the interstate. Of course, I had to stop and take some photos of the bridge and the area surrounding it.

So many photo opportunities could be had in this covered bridge/tunnel, but the last photo was the best photo opt for me. I had envisioned a couple standing to the left of the frame kissing or holding each other smiling for the camera. If I would have known what was to come, I would have suggested that my fiance and I snap that exact photo. However, I assumed we could get it on the way back. I assumed wrong.

Crossing the bridge begins your unexpected mountain climb. Yes, I mean mountain climb with no exaggeration at all. My outfit and shoe choice were not cutting it at all on this adventure.

My fiance climbing up the mountain

Me lagging behind because it was hard for me to make the climb in flip flops

The hike was miserable going straight up, but there were some interesting locations for photographs along the way. My first rule is use any and every rock you see for photographs.

I would have loved to have my friend that joined us on the hike pose at any of the rocks above, but we were extremely hot and sweaty after taking on the climb. However, it wasn't very far from the last photo above and we were at Castle Craig.

Above is the paved path leading up to Castle Craig. Guess what? The paved path also leads down the mountain to the parking lot of Hubbard Park. We could have driven up to the Castle. I guess it was better we got the exercise.

Castle Craig is a lovely place to take photos. You can use the outside and inside of the tower, the backdrop of the forest below, and even the American flag.

Castle Craig

View from Castle Craig

Beautiful stone everywhere

The view was beautiful and the hike was well worth it. On the way back, we decided to take the paved road back. It was even longer to get back to the car that way, but a lot less scary. We found a nice reservoir at the base of the mountain.

Overall, getting to Castle Craig was worth it. I highly recommend anyone visiting Connecticut to make the trek up the mountain to for the beautiful view and to take some photos along the way. Or, if you are in the area, schedule your next shoot at the covered bridge and scope out some of the rock structures. I still think this would make an amazing couples shoot or a wonderful bridal shoot (if you drive the bride to the Castle.)

Castle Craig at Hubbard Park
199 Notch Rd
Meriden, CT 06451

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