This lone tower pokes above the rocks within a park in Central Connecticut. Though it looks like the ruins of a forgotten fortress, it’s one wealthy man’s gift to the city that stands in its shadow.
Castle Craig is an observation tower in Meriden, Connecticut. It sits atop the East Peak of the “hanging hills,” and is constructed of local trap rock found in Hubbard Park. Castle Craig has a height of 33 feet (10 meters), and a base of 59 feet (18 meters).
Walter Hubbard, a wealthy industrialist, donated the tower in the early 20th century. It’s said the castle’s style was inspired by his many travels, so which exact travels are unclear. The tower has been compared to French Norman towers, a medieval Turkish tower, and an ancient Scottish ruin, making the inspiration behind its design a mystery.
Hubbard was very generous throughout his life, giving away the surrounding land to be developed into a park. He worked with the Olmsted Brothers, the sons of the man who designed New York City’s Central Park, to lay out its design.
Climb the metal staircase inside Castle Craig, and you’ll have fantastic views of the park and beyond. From the tower, you can see the City of Meriden and the neighboring towns of Cheshire, Wallingford, and Southington. During the spring, you’ll see thousands of daffodils sprouted in the park.
You won’t find many tourists at the tower, mostly locals. There’s a flag pole next to the castle, and several hiking trails that lead to West Peak and Giuffrida reservoir. You can find rock stacks, abandoned cars, and caves alongside the differing trails.
Know Before You Go
Castle is accessible by road, but be wary, road is very narrow at points and there have been rock slides in the past. If not by road, there are several trails that lead to the castle, but some are very steep caution is advised.
Once at the castle, there are not any barriers to protect you from falling off the cliff, so common sense is needed. The cars found off the trail are rusty. The rock stacks are very high, please respect them and do not knock them over.
The road is closed during winter for safety reasons. During the spring, summer, and fall, the road is closed during dusk and the gate is locked. The castle itself is closed during winter, but hiking trails are open year-round.