Information on:

American Legion and Peoples State Forests

East River Road
860-379-2469

American Legion:

Located in the Pleasant Valley section of Barkhamsted, the initial 213 acres of this forest were a gift from the American Legion in 1927 to provide citizens an example of proper forest management as observed by U.S. soldiers throughout Europe during World War I. The West Branch of the Farmington River, designated as a Wild and Scenic River by the National Park Service, is the center point of river-based recreational activities including trout fishing, canoeing, kayaking and tubing. Rugged terrain with steep, rocky hillsides typifies the remainder of the forest. The Henry Buck Trail, which winds through the forest for 2.1 miles, passes by historic mill sites and offers a view of beautiful rock formations as well as the river valley. The Austin F. Hawes Memorial Campground provides thirty spacious campsites near the river.

Peoples:

Peoples State Forest is located in the Pleasant Valley section of Barkhamsted. The forest was established in 1924 through the efforts of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association which coordinated subscriptions for donations. The donations came from citizens groups such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Connecticut Federation of Women's Clubs and many other groups and individuals who purchased land and donated it to the people of Connecticut for approximately $8.00 an acre. The West Branch of the Farmington River, designated as a Wild and Scenic River by the National Park Service, is the center point of river-based recreational activities including trout fishing, canoeing, kayaking and tubing. Other attractions include the 200 year old white pine picnic groves in the Matthies Grove and Whittemore Recreation Areas, over 11 miles of hiking trails, the Barkhamsted Lighthouse and other cultural and historic sites. See American Legion State Forest for nearby camping opportunities.



Reviews

Cody Remy

Rating:
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Well maintained trails. Well established river crossings, signage, and maps. Can experience some solitude on a few of the further reaching trails. Most of the hiking is easy to moderate with little elevation change after the first quarter mile. Some nice views and scenic overlooks at beginning of trails, but not much to see deeper in.

Ed McKay

Rating:
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Great for hiking, dog walking, cycling, fly fishing. Well marked trails. Maps available at various kiosks. Ample parking even on weekends.

Debbie Washington

Rating:
Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018
Great place for a picnic and big fields for walking dogs or playing Frisbee or baseball. Has a shelter and great indoor bathroom facilities. It is located by the river for a little dip or fishing. Picturesque. There are hiking trails across the street and a stone museum with limited hours.

Shannon Plaquet

Rating:
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Beautiful trails for all ability levels. We saw a black bear and cub near the Grande View, which made for an awesome experience 🤗

Samantha Joy

Rating:
Monday, March 19, 2018
Beautiful peaceful place to have a picnic with friends or family or just to get away by yourself and relax. Lots of wildlife and bears so be safe and keep food contained...unless your willing to share!

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