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.



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