Please Note : New fishing regulations went into effect on January 1, 2012, expanding the year-round catch and release area on the West Branch Farmington River to include the waters immediately adjacent to the Austin Hawes Campground in American Legion State Forest. As a result, no trout can be harvested from this expanded area. Please contact the Inland Fisheries Division at 860-424-3474 or visit the fisheries homepage at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing for further information.

AMERICAN LEGION SF (HAWES), CT

Photo: AMERICAN LEGION SF (HAWES)
The American Legion and People's State Forests total 3,900 acres and are located in Barkhamsted, CT. The West Branch of the Farmington River, designated as a Wild and Scenic River by the National Park Service, divides the two forests and is the center point of river-based recreational activities...

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Description

The American Legion and People's State Forests total 3,900 acres and are located in Barkhamsted, CT. The West Branch of the Farmington River, designated as a Wild and Scenic River by the National Park Service, divides the two forests and 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. 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.

Geography:

Located in the Pleasant Valley section of Barkhamsted, the initial 213 acres of People's State 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.

Recreation:

The park's signature trail, the Henry Buck Trail, leads through the forest to the ruins of an old cheese box mill, climbs the cliffs, and continues down the north slope. The park offers many other hikes on its eleven miles of trails, as well as cycling on park roads. Seasonal interpretive programs and displays on forestry, mammals, Native American culture, and local history are based at the Stone Museum, open weekends between Memorial Day and Columbus Day. Visitors are also welcome to camp, hunt, trap, picnic, snowshoe, cross-country ski, snowmobile, ice hike, go boating, canoeing, and kayaking, play field sports, and fish.

Facilities:

American Legion State Forest offers 30 campsites in a wooded setting. The camping season begins in mid-April and ends on Columbus Day. Youth group camping is available at both American Legion and Peoples State Forests. Restrooms, a seasonally-operated museum, picnic shelters, and picnic tables are also available.

Nearby Attractions:

Nearby state parks include Burr Pond State Park, in Torrington, Penwood State Park, in Bloomfield, and Stratton Brook State Park, in Simsbury.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Biking - Road
  • Bird Watching
  • Canoeing - River
  • Climbing
  • Dump Station
  • Firewood
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fishing - Freshwater
  • Flush Toilet
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Hunting
  • Ice Machine
  • Interpretive Programs
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Museum
  • Parking
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Playing Fields
  • Public Drinking Water Taps
  • Ranger Station
  • Recycling Center
  • Restroom
  • Scenic Overlook
  • Showers
  • Softball Field
  • Tubing
  • Water Drinking
  • Water Faucets
  • Water Fillup Station
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Campground Store
  • Church
  • Fishing Supplies
  • Grocery Store
  • Laundry
  • Restaurant
  • Walk-In Medical Center
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • Hospital
Alerts and Important Information
You can now make a reservation for the day before your arrival and up until 11 months in advance

In an effort to protect Connecticut's forests from the introduction and spread of destructive insect pests - in particular the emerald ash borer and Asian long-horned beetle - the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is taking the following action:
Prohibiting the bringing of firewood into state of Connecticut campgrounds and state parks from other states. As an alternative, firewood can be either purchased at the camp stores within the state campgrounds or at local retail sellers of firewood.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection greatly appreciates the public's assistance in helping to protect the state's natural resources and apologizes for any inconvenience this initiative may cause.

Please note: New fishing regulations went into effect on January 1, 2012, expanding the year-round catch and release area on the West Branch Farmington River to include the waters immediately adjacent to the Austin Hawes Campground in American Legion State Forest. As a result, no trout can be harvested from this expanded area. Please contact the Inland Fisheries Division at 860-424-3474 or visit the fisheries homepage at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing for further information.

Additional information can be found at the following address.

CT State Parks (DEEP)
Friends of Connecticut State Parks
General Camping Information

Explore the natural and cultural histories of Connecticut State Parks and Forests through inerpretation! Interpretive events are listed on the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection's website. Take a hike, meet a snake, learn about forest heroes, and more! Follow this link to the DEEP's Calendar of Events. Perform a "Keyword" search for this park/forest and then join a program. Additional programs may be offered, so be sure to check with the campground staff. For additional information please call the DEEP Division of State Parks at 860-424-3200. Find interpretive programs: http://www.depdata.ct.gov/calendar/

If you have any questions, please call 1-866-287-2757 or 1-866-CTPARKS.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

AMERICAN LEGION SF (HAWES)
WEST RIVER ROAD (P.O. BOX 1)
PLEASANT VALLEY  CT  06063

Phone Number:

Information:  (860)379-0922