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American Legion and Peoples State Forests

American Legion & People's State Forests

American Legion & People's State Forests

What: State Forest & Campgrounds
Where: 106 E River Rd, Pleasant Valley, CT (map)
Activities: Bicycling, Hiking, Camping, Hunting, Canoeing, Kayaking, Picnicking, Fishing
Trail Map: click here (pdf)

Camping Info:

The Austin Hawes Campground is open from April 17 through October 12, 2009 (daily).

  • West River Road, Pleasant Valley
  • Austin F. Hawes Memorial Campground, midway between Pleasant Valley and Riverton on West River Road. 30 sites in pine woods. Dumping station, bathrooms, showers, fishing. No swimming. One pet/site permitted. Reservations accepted April 20 through Columbus Day.
  • The campground is located near State lands that are open to hunting
  • $13/night/campsite for CT residents plus a Processing Fee
  • $18/night/campsite for non-CT residents plus a Processing Fee
  • Campsite Reservations
  • Campground Office (860) 379-0922
  • Forest Headquarters (860) 379-2469
  • Campground Map (PDF)

Henry Buck Trail (Blue blazed) Starts at the old bridge site on West River Road 2.5 miles north of Pleasant Valley. The trail leads up through the forest to the ruins of an old cheese box mill, climbs the Tremendous Cliffs which offer a good overlook, and continues down the north slope to about .3 miles north of the starting point.

Agnes Bowen Trail (Orange): Starts at the Museum and proceeds north to the James Stocking Recreation Area, crossing the Pack Trail near Beaver Brook, to Beaver Swamp; follows Beaver Brook Road for several hundred feet, proceeding westerly to a crossing of Greenwoods Road, and southerly to East River Road, about a mile north of the starting point. The trail is a traditional 1930’s ski trail. Distance – 2.5 miles.

Charles Pack Trail (Yellow): Starts at Greenwoods Road north of the James Stocking Area; runs southeasterly crossing the Bowen Trail near Beaver Brook; crosses the brook and leads northerly past an old cellar hole, crossing Pack Grove Road, and through Pack Grove to cross the road again at Beaver Brook Bridge; then, running northwesterly to the recreation area on Greenwoods Road. Distance – 1.9 miles.

Elliott Bronson Trail (Red): Starts at Greenwoods Road near the Museum, runs through the southern portion of the forest crossing a 60′ cliff with a good view; terminates on a town road near Route 181. Distance – 1.5 miles.

Jessie Gerard Trail (Yellow): Starts at East River Road near the old Indian Settlement known as Barkhamsted Lighthouse. The right trail fork goes through the lighthouse site and continues northerly to the Chaugham Lookouts. The left trail fork climbs more directly to the overlooks by 299 stone steps. The views from this area are some of the best in the state. Continuing north, the trail passes between the Veeder Boulders to the picnic area on Greenwoods Road. Distance – 1.3 miles.

Robert Ross Trail (Blue): Starts at the end of Warner Road, runs westerly to the Jessie Gerard Trail; and then southerly along the west side of the ridge, to the end of King Road; proceeds to the Museum and westerly to East River Road. Distance – 2 miles.

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