State Senator Kevin Witkos Adopts Peoples State Forest in Barkhamsted

April 5, 2013

Hartford – State Senator Kevin Witkos (R-8) recently adopted the Peoples State Forest located in the Pleasant Valley section of Barkhamsted as part of the 2013 Adopt-a-Park program hosted by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association.

“Living in northwest Connecticut, we are fortunate to have such an incredible wealth of natural resources located so close to our homes,” said Senator Witkos. “From the Farmington River to its diverse plant and wildlife, I am thankful that our state has made the commitment to protect and preserve the Peoples State Forest for the people of Barkhamsted and those living throughout our region.”

This year is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the state park system in Connecticut. Today, this expansive system includes 107 state parks and 32 state forests. In Barkhamsted, the Peoples State Forest was established in 1924 through the efforts of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association which gathered donations to purchase the land and donate it to the people of Connecticut.

The forest provides excellent opportunities for outdoor activities. The Farmington River runs through the forest and supports trout fishing, canoeing, kayaking and tubing. Visitors can also enjoy over 11 miles of hiking trails, 200 year old white pine groves, the Barkhamsted Lighthouse and other historic sites. There are also 30 campsites located nearby in the American Legion State Forest.

In addition, the Connecticut Forest and Park Association is welcoming members of the public to attend its annual Spring Trails Workshop at the Peoples State Forest on Saturday, April 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event will be an opportunity for local residents to learn new skills, including trail construction, rock rigging demonstration, erosion control, tool safety and trail maintenance. Those who plan on attending should bring work gloves, water, lunch and appropriate clothes and footwear for outdoor work. Tools will be provided.

“If you would like to take part, I encourage you to attend the Spring Trails Workshop on April 27th,” continued Senator Witkos. “This event will be an excellent opportunity for those who want to give back to the community, maintain our trail network and enjoy the great outdoors.”

Legislators who Adopt-a-Park make a commitment to acknowledge the state parks located in their district, visit the park to understand its resources and needs, join annual efforts to clean up the park, publicize the park and help advocate for the needs of the state park system.

For more information, please visit the Connecticut Forest and Park Association website at