TUNXIS STATE FOREST
Tunxis State Forest is approximately 9,152 acres divided into sections on both sides of the Barkhamsted Reservoir. It contains large areas of unbroken forest in the towns of Hartland, Barkhamsted, and Granby. Even at the time of the original purchases for Tunxis in 1923, much of the area was already heavily forested. This is unlike many other parts of the state that, back then, were only gradually growing into forest from farm abandonment. Today, Tunxis is part of a large area of wildland that includes adjacent property of the MDC (Metropolitan District Commission, which is a major drinking water supplier), other Connecticut state forests, and Granville State Forest in Massachusetts.
Many types of wildlife can be seen at Tunxis. Near the end of the Twentieth Century, the area was one of the earliest in the state to see moose and black bear. It is a ?working forest?, actively managed for improved forest health and diversity, and to produce forest products. It is also a popular forest recreational ?escape? for enthusiasts who like to hike, cross-country ski, snowshoe and hunt
Tunxis State Forest, located in the state of Connecticut, has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. Here is an overview of its historical background:
- The initial acquisition of the Tunxis State Forest lands took place in 1927. The Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA) played a crucial role in this process by purchasing 988 acres of land, including the Tunxis Peak and Mount Fowler area.
- Over the years, additional tracts of land were acquired, expanding the forest's size. The civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) contributed to this expansion during the Great Depression of the 1930s by undertaking various conservation projects in the forest.
- In the 1940s, the State of Connecticut obtained more land in the Tunxis State Forest with the assistance of the CFPA, further increasing the total area to its current size of approximately 9,152 acres.
- During the 20th century, the forest was primarily used for timber harvesting and recreational activities such as hunting and fishing.
- In recent years, Tunxis State Forest has also become important for wildlife preservation and habitat conservation. The forest supports a diverse range of plant and animal species, providing a natural haven for both rare and common wildlife.
- Moreover, Tunxis State Forest offers visitors various recreational opportunities. The forest has several hiking trails, including the Tunxis Mainline Blue Blazed Trail, which stretches for approximately 79 miles across Connecticut, passing through the forest. It also features camping areas, picnic spots, and opportunities for fishing in designated areas.
Tunxis State Forest stands as a valuable natural resource for Connecticut, balancing conservation and recreation in a historic landscape that has been preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Connecticut has made state parks, forests, trails, historic sites and beaches more accessible to our residents so they can enjoy the many attractions and beauty they offer. Under the Passport to the Parks program, parking fees are now eliminated at Connecticut State Parks for those with Connecticut registered vehicles. You can view the CONNECTICUT PASSPORT TO THE PARKS
web page to learn more.