Recreation Department

(860) 379-2895 Please email Donna Bastrzycki-Barkhamsted Recreation Director for any questions about programs and camp. Email-
(860) 379-6262
Town Hall
67 Ripley Hill Road
Hours of Operation
Office hours by appointment. Please email- Donna Bastrzycki-Barkahmsted Recreation Director-


The Barkhamsted Recreation Department has many enjoyable programs for you and your family throughout the year. To stay up to date on all of our current programs please check the website and also "like" the Town of Barkhamsted's Facebook Page.  Town traditional events and programs include-The Halloween Dance, Thanksgiving Hike and Pot Luck, Christmas in Riverton-Christmas Crafters Workshop, Ski Club, Karate, Mindful Movement/Yoga, Pickleball, Earth Day, Summer Recreation Camp, Family Fun Summer Event,  Moonlight Canoe and Kayak Trip, PaddleBoarding and Kayaing during the month of July and August with Collinsville Canoe and Kayak and many joint programs with the FRCC River Steward Team, FALPS and with other town and local organizations throughout the year.  When registering for a program, please mail the registration/payment forms to Barkhamsted Parks and Recreation Department -67 Ripley Hill Road  Pleasant Valley, CT 06063. Please sign up before the deadlines to reserve your spot for classes/programs and help ensure safe and fun programs.  The deadlines are set prior to the class to help finalize staffing and supplies.

Additional Info

Helping the Wild and Scenic Farmington River
Are you passionate about the Farmington River?  Do you enjoy being outdoors and making a difference in the community?  Consider offering a few hours of your time to help a great cause.  What can you do?

There is a new team of 'Assistant Stewards' for the summer. They will help spread the word about proper etiquette on the river and provide a presence during the busier times. This could be a great learning experience for students majoring in environmental studies/conservation, or just someone who enjoys interacting with others. If interested in learning more please contact - Stephan Bastrzycki - River Steward. The River Steward Team partners with the Recreation Department and other local groups to put on joint events throughout the year. The Steward team is also a part of the Recreation Department's Summer Camp.

Periodically there are river cleanups held on specific stretches of the river. A few people volunteering a couple hours of their time can make a big difference. Check our calendar of events on the home page of the Farmington River Steward website-  when the next cleanup become scheduled.

  • Consider 'adopting' a small stretch of river and help keep it clean.
If you do not want to actually commit to any hours, be our eyes on the river. The next time you are out on the Farmington and see something that needs reporting, let us know via email.

Maybe it is a downed tree creating a hazard in the water or an area of trash that needs to be cleaned up.
Recreation Program Volunteers

Volunteer Opportunities and Fun Community Events! 

Would you like to help as a volunteer for the Recreation Department? There are many opportunities available such as serving on the Recreation Commission which meet the third Monday of each month from September-June at Town Hall at 7 p.m. and program volunteers. Or do you want to help keep the Farmington River Beautiful and a Fun and Safe Place to Recreate? Consider giving some time as a volunteer assistant River Steward or a volunteer for the Recreation Department. There are many opportunities to become invloved. We have several fun joint events throughout the year and are always looking for new volunteers! For more Recreation program info  please email-Donna Bastrzycki-Recreation Director
Resources and Activities for Families during the COVID-19 pandemic
Resources for Families during the  COVID-19 (Coronavirus)




Cool and Fun Activities

Virtual Field trips- (Take a cool trip without leaving the house!)

Awesome Indoor Ideas including DYI Indoor Bowling!


Virtual Family Outings!

Travel the globe without leaving the house-- check out Earth cam!

Explore Africa and cool animals with this live web cam-

Check out the National Aquarium with its live broadcast!

Watch adorable puppies on live cam!


Coloring Pages


At Home Exercise Workouts

Awesome video series-NCHPAD (National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability



Relaxation and Mindfulness



An Excellent Resource for Parents and Caregivers for supporting those with Autism in uncertain times-from UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Instructive Team-

Game for Autism & SPARK for Autism! continues its free tour across the state of Connecticut in appreciation of SPARK at Yale ( The event uses the Project CASY Mobile Inclusion Arcade and other cool games.  Please see Dr. Roger Jou's post from this link-

I hope you find these resources helpful and will be putting up more resourceful links.

Donna Bastrzycki-Barkhamsted Recreation Director
FALPS Events

Friends of American Legion and People's State Forest (FALPS)

Tee shirts are in. We have some of the original artwork shirts and a new style.  Hats are now in also!  They are avalable at the Riverton Store.  

Remember to regularly check our Facebook page. You do not have to be ‘on-Facebook’ to get onto the site. Simply type ‘Friends of American Legion and Peoples State Forests’ in the search box and it will bring up a link to our Facebook page. Events are FREE unless otherwise stated. Donations are always appreciated.

  • Scheduled events: Inclement weather cancels or postpones hikes. Check the FALPS Facebook page or the Town Calendar for Community Events.

 APRIL 2022
Spring is here. The transition from winter to spring is always done with anticipation. We had a few nice days, then back to cold!  April will see warmer weather and we should get out to enjoy what the forests have to offer. Spring peepers and wood frogs make us smile! The wildflowers will be out. Time to get outside! Come join us for some great events and fun.
Check out what we have planned below for the coming months.
Remember: No matter what ails you, there is no better prescription or more effective therapy than a walk in the woods!
 FALPS Events:
Saturday, April 23, Wildflower hike/ walk, 10 a.m: Join Erik and Helen Ann Landgraf for a Wildflower walk/hike along the Henry Buck Trail. Meet at 10 a.m. at the southernmost trail head of the Henry Buck Trail on West River Road (across from the bridge abutments in the river). Park at the northern entrance to Legion Road. This is normally peak viewing time and we will identify many kinds of wildflowers along the way. Those that are interested can continue on the entire loop (about 2 miles of moderate to difficult hiking) and should return about 1 p.m. No pre-registration. Free and open to all.
Saturday, May 14, 10:00 am. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) talk and beetle release:  We will meet at the Nature Museum off of Greenwoods Road in Peoples State Forest. The museum is about 0.2 miles from East River Road. HWA has been a serious exotic pest of eastern hemlocks in Connecticut since 1985. Connecticut's main strategy for managing HWA utilizes biological control with the adelgid's native natural predator, a tiny ladybeetle from Japan. Since 1995, >200,000 of them have been released throughout Connecticut to protect our hemlocks. Come visit with Dr. Carole Cheah, Research Entomologist with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, learn about the HWA, and help release “the good beetle”! Dr. Cheah is the leading scientist and expert on HWA. No pre-registration. Free and open to all.
Saturday, May 21, Learn to Bird hike: Begins at 7:00 am. A great time of the year to see and learn about local and migratory birds. Bring binoculars!!!  NOTE the 7:00 a.m. time.  Registration is required and we will limit the number of participants. Contact us at if you are interested.
Barkhamsted Nature Day
Sunday, April 24, 12:30-5 p.m: 7th Annual Barkhamsted Earth Day Nature Festival, Matthies Grove Pavilion, Peoples State Forest. It’s been two years since we’ve been able to co-host this wonderful event filled with dozens of exhibitors displaying all things nature, talks, walks and a birds of prey show. Free food and all free event.

Work Update:
We are back to work on the much-anticipated Agnes Bowen re-route through 800 feet of a red maple swamp (we are halfway done). We plan to be done by mid-May and have a Grand Opening!! Trees have been cleared on the Agnes Bowen, Charles Pack, and Elliott Bronson trails. Planning continues for the 4-acre Matthies Grove Meadow. We hope to make this a premier pollinator meadow and a valuable location for many species of wildlife. If you would enjoy getting out and doing trail work or other types of outdoor projects, please let us know. We always need help and have many more work projects in the pipeline!
 We are hopeful that Greenwoods Road and Beaver Brook Road will be getting a facelift this spring. DEEP’s plan is to grind up the present asphalt and resurface the roads with millings, essentially making them gravel roads without the potholes! As you may know, these roads are in tough shape, especially if your car does not have much clearance. Consequently, the gates may be open soon but closed again when the work is being done.
We havenew long-sleeved tee shirts, hats, and tee shirts available at the Riverton Store (new sizes are in!). Stop in for a sandwich, hot chili/soup, or ice cream and treat yourself to a new hat or tee!
I hope to see you in the woods!
Ralph Scarpino
FALPS President

Staff & Contacts

Donna Bastrzycki
(860) 379-2895 Please email- Donna Bastrzycki-Recreation Director at for questions about programs or camp.

Staff & Contacts

Donna Bastrzycki
(860) 379-2895 Please email- Donna Bastrzycki-Recreation Director at for questions about programs or camp.

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