Alcohol and Littering
Some people ruin things for everyone else. The West Branch Farmington River is a beautiful place, but not every visitor adheres to the 'Leave No Trace' philosophy. As the river has seen an increase in users over the years, unfortunately more littering has also occurred. The surrounding towns and State of CT take the cleanliness and safety of the river very seriously. They have taken measures to keep the people who don't respect the area out.
In 2016 Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) banned the possession and consumption of alcohol at two state parks in New Hartford to “address public safety issues at these locations.” “I have exercised my authority to declare a ban on alcohol at Nepaug State Forest and Satan’s Kingdom from July 29, 2016 through October 26, 2016 due to numerous incidents of unruly behavior by large groups consuming alcohol – that is not a combination conducive to public safety and enjoyment of our state’s natural resources,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. Environmental Conservation Police officers from this agency will vigorously patrol the park to enforce this. In addition to the alcohol ban in these areas, officers were seen writing tickets for littering as well.
On a local level, the Town of Barkhamsted has also passed a littering ordinance.
The bottom line is please respect the Farmington River and the other users on the water. Don't risk getting a ticket. Take home all items and trash you brought with you. Even if not littering on purpose, any item brought with you on the water can end up as trash if you inadvertently fall in, especially on a tube or kayak. Bringing glass near the water is dangerous. A broken bottle is hard to pick up and can injure others. Help us keep the Farmington River clean so everyone can enjoy it, and remember - "No Glass, No Trash".
Updated Summer 2017 list of the parks, forests and other state-owned properties where alcohol is not allowed:
Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union
Black Rock State Park in Watertown
Burr Pond State Park in Torrington
Eagleville Dam in Coventry and Mansfield
Gardner Lake State Park in Salem
Hopeville Pond State Park in Griswold
Housatonic Meadows State Park in Sharon
Indian Well State Park in Shelton
Kent Falls State Park in Kent
Kettletown State Park in Southbury
Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent
Mansfield Hollow State Park in Mansfield
East Killingly Pond area in Killingly
Miller's Pond State Park in Durham
Nepaug State Forest in Canton and New Hartford
Osbornedale State Park in Derby
Pachaug State Forest, Mt. Misery and Green Falls campgrounds in Voluntown, Plainfield, Griswold and North Stonington
Satan's Kingdom State Recreation Area in New Hartford
Scantic River State Park in Enfield, East Windsor and Somers
Sherwood Island State Park in Westport
Silver Sands State Park in Milford
Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield