'Northern Lights' ©
Aurora Borealis - Thursday March 8th
upload your photos
USA Parks
USA Parks
North-Central Region
North-Central Region
Cook Forest State Park
Cook Forest State Park
PO Box 120
Cooksburg, Pennsylvania   16217

Phone: 814-744-8407
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
The 7,182-acre Cook Forest State Park lies in scenic northwestern Pennsylvania. Once called the "Black Forest," the area is famous for its stands of old growth forest. Cook Forest's "Forest Cathedral" of towering white pines and hemlocks is a National Natural Landmark. The Clarion River is the eastern border of the park and is popular for canoeing and rafting.
The Old Growth parts of the forest are a good metaphor for this whole park. A visit here is a way to visit the area's roots. To see the trees a bit like they once were. Remember, this whole state was named for...more
The 23 rustic cabins rent from the second Friday in April to late December. All cabins are minimally furnished. Each cabin has beds, mattresses, gas stove, refrigerator, and tables and chairs. Occupants must provide their own bedding, cookware and tableware. Alcoholic beverages and pets are not permitted.

There are two cabin areas at Cook Forest. The River Cabins are on a hillside overlooking the Clarion River. Two River Cabins have one room and sleep four people and the other 11 River Cabins have four rooms, a fireplace and sleep six or eight people. The Indian Cabins are along Tom's Run behind the park office. These smaller, one-room cabins sleep four people.
Camping: modern sites, some with electric

Part of Ridge Campground is open year-round. Winter access is not guaranteed. Modern restrooms with showers are available late May through early October. The 226 tent and trailer campsites have a picnic table and fire ring, and six sites are ADA accessible. There is a sanitary dump station and coin-operated laundry facilities.

Organized Group Tenting:

Organized groups can rent this rustic area from the second Friday in April to late December. The five sites each accommodate 20 people.
June 25
Clarion River Canoeing Program: Arroyo Bridge-Halton
Cook Forest State Park will be conducting an interpretive historical canoeing program on the National Wild and Scenic Clarion River from Arroyo Bridge to Halton for experienced canoeists and kayakers only. This section of river is rich in local history, and also contains the most challenging set of rapids on the river, "THE X,Y,Z". We will be passing remnants of the Arroyo Tannery and have lunch along the abandoned Clarion River Railway near the Lilly Pond. Fishing is excellent here so don't forget your poles! We will meet promptly at the Park Office and car-pool to the starting point up-river. Remember to pack water, protective footwear, raingear, and change of clothes. Lunch provided to those who register by 7/17. Cost is $50/boat payable at the starting point, by cash, check, or money order made out to 'Commonwealth of Pennsylvania'. Must have exact change. Prior Kayaking 101, 201 and 301 participants receive a 50 discount. Participants must pre-register prior to the trip at the Park Office by calling (814)744-8407. Only 8 canoes are available. Space is limited, so please reserve early.
June 27
Fire Tower/Seneca Point Historical Tour
Please bring your binoculars and meet at the Fire Tower Parking Lot for a 45 minute historical interpretive tour of the Fire Tower and Seneca Point. Learn about local logging history, observe Indian sign, and take a breathtaking view from the box at the very top of the Fire Tower which will be open until 230pm.
August 22
Introduction to Kayaking
Please meet at the Park Office for an entry level ACA certified kayaking course. Remember to bring your ear and nose plugs, swimsuits, sturdy river sneakers, change of clothes, and lunch. Decked kayaks, appropriate gear, snacks and water provided. Everyone WILL get wet, so please dress appropriately! The following subjects will be covered: paddling environment, equipment, loading and unloading, rescues, maneuvers, and strokes. All participants will be required to complete a wet exit. Participants must pre-register by contacting the Park Office at (814)744-8407 by 8/15/15. Cost is $25/participant payable by check or money order to the 'Commonwealth of Pennsylvania'. We're only accepting 10 participants for this course. Space is limited, so please reserve early. Sorry, no children under 16 years old. Minors must be with participating adult. Those who successfully complete this course will receive an ACA Skills Course Completion Card, and 50 discount on future river canoe and kayaking programs sponsored by Cook Forest State Park.
September 18
Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club Lincoff Foray
Please meet at Shelter #1 for a guided interpretive walk into the Forest Cathedral to search for an learn about mushrooms with internationally renowned mycologist, Gary Lincoff.

Gary is author of 'The Audubon Field Guide to Mushrooms of North America', 'The Complete Mushroom Hunter', 'The Joy of Foraging', co-author of 'The Mushroom Book' and many other publications.

Please contact the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club for more details at

click here to see more events!
The swimming pool is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, unless posted otherwise. Depths range from 2.5 feet to 5 feet. A circular wading pool is adjacent to the large pool. Fee charged for pool use. Discounts are offered to campers. The pool area is accessible, and the pool is equipped with a lift. Vending machines have snacks and beverages.
The Clarion River offers a very scenic trip and is classed as a beginner's river under normal conditions. A canoe launch area and parking are three miles upstream from Cooksburg along River Road. Several private canoe rentals are in the Cooksburg area.

Get directions
to this park:

by Town and state
by zip code

Picnic tables are along the Clarion River in the River Cabin Picnic Area, in the Sawmill Area and near the exit of Fire Tower Road. Two large picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis. There are accessible restrooms and picnic tables near both picnic pavilions.
Hiking: 29 miles of trails

Enjoy the beauty of Cook Forest by hiking on one of 27 marked trails. The terrain is of rolling hills and cool valley streams. Special scenic areas are the old growth forest, Fire Tower/Seneca Point and the Clarion River. Overnight camping within the park is only permitted in the campground or cabin areas. Trail maps and descriptions are available at the park office.

Part of the 140-mile Baker Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail pass through Cook Forest. The Baker Trail runs from Freeport, in southern Armstrong County, to the Allegheny National Forest. The North Country Trail is under development and will connect the Missouri River in North Dakota with the Adirondack Mountains in New York.


Bikes are permitted on all one-way, dirt roads within the park. Biking on hiking trails is not permitted except on the part of the Heffern Run Trail that is part of the Bicycle Route. All children under 12 years of age are required to wear a helmet when biking. Bikes ridden at night must have a light on the bike.

The Bicycle Route is 11.5 miles long and follows lightly traveled roads within the park and Heffern Run Trail. The route is of moderate difficulty with long flat areas and rolling hills. Highlights of the route are a leisurely four-mile flat ride through scenic Tom's Run Valley, CCC-era red and white pine plantations along Forest Drive and a challenging descent along the Heffern Run Trail. A description of the Bicycle Route is available at the park office.

Horseback Riding:

Two designated bridle trails and portions of Brown's Run Trail comprise 4.5 miles of trails for horseback riding.
Nature Programs
Programs for all ages are offered March to December. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.

Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Group programs must be scheduled in advance by calling the park office.

A weekly interpretive schedule is available at the park office. The park has an environmental learning center in the Log Cabin Inn at the Main Picnic Area. The Historical Room displays logging and rafting tools, models and artifacts.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 22 Majestic Forest by Amanda Gail
We visit here every year with our family and we keep coming back. It is a beautiful, majestic forest with trails and creeks. Nice shelters for family get togethers and the kids have a blast.

Area Campgrounds
White's Haven Campgrounds
3058 Cather's Run Road
Clarington, PA
Deer Meadow Campground
2761 Forest Road
Cooksburg, PA
Kalyumet Camping & Cabins
8630 Miola Road
Lucinda, PA
Area Cabins and Lodges
Cook Riverside Cabins Inc
River Rd
Cooksburg, PA
(814) 744-8300
Forest View Cabins
Cementary Rd
Cooksburg, PA
(814) 744-8413
Clarion River Lodge & Riverview Suites
River Rd
Cooksburg, PA
(814) 744-8171
Stonecrest Cabins Cook Fo
96 Tylersburg Rd
Leeper, PA
(814) 744-8458
Stonecrest Cabins
Cooks Frst
Leeper, PA
(814) 744-8458
Pine Crest Cabins
1413425 Route 36
Clarington, PA
(814) 752-2200
Weather Forecast, (15828)

From the east, take Exit 78 off of Interstate 80, then PA 36 north directly to the park in Cooksburg.

From the west, take Exit 60 off of Interstate 80, then take PA Route 66 north to Leeper. From Leeper, follow PA Route 36 south, seven miles to the park.

USA Parks
USA Parks
North-Central Region
North-Central Region
Cook Forest State Park
Cook Forest State Park