COOK FOREST STATE PARK
COOK FOREST STATE PARK
PO Box 120
Cooksburg, Pennsylvania 16217
Toll Free: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.wpamushroomclub.org/lincoff-foray/
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.