AREA INFORMATION INCLUDING COOK FOREST’S WILD ANIMALS
You will have the chance of seeing Black Bear, Elk & White Tailed Deer in Cook Forest State Park
The 7,182-acre Cook Forest State Park, once called the “Black Forest”, is in scenic NW Pennsylvania. Famous for its old growth forest and the “Forest Cathedral” of huge white pines and hemlocks, Cook Forest State Park is a National Natural Landmark. The Clarion River runs through the park and is popular for canoeing, tubing, kayaking, swimming and fishing.
Picnic tables are along the Clarion River on River Road, in the Sawmill Area and on Fire Tower Road. Two large picnic pavilions may also be reserved through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Picnic pavilions not reserved are free on a first-come, first-served basis. Restrooms and picnic tables are nearby.
Visit The Clarion River
The Clarion River is a very scenic canoe trip. A canoe launch area and parking are three miles upstream from Cooksburg along River Road. Several private canoe rentals are in the Cooksburg area. For information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania,
visit Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission Website.
Two scenic views in the park are: (1) From Seneca Point Overlook you can see the Clarion Valley and (2) 80-feet up the Fire Tower is a breathtaking view of around 15 to 20 miles.
There are 27 marked trails of rolling hills and cool valley streams for your hiking pleasure. Special scenic areas for your hike are the old growth forest, Fire Tower/Seneca Point and the Clarion River. Trail maps are available at the park office on River Road. Baker Trail, which totals 140 miles, and the North Country National Scenic Trail run through Cook Forest.
Bicycles are permitted the park and you will need to bring your own bicycles. The Bicycle Route, of moderate difficulty, is 11.5 miles long and follows lightly traveled roads within the park and Heffern Run Trail.
Highlights of the route are a leisurely four-mile flat ride through scenic Tom’s Run Valley, Forest Drive and a challenging descent along the Heffern Run Trail.
About 7,200 acres are open to hunting, trapping and training dogs during established seasons. Deer, turkey, bear and squirrel can be found in the park. Hunting woodchucks or groundhogs is prohibited.
The Clarion River flows along the park border and provides fishing for trout, warm-water game fish and pan fish. Tom’s Run is stocked with trout. A special fishing pond is stocked with trout, near the park office, for use by children 12 and younger and people with a disability. Need more information on hunting and fishing? Visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Do you like Cross-Country Skiing? In additon to a lighted ice skating pond along River Road and three acres of sledding slopes, there are three designated cross-country ski trails in the park.
Information for this page has been referenced from sources such as: “Experience the Greatness, Northwest Pennsylvania’s Great Outdoors Magazine” and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.