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Programs at Cook Forest State Park


Monday, January 1 at 1:00 p.m. - ‘First Day Hike: Cook Trail’-Join the Friends of Cook Forest at the River Cabins parking lot by the new River Pavilion. Come explore the old growth forest along Cook Trail with this 90 minute interpretive hike.  We’ll review some of the characteristics of old growth forest and discuss the history of this section of the park.  People/pet friendly leashed pets welcome. (1.5hrs)

Saturday, January 13 at 7:30 a.m. - ‘Clarion River Winter Wildlife Expedition’ Just because the herds of people have migrated away during the wintertime, doesn’t mean the wildlife is gone too. Matter of fact, winter on the Clarion is one of the best times of the year to observe wildlife in the park, especially some of the oddballs that you don’t get to see in the summer: migrating birds, river otter, fisher. How many species of birds and mammals do you think we can document along the National Wild & Scenic Clarion River… 30, 40, even 50? To find out, please bring your binoculars to the Park Office for an interpretive driving tour as we search Clear Creek State Park, the Clarion River, and Cook Forest. Hot chocolate and coffee will be available at the Park Office to warm us up. (4 hrs)

Saturday, January 27 at 6:00 p.m. - ‘Cross Country Ski Cook Forest at Night: Log Cabin Inn-Swinging Bridge’ - Please bring your cross country skis and headlamps and meet at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Classroom for a candlelit evening interpretive cross country ski trip within the picturesque Tom’s Run Valley. Learn how to identify animal tracks in the snow as you ski within the old growth forest at the base of the Forest Cathedral National Natural Landmark. If snow conditions aren’t good, we’ll snowshoe or hike instead. Hot chocolate and a cozy cabin will be available to warm us up! (2-hrs)

Saturday, February 17 at 11:00 a.m. - ‘Snowman in the Forest Day’ -Come join us for a day of fun wintry activities along the picturesque National Wild & Scenic Clarion River within Cook Forest State Park. Various activities will be held at the new River Pavilion by the playground on River Road approximately 1-mile up-river from the RT36 Cooksburg Bridge:

11:30 a.m. - Chili Cook-Off (hot & mild divisions)

11:30 am-2: 30 p.m. - carriage rides, sledding, snowman building, ice skating (ice skates available)

12:00-1:00 p.m. - Snowshoe interpretive hike within the old growth forest along Cook Trail, meet at the new River Pavilion

1:00 p.m. - Happy Dog Contest

Come sample the chili during the ‘Free Chili Cook-Off’, that is, after the judges have tried some first.  Hot chocolate and coffee will be on hand to help take the chill out of your bones. Enjoy a wonderful day among family and friends in Cooksburg’s winter wonderland.  Event sponsored by the Cook Forest Vacation Bureau.  (3 hrs)

Saturday, February 24 at 7:30 a.m. - ‘Otter Watch’   - Please bring your binoculars and spotting scopes to the Park Office for a driving tour to otter hotspots along the National Wild & Scenic Clarion River.  This is the prime time of the year to witness otter activity.  Chances are good to observe otter sign such as slides, tracks, and latrines along the banks of the river.  Hot chocolate and coffee will be available at the Park Office to warm us up.  Maybe we’ll even get a chance to see a river otter romp in action!  (3 hrs)

Saturday, March 16 at 9:00 a.m. - ‘Polar Bear Float’  Cook Forest State Park will be conducting an interpretive cold weather kayaking trip on the National Wild & Scenic Clarion River.  Join the flotilla and celebrate the last days of winter on this four mile float.  Bald eagles, river otter, mink, and mergansers have been known to make an appearance.  Pack a lunch and a thermos with your favorite hot beverage. Cost is $25/boat (bring your own or we’ll supply you one) with check or money order made out to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  All monies raised go towards future programming at Cook Forest State Park.  Participants must pre-register by 3/11/24 by contacting the Park Office at (814) 744-8407.  Prior kayak training participants receive a 50% discount.  Safety is of utmost importance.  All participants must have the following required safety equipment or will not be permitted to attend:  dry suit or dry top/bottom combination, cold   weather boots, waterproof gloves, waterproof stow bag, complete change of clothes. Meet at the Park Office where we will conduct a safety check for above items, load gear, and travel to the starting point up-river.  (5 hrs)

Saturday, March 30 at 8:30 a.m. - ‘Eagle Watch’  Please bring your binoculars and spotting scopes to the Park Office for a driving tour to eagle hotspots along the National Wild & Scenic Clarion River.  This is the prime time of the year to view bald eagles on their nests and find new nesting sites. Expect a long car-pool and aggressive hike to some of the better areas, but the rewards will be worth it. Hot chocolate and coffee will be available at the Park Office to warm us up.  (4 hrs)

 

Cook Forest State Park, 113 River Rd, Cooksburg, PA 16217

 

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