Last weekend we went camping in Cook Forest State Park , Cooksburg Pennsylvania (Northwestern part of the state, near the Allegheny National Forest). It is an absolutely gorgeous forest! 8,500 acres of old growth forest, once called the Black Forest. It is mostly white pines and hemlock and it is breathtaking to walk through these woods! It is a National Natural Landmark. The Clarion River borders the east side of the park and it’s popular for tubing and rafting and canoeing. There are lots of trails for hiking, biking and snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter. We aren’t ‘big’ hikers or anything, but we do like to walk in the wood and just relax in the gorgeous surroundings.
We walked, climbed the fire tower, toured around nearby small towns, did a little shopping in the gift shops, played board games, had a bonfire each night and just sat and read a lot. I got 2 books read while there! The campground is lovely and the sights are not crowded and mostly shady. The large pool at the state park was closed about 6 years ago due to high costs so we didn’t do any swimming. Years ago we rented a canoe to go down the river. One son still in school went with us and they walked beside it and pushed more than floated in it. If you don’t go early in the year to the Clarion it’s not always very deep!
We were there several times to camp, but long ago. I think the last time was about 12-15 years ago. There is a nice flea market that we always enjoyed walking around, but discovered this time that it has shrunk down to very few vendors. One of them told me it’s because most of the vendors were old and they’ve died. In a few more years there won’t be a flea market at all:(
Let’s take a look…
|A stand of young white pine|
The old fire tower and the view from the top.
Seneca Point is a look out over the Clarion Valley
We took a ride to the historic small town, Brookville. It is the only small town east of the Mississippi to still have a full service YMCA. Their YMCA was first opened in 1905 and the wood building burned in 1915. The town raised $41,158 in just a week to rebuild. The new brick YMCA was open in 1917 complete with pool, showers, dining room, gym, exercise rooms, classrooms and offices and is still in operation today.
The courthouse built in 1838 and another lovely old building with a rounded side to it….
On our meanderings through the countryside we passed many Amish buggies on the road. The area has a large population of Amish farmers.
And here’s me sitting on a GIANT swing at a small grocery/deli/gift shop place. I couldn’t sit all the way back it was so big!
In the park a non-profit craft/artist organization, Cook Forest Sawmill Center for the Arts, operates out of the old sawmill. They offer craft classes throughout the summer and the fall. Crafts and art are also sold here. I fell in love with some of the wood crafts…
Bossman bought me one!
I love this one because it reminds me of an old time radio. There are no nails or wood pegs in it. The drawers are carved right out of the solid block of wood. I’ll treasure it always!
I only had my phone camera to take pics so they aren’t as good as I would have liked but you can see more lovely shots of the forest here.
Hope you enjoyed Cook Forest!
I still have lots of Scotland photos, so stay tuned!