Cooksburg, PA – After the stress of the holidays, take a moment to relax and reconnect with nature.

Upcoming events at Cook Forest State Park include a Clarion River winter driving tour on Jan. 12, a nighttime cross-country ski trip on Feb. 2, and Snowman in the Forest Day on Feb. 12.

Dale Lutheringer from Cook Forest State Park.

Programs at Cook Forest State Park

Saturday, January 12 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?  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, February 2 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 16 at 1:00 p.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 Shelter by the playground on River Road approximately    1-mile up-river from the Park Office:

1130am – Chili Cook-Off (hot & mild divisions)

1130am-230pm – carriage rides, sledding, snowman building, ice skating (ice skates available)

1200-100pm – Snowshoe interpretive hike within the old growth forest along Cook Trail, meet at the new River Shelter

100pm – Happy Dog Contest

200pm – door prize awards

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 23 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 carp kills along the banks of the river.  Hot chocolate and coffee will be available at the Park Office to warm us up.  (4 hrs)

Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 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)