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 “first day hike” on Jan. 1 on Liggett Trail, a winter wildlife driving tour at the Clarion River on Jan. 11, a nighttime cross-country ski trip on Jan. 25, and Snowman in the Forest Day on Feb. 15.
Listen to Dale Lutheringer from Cook Forest State Park talk about how enjoying nature can help you re-energize and feel better.
Wednesday, January 1 at 1 p.m. – ‘First Day Hike: Liggett Trail’ Come celebrate the new year with a hike along the picturesque Tom’s Run Valley. View one of our lightly travelled old growth forested wetlands in its full winter array. This is a great time to observe tracks of animals seldom seen in other times of the year like coyote, fisher, and bobcat; even black bear have been known to amble through from time to time. Program graciously conducted by Friends of Cook Forest starting at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Classroom. Remember to bring your snowshoes if the snow is deep! (2 hrs)
Saturday, January 11 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, 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 25 at 6 p.m. – ‘Cross Country Ski Cook Forest at Night: Fire Tower Road-Mohawk Trail’
Please bring your cross country skis and headlamps and meet at the Nuthole Cabin located at the entrance to Ridge Camp for a candlelit evening interpretive flat cross country ski trip amongst 350 year old white oak and hemlock within the old growth forest of Fire Tower Road and Mohawk Trail. Who knows what sort of animal tracks we’ll see… coyote, fox, fisher? 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 15 at 1100am – ‘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:
11:30 a.m. – lunch provided, Chili Cook-Off (hot & mild divisions)
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – carriage rides, sledding, snowman building, ice skating (ice skates available)
Noon to 1 p.m. – Snowshoe interpretive hike within the old growth forest along Cook Trail, meet at the new River Shelter
1 p.m. – Happy Dog Contest
2 p.m. – 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 22 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. Maybe we’ll even get a chance to see a river otter romp in action! (4 hrs)
Saturday, March 28 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)