Pennsylvania April 27, 2016
Take This Amazing 2-Day Getaway In Pennsylvania If You Need A Break From It All
School is winding down, the weather is getting warmer, and you might be starting to think about your summer plans. We’d all like to take a trip to Paris or a glass elevator to the moon, but if you’re bound by time or finances, don’t fear. There are incredible places to visit that aren’t very far away. Pennsylvania has 121 state parks but one of them in particular is calling your name today: Cook State Forest, located in Northwestern PA.
Located in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Cook State Forest is famous for its old growth forest. Its "Forest Cathedral" is a National Natural Landmark. Here you will see white pines and hemlocks that tower above you, taller than most any other trees you'll find in the region. The park also has 29 miles of hiking trails.
One of the most unique landmarks in Cook State Forest is the Seneca Point Overlook, or the Cook Forest Fire Tower. At 87.5 feet tall, it was originally built in 1929 for firefighers to spot forest fires. It is no longer used for this purpose, but you can climb to the top to enjoy a 15-20 mile view of the surrounding area.
"This all sounds swell," you say, "but where should I stay? In a tree? In a box? With a fox? On some rocks?"
Our suggestion is the
, a cozy bed and breakfast located in the heart of the forest. Just look at it beckon.
You can rent a room, or a rustic cabin that can house anywhere from two to six people for a weekend. Pictured above is the dining area located in the main building; all of the food is made from farm fresh ingredients, and Gateway Lodge has won numerous awards for its wine list.
There are numerous specials and events throughout the season, like a Mother's Day Weekend package, a Memorial Day special, and a Murder Mystery Weekend in August. Of course, even on a typical, uneventful weekend, Gateway Lodge is a nice and cozy place to stay.
You'll come across plenty of beautiful and fun sights hiking through Cook State Forest, including this shaking bridge. But what if you get bored with hiking? What then? Hmmmm.
The Clarion River flows along the border of Cook State Forest. It's a popular spot for fishing and for canoeing, kayaking, pontooning, paddleboarding... You get the idea.
You can also travel through the forest on a horse! Picture here is an excursion with Silver Stallion Stables, a stable located not far from Gateway Lodge.
There's Baby Boy and Clover of Silver Stallion Stables-- bet you can't resist those faces.
There are indoors activities in Cooksburg, also, in case the weather is bad or in case you want a change of pace. This is the Cook Forest Sawmill Center for the Arts, a space dedicated to traditional arts and crafts. Participate in a hands-on workshop here, or watch a theatrical performance. Also be sure to check out some of the local shops, such as Salem Stoneware Pottery and Shamrock Creations.
Finally, we're sure that you'll get hungry during your stay. There are a variety of restaurants in the area, but one of the most highly rated is The Forest Nook Restaurant. It is a comfortable, family owned restaurant with delicious, home cooked fare. Will we be seeing you there?
As we mentioned earlier, one of the most memorable spots in Cook Forest State Park is the Forest Cathedral. Check out the video below to see it for yourself.
Have you ever been here in person — and do you have any other recommended activities, places to stay, or places to eat in Cooksburg? Share your thoughts in the comment section, and tag someone you’d like to visit here with.