Pittsburgh March 23, 2018
by Beth Price-Williams The Ancient Forest Near Pittsburgh That’s Right Out Of A Storybook
Stroll over a charming footbridge, as the sun peeks through the towering trees. Swing your legs into the cool water of the Clarion River as you sit back and admire the forest surrounding you. Or, let the warm breeze glide through your hair during a picnic lunch. Feel as though you’ve stepped onto the pages of a storybook when you visit this forest near Pittsburgh.
Less than two hours from downtown Pittsburgh, Cook Forest State Park provides an idyllic getaway all year around.
Spanning 8,500 acres, the lush state forest is home to an old growth forest that dates back a century and a half.
The Forest Cathedral Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark, lays claim to a spectacular collection of old growth hemlocks and forest pine trees.
Explore the Forest Cathedral Natural Area by embarking on one of several picturesque hikes. Cross a wooden swinging bridge, for example, on the Toms Run Trail.
The .08 of a mile trail, rated as easy, will give you sweeping views of the Forest Cathedral Natural Area.
With 12 miles of the Clarion River running through the forest, water activities are a popular way to spend the day. Go kayaking or canoeing, admiring the scenery as you meander down the river.
Or, embark on a hike that will take you beyond the Forest Cathedral Natural Area. The state park boasts nearly 50 miles of hiking and biking trails that range from easy to very difficult.
The storybook forest also offers plenty of other activities, including horseback riding, fishing, and wildlife watching.
Spend an evening under the stars at one of the forest's 210 camping sites. Campers can pitch a tent, sleep in their RV, or rent a rustic cabin.
Cook Forest State Park
113 River Road
Cooksburg, PA 16217
Click here for more information.
What is your favorite thing about this forest near Pittsburgh?
Click here to read about Gateway Lodge Restaurant, an enchanting restaurant near Cook Forest State Park.
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