Cook Forest State Park

Clarion, Pennsylvania 16214

Cook Forest State Park

Cook Forest State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This hike takes you into the Clarion River Valley and alongside the dark waters of the Clarion River. This descent is followed by a climb out of the gorge to River Valley and a heart-stopping view from an 80-foot fire tower. There is also a natural overlook for the faint of heart.

As you loop back to where you began, you’ll pass through the Forest Cathedral, a virgin stand of white pine and hemlock that loggers—for some reason—left behind. Be sure and look for the plaque that proclaims the area a National Natural Landmark."

More Cook Forest State Park Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes Pittsburgh - 2nd Edition (Falcon Guides)
Bob Frye
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"If you have any appreciation for endurance, you’ll enjoy walking this hike, which passes underneath some trees that were already old when George Washington was fighting for American independence. The park’s Forest Cathedral is perhaps the bestknown example of old-growth forest here, and this hike will take you through the heart of it. You’ll also get to see a beautiful section of the wild and scenic Clarion River, too. Longfellow, Hemlock, and Deer Park Trails and about half the River Trail (from the fire tower o the Clarion River) have yellow and blue blazes to indicate they are part of the Baker and North Country Trails. Most of the trails within the Forest Cathedral are not blazed, although there are trail signs at each junction." Read more
Hiking Through History Pennsylvania (Falcon Guides)
Bob Frye
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"This hike is designed to take you to two of Cook Forest State Park’s most majestic features, the Forest Cathedral and the nearly 90-year-old fire tower. That requires some climbing, though. Starting at the park office, the hike enters the woods just beyond the children’s fishing pond—and the rustic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s—and goes immediately uphill on Indian Trail. There are log steps for a portion of the way. Still, this will test your aerobic fitness." Read more

Cook Forest State Park Reviews

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Anywhere in this park is worth the hike. The forest cathedral is absolutely amazing.

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Nearby Trails

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,528 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
4 hours
Spring, summer, fall
Season & Limits
Cook Forest State Park, 113 River Rd., Cooksburg; (814) 744-8407 or (800) 634-2495;
Local Contacts
USGS Cooksburg, PA
Local Maps