COOKSBURG, Pa. (WJW) – They call it an endless adventure. This is a forest with some of the tallest trees in
America. We’re talking about camping, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding and even a dude ranch. Cook Forest is a One Tank Trip.

Lace up your favorite boots, we’re going on a hike! Here in Western Pennsylvania, Cook Forest State Park boasts nearly 3,000 acres of old growth forest and 50 miles of hiking trails.

“We have trees that are in this forest that are pushing, at least a couple of species, that are pretty darn close to 500 years old,” said Dale Luthringer, an environmental education specialist.

You don’t have to go way out west to be inspired by an ancient forest.

“It’s wonderful. And the trees are, I mean, they’re just talking to you. They’re constantly talking to you and there’s wildlife and there are ferns and there’s just all sorts of things to see and it’s beautiful,“ said visitor Kim Clark.

“The old-growth hemlock forest that we have here, it’s been said it’s now the best place to go anywhere in the eastern United States to see old-growth hemlock,” Luthringer said.

These very old trees are home to a huge variety of wildlife.

“Black bears are becoming more common here. You get to see some oddballs every once in a while. Fisher,
which is a type of a weasel. If you get on the river, keep your eyes open for river otter, bald eagles and osprey,” said Luthringer.

The Clarion River twists and bends to the south of the forest. It’s a popular spot for water sports and getting in touch with the wild.

“Once you’ve burned off all those calories, make tracks to the Cooksburg Café and treat yourself.

Cook Forest is less than three hours away, but an eternity from the stress and chaos of urban life.

“Especially with this time where we struggle with gas prices and things like that, that a lot of that stuff is just right there. We just have to open our horizons a little bit and rediscover some of the stuff that’s really close by,” Luthringer said.