Cook Forest State Park encompasses 11,536 acres in northwestern Pennsylvania. Bordered by the picturesque Clarion River, the park is most known for virgin white pine and hemlock timber stands. Classified as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service, Cook Forest State Park is often referred to as the “Black Forest” of Pennsylvania.
The park is located in Clarion, Forest and Jefferson counties. From the east take exit 13 off Interstate Route 80 then PA Route 36 North, directly to the park in Cooksburg. From the west take exit 8 off Interstate Route 80 then take PA Route 66 North to Leeper. From Leeper follow PA Route 36 South, 7 miles to the park.
Cook Forest State Park is open year-round. A trail system of 52 miles reaches magnificent timber stands. Family camping, organized group tenting and log cabins are available. Fishing, picnicking, swimming and canoeing are popular summer pursuits. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding and ice-skating. Click for more on area activities and sightseeing.
Merger With Clear Creek State Park
You may have heard in the news about Cook Forest State Park merging with nearby Clear Creek State Park. The merger is an “administrative merger,” meaning that both parks will retain their own identities and names but share management and administrative functions. The merger is primarily a cost-saving measure. Repeat visitors to either Cook Forest or Clear Creek will find that very little changed; in fact, all you will notice are recent park improvements!
Pennsylvania State Parks Mission
The primary purpose of Pennsylvania State Parks is to provide opportunities for enjoying healthful outdoor recreation and serve as outdoor classrooms for environmental education. In meeting these purposes, the conservation of the natural, scenic, aesthetic, and historical values of parks should be given first consideration.
Stewardship responsibilities should be carried out in a way that protects the natural outdoor experience for the enjoyment of current and future generations.
Access for People with Disabilities
ADA accessible picnic tables and parking spaces have been designated throughout the park. Comfort stations which can accommodate wheelchairs are located in the Shelter 1 Area, and at the sawmill/pool area. A special fishing pond is located near the park office. An access ramp, comfort facilities and a lift are provided at the swimming pool. A paved trail and paved picnic sites with grills are available at the sawmill area. Some paved sites with tables, grills and electric hook-ups and accessible comfort and shower facilities are available at the campground.
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks:
717-558-2710 (local or international voice)
711 (AT&T Relay Services)
With at least three days notice, interpreters for people who are deaf or hard of hearing are available for educational programs.
Help Preserve and Protect Our Parks
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of State Parks is responsible for developing, maintaining and preserving public lands for the purpose of promoting healthful outdoor recreation and education. Please make your visit safe and enjoyable by following posted rules and regulations.
• Park in designated areas and obey all speed limits.
• Pets must be controlled at all times.
• Fires and the disposal of hot coals are permitted only in provided facilities.
• Place trash and all other litter accumulated during your stay in trash containers in the park.
• Visitors are asked to recycle as much of their refuse as possible. Containers are provided near vending machines, and recycling centers are located throughout the park.
• Several areas within the park are designated Carry-In, Carry-Out sites. Visitors should remove all refuse they take into an area. Carry-In, Carry-Out signs are posted at the entrance to these areas.
• Soliciting and posting of signs is prohibited.
• Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
• Restrict your outdoor recreational activities to locations where physical improvements or postings designate the appropriate purpose and use.
• Natural areas may possess hazards not normally encountered. You are responsible for your family’s safety.
Note: this is a partial list; you can download the full PA State Park Rules and Regulations here.
More Park Information:
• PA Game Commission Field Notes
• Fishing Tackle Loaner Program – Borrowing Fishing Tackle as Easy as Borrowing a Book!
• Cook Forest State Park Seeks Conservation Volunteers
• Cook Forest Seeking Volunteers to Be Campground Hosts
• PA State Park prices and services
• Facts about State Forests of Pennsylvania
• Camping Info