Cook Forest State Park is known as one of the oldest spots in Pennsylvania well the US actually with an old growth forest. It was once called the ‘Black Forest’ to many early settlers here. A friend and I set out early the day after Christmas. He had never been to Cook Forest and I was excited to show him. He was sure in for a treat! It had snowed the night before 1-2 inches. Nothing to terrible, but it made the drive slow. As we got off of the highway, which itself wasn’t to clean at that point, we encountered a lot of the back country roads hadn’t been touched. Good thing it was still snow at this point. An extra hour later, and we made it. Since it was a Thursday that meant the ranger station was open, I popped in to say hello. Since i’m usually out on the weekend I don’t get a chance to do that. I wished everyone inside a happy holiday. They looked a little surprised to see anyone, but asked where we were from and if we were staying in the area. We drove up from Pittsburgh, but we’re only here for a hike. They told me we were the only ones in the park. We set off up the trail, listened to the sounds of the forest, the wind, the birds, and of course enjoyed pleasant conversation. We made it to the middle of the Forest Cathedral area. It stood tall thick with old growth hemlocks. It was amazing being there listening to the wind catch the tree tops. I could have sworn it sounded like a car behind me at times. I’d turn around, only to see nothing but trees and snow. I wanted so much just to see a dear trotting along through the snow, it would have been just so perfect. All and all it was a great way to spend the day after a holiday in the company of a good friend and the forest. Really can’t get any better.
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