Guest post: Four days in the forest

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clarion-river-at-cook-forest

Guest blogger Kate Marshall of K’s Notebook is back this afternoon with what we hope will be the first in a series of posts about “where to go” offbeat urban and rural destinations that our readers think are worth checking out. More info about that tomorrow. For now, read on to learn about Kate’s recent trip to Cook Forest, PA

As someone who’s lived in suburban and urban environments, I’d never really spent much time in real forests, what with the trees, and the furry woodland creatures, and the sweeping mountain vistas that make your ears pop at high altitudes. All that changed recently, when I visited Cook Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania. This was my second trip, having previously been there in October. The campground’s entrance sits on the Clarion River, which traverses the 6668-acre forest. In addition to canoeing and kayaking (which were closed until mid-March), there is also hiking, camping, horseback riding, and fishing.

Being up in the forest for four days was extremely peaceful. By the end of my trip, I was entertaining ideas of permanently relocating to some quaint, remote forest location where the nearest town is a 20-mile drive. Besides hiking, I also enjoyed just walking around the campgrounds and taking pictures (and writing in my journal all the while, like the big geek I am).

While I’m not quite ready to pack it all in and become the female Thoreau, I’m seriously considering another trip to Cook Forest at some point (and yes, I will be bringing my pens and journal again).

6 thoughts on “Guest post: Four days in the forest

  1. It makes me happy to read posts like this. Thank you Kate. I am originally from Ridgway, a bit Northeast of Cook Forest. When I was young all I longed for was to be away from the trees and furry woodland creatures. Now after not having spent a summer day in Pennsylvania in over 10 years, I am happy to say I will be a “tourist” once again in in about a week. I am going to be taking a canoe from Ridgway to Cook Forest. I will be teaching my girlfriend the art of fly fishing and how to stand in a canoe. I am sure a lot has changed but most of the changes have occurred in myself for sure. With any luck at all I will be able to regain a bit of myself that has been lost. I have lived in Tampa for too long and Florida for way too long. My girlfriend has only lived in Florida and desires more. I am hoping the 4 days on the River and 5 days in the forest will sell her completely on the idea of “goin country”. You cannot possibly imagine how happy I would be to hear “let’s get a cabin and live here.” Here’s to you and here’s to hoping going Thoreau is a possibility of the future.

  2. Hi, Kate. Where are you from? I just saw your comments on Cook Forest, and then laughed when I kept browsing to find “Simplify your life”. I laugh because I am originally from Erie, PA and lived in Pgh, NYC, and many other smaller towns inbetween. When my company wanted me to relocate to Clarion (20 miles from here), I decided to make it an “adventure” and bought a cabin in Cook Forest. That lasted about a year until the co. moved me back to Pgh., but I had fallen in love with the trees and peace here, and kept my cabin. Four years ago, I decided to “Simplify my life” and moved back here, and have seriously been doing the “female Thoreau”. Sort of. It’s definately a love/hate relationship (like having sisters), but love always wins. My advice: drop me a line before you commit to going Thoreau. I’d be happy to share my experience. Best wishes on your life adventure. Lynne
    PS If I don’t get back to you right away, I’ve gone for milk or chocolate….

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