My next stop was Cook Forest State Park in Cooksburg, PA. I came to this area because I had seen several hikes in the area that I wanted to do. But my knee was still bothering me, so I decided to take it easy. My first day, I went on a scenic drive and stopped by Walmart (more on that below). The view below was taken from Brady’s Bend overlook.
Most of the trails were hilly and rated moderate or difficult. A ranger suggested the River Trail in nearby Clear Creek State Park. She also suggested I get some hiking poles. I had thought about these before, but thought they might be more trouble than they were worth. I’m kind of in the middle of nowhere, but fortunately Walmart had a huge camping section and I bought a pair of poles. The River Trail was fairly level and not too bad on the knee. I did try out my hiking poles and see that on hilly trails they might be helpful.
The next morning I decided to try a more difficult, but short hike (about 2 miles total) - The Longfellow Trail and part of Tom’s run. This is a very popular trail as it is in an old growth forest. Some of the trees are 400 years old. I enjoyed the hike. While I enjoyed my time in Washington, DC and some of the other cities I’ve been to recently, this is what I really enjoy doing – seeing nature!!
The tree above was fairly close to the start of the trail. It looked to me as though it is eating the rock.
I didn’t use this bench, but I appreciate it when they give us a place to rest. After the hike, my knee wasn’t too bad so I decided to ride my bike along River road. On the weekend there were too many cars, but during the week there was almost no traffic. And it was a fairly level road. Below is a picture of my lunch stop.
At my camp site, there were a good many wild flowers. I did not recognize the one below. I looked it up and believe it is a Star Flower.
I was only at this State Park for 4 days and even though I didn’t do everything I wanted to do, I enjoyed it. It was crowded over the weekend, but most people left on Sunday and it was quiet after that. My next stop is Sheffield, PA, which is in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest.