Cook Forest State Park is Planning a Good Summer of “Living History” Programs

Photo: Amanda Hepinger, Dale Luthringer, Cathy Glosser

Cook Forest State Park Program Director, Dale Luthringer, was the speaker at the Monday, May 14, 2018, Clarion Rotary Meeting. Dale talked about the 16th Annual Cook Forest French & Indian War Encampment that will be held on June 9th and 10th.

The encampment, located at the Saw Mill Center, depicts life during the French & Indian War. Highlights of the full two-day encampment include woodland natives, cannon and musket firing, cooking, primitive skills, 18th century surgical techniques, blacksmith, tinsmith, pottery, children’s games, settler camp, renown living historians, French & Indian War Era artisans and live tactical engagements.  The event is free and open to the pubic during visiting hours.  For more information visit www.cookforest.com or call the park office at 814/744-8407.

 

 

Saturday, May 19 at 900am‘Friends of Cook Forest Series: Garlic Mustard Pull’     Garlic mustard is an invasive species that is threatening native plants of Cook Forest.  It is a highly shade tolerant biennial herb that spreads quickly.  Hand pulling and removing garlic mustard is an extremely effective remedy.   Join our Friends of Cook Forest volunteers as we focus on some key areas that really need our help.  Please meet at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Classroom for a short presentation on how to identify garlic mustard, then we’ll spend the morning pulling this invasive weed.  (3 hrs)

Friday-Sunday, May 25-27‘Cook Forest Living History Weekend’   Please join us as we celebrate the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Park’s 125th Anniversary with a fun filled weekend of living history as we journey through various historical eras of the United States: French & Indian War, Lumber Era, Civil War, WWI, and the War on Terror.  Join living historian and master story-teller, Paul Stillman from  Historically Speaking!, and historical  interpreters, Dave Clark, Dennis Knowles, and Van Wagner as they take us through these noteworthy periods in history through first person character portrayals, and hands-on demonstrations.

Saturday, June 2 at 900am‘Friends of Cook Forest Series: Milkweed for Monarchs Planting Event’     Monarch butterflies cannot survive without milkweed; their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants and monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs.  Milkweed continues to decline across the landscape, which negatively affects monarch populations.  Please join us at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Classroom for a short presentation before splitting into groups to plant milkweed in a few prime locations in the park. (2 hrs)

Saturday-Sunday, June 9-10‘Cook Forest French & Indian War Encampment’     Cook Forest State Park will host a series of living history events depicting life during the French & Indian War.  Highlights of this full two-day encampment sponsored by the Sawmill Center for the Arts include woodland natives, cannon and musket firing, cooking, primitive skills, 18th century surgical techniques, blacksmithing, tinsmithing, pottery, children’s games, sutler camp, renown living historians, French & Indian War Era artisans, and live tactical engagements.  Every battle is different!  Take a walk back in time along the Black Bear Trail by the Sawmill Center for the Arts during open camp hours to view British, Colonial, French, and Native American re-enactors as they portray lifestyles of the 18th century.

Saturday, June 16 at 100pm‘Friends of Cook Forest Series:  Susquehannock Hemlock’  Please meet at the Deer Meadow Picnic Pavilion at the Deer Meadow Campground for a short presentation on the hemlock woolly adelgid and interpretive hike to view the Susquehannock Hemlock, the Pennsylvania State Champ and largest known hemlock by volume north of the Great Smoky Mountains.  (1.5hrs)

Friday & Saturday, June 22-23 at 900am‘American Canoe Association Level 1: Introduction to Kayaking’      Cook Forest State Park will be conducting an entry level American Canoe Association (ACA) sanctioned kayaking course for kayak enthusiasts.  The following subjects will be covered: paddling environment, equipment, loading & unloading, rescues, maneuvers, and strokes.  All participants will be required to complete a wet exit.  First day will consist of  instruction within the river at the Park Office.  On the second day we’ll apply these skills along a stretch of the National Wild & Scenic Clarion River.  Remember to bring your ear and nose plugs, swimsuits, sturdy river  sneakers (flip-flops are NOT adequate), and change of clothes.  Participants should have a drybag that is large enough to house all their necessities while on the river.  Refreshments provided both days.  Lunch provided the second day.  Those with specific dietary requirements will have to provide their own meals.  Decked kayaks, appropriate gear, snacks & water provided.  Everyone WILL GET COMPLETELY WET, so please dress appropriately.  Participants must pre-register by contacting Dale Luthringer, environmental education specialist, at (814)744-8475 or dluthringe@pa.gov by 6/15/18.  Cost is $75/participant payable by check or money order to the ‘Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’.  We’re accepting only 12 participants for this course.  Children 14 years and up permitted with participating adult.  Space is limited, so please reserve early.   Those who successfully complete this course will receive an ACA Skills Course Completion Card, and 50% discount on future canoe & kayaking programs sponsored by Cook Forest State Park.  (16 hrs)

Friday, July 6 at 1000am‘Kayaking 201’   Please meet at the Park Office for an intermediate skill level kayaking class.  Remember to bring your swimsuits, sturdy river sneakers, change of clothes, and lunch.  Water & snacks provided.  We WILL get wet!  Designed to integrate skills learned in Introduction to Kayaking, we will be focusing on T-Rescues, Self Recovery, Buddy Assists, and ferrying.  Participants must pre-register prior to the course by contacting the Park Office at (814)744-8407 no later than 7/4/18.  We’re only accepting 10 participants for this course.  Space is limited so please reserve early.   Sorry, no children under 14 years old.  Minors must be with a participating adult.  This course can be used as a pre-requisite to Kayaking 301 and to justify skill level requisites for more advanced river boating programs to be held later this year.  Participants who complete any of our kayak trainings qualify for a 50% discount on future river guided programs.  (4 hrs)

Saturday, July 7 at 830am‘Clarion River Paddling Program: Gravel Lick-Mill Creek’      Cook Forest State Park will be conducting a guided 8.5-mile interpretive paddling program from Gravel Lick to Mill Creek for experienced canoeists/kayakers only.  This section of river is rich in lumber history, as well as wildlife viewing and fishing opportunities.  This is an excellent section of river to observe bald eagles and experience some of the best small mouth bass fishing on the National Wild & Scenic Clarion River.  This float is truly a wilderness experience.  One of the highlights of the trip will be exploring evidence of the old Rulofson mill by boat near the mouth of Mill Creek.  We’ll meet promptly at the Park Office and car-pool to the starting point down-river.  Remember to protective footwear, raingear, and change of clothes.  Don’t forget your fishing poles!  Cost is $50/boat with check or money order made out to ‘Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’.  Lunch, as well as all canoeing & kayaking gear provided.  Participants must pre-register by contacting the Park Office at (814)744-8407 no later than 7/4/18.  Prior Cook Forest kayak training participants receive a 50% discount.  Space is limited, so please reserve early.  (8 hrs)