COOKSBURG – The following programs are planned for May and June at Cook Forest State Park:
• Saturday, May 6 at 9 a.m. — “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. Join the group 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.
• Friday-Sunday, May 26-28 — “Cook Forest Living History Weekend.” The event is a fun filled weekend of living history as visitors journey through various historical eras: Medieval, French & Indian War, Lumber Era, Industrial Revolution, Civil War, Spanish American War, and the War on Terror. Join living historian and master story-teller Paul Stillman from Historically Speaking, and historical interpreters, Dave Clark and Dennis Knowles, as they take visitors through these noteworthy periods in history through first-person character portrayals and hands-on demonstrations.
• Sunday, June 4 at 1 p.m. — “Children’s Fishing Rodeo.” Children 12 years and under are permitted to fish freshly stocked Tom’s Run from the Swinging Bridge to the Children’s Fishing Pond. Registration and prize give-away will be held at the Children’s Fishing Pond behind the Park Office. This event is sponsored by the Marienville Rod & Gun Club, PA Fish & Boat Commission, Cook Forest Vacation Bureau and Cook Forest State Park.
• Saturday-Sunday, June 10-11 — “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, renowned 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 17 at 1 p.m. — “Friends of Cook Forest Series: Susquehannock Hemlock.” 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.
• Thursday, June 22 at 10 a.m. — “Kayaking 201.” Meet at the Park Office for an intermediate skill level kayaking class. Remember to bring swimsuits, sturdy river sneakers, change of clothes and lunch. Water and snacks are provided. The course is designed to integrate skills learned in Introduction to Kayaking and Kayaking 101, and will focus 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. Class space is limited to 10; no children under 16 years old. 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 the kayak trainings qualify for a 50 percent discount on future river programs.
• Saturday, June 24 at 8:30 a.m. — “Clarion River Paddling Program: Portland Mills-Arroyo Bridge.” Cook Forest State Park will conduct a six-mile interpretive historical paddling program from Portland Mills to Arroyo Bridge for experienced canoeists/kayakers only. Participants will pass evidence of the old log booms and mills at Portland Mills as well as bridge remnants of the Clarion River Railway. The cost is $50 per boat. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required.