The Mission of the CFC

The Cook Forest Conservancy is dedicated to protecting and improving the lands, waters, and wildlife of the Cook Forest State Park ecosystem, now and for future generations.


Programs & Initiatives for
Cook Forest State Park

The Cook Forest Conservancy strives not only to maintain the present quality of the area, but also to use scientific research and local knowledge to reverse past impacts and provide structure for continuation of these preservation principles for the future.


Combating disease, pollutions, & encroachment

Cook Forest, set aside in 1927 as an old-growth island in a sea of deforestation, now faces new threats no less serious than wholesale cutting.  Cook Forest is heavily impacted by invasive species, deer overbrowsing, and climate change; and is increasingly pressured by congestion and parcel fragmentation.

Less obvious but no less serious are the hazards posed by various types of pollution – waste, noise, and light – all of which negatively impact wildlife, wild lands, and visitor experience.


Trails, roadways, and local communities 

The Cook Forest Conservancy is deeply dedicated to preservation of the local standing timber, and to that end will support efforts on both private and public land to control imminent threats thereto, including invasive pests, plants, and diseases.  As the park is approximately 65% Eastern Hemlock, the greatest present concern is the hemlock woolly adelgid, which already has wrought destruction across the Smoky Mountains.  Hemlock is a is a foundation species – many other plants and animals depend upon its presence, as does the watershed, and it largely shapes the very character of Cook Forest.

The CFC also coordinates with the DCNR and other groups on State Park projects, such as visitor education, capital improvements, and coordination of volunteers.   


Cook Forest for the Future

Working with the private landowners who protect the edges of the park, the Cook Forest Conservancy hopes to implement geographically wide-ranging best practices in forest management and to minimize, to the extent possible, future parcel fragmentation. Through education of new and younger visitors, and with the help of the loyal visitors who come back year after year, the park will benefit from respectful treatment, volunteer efforts, and growth of a base of persons interested in the continuing welfare of Cook Forest.

Ensuring a future for the woods:

the woolly adelgid threatens the iconic hemlocks of Cook Forest

The Cook Forest Conservancy will work, along with state and private agencies, to control and hopefully suppress the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect that seriously threatens the iconic Eastern Hemlock trees comprising the foundation of our nationally-significant old growth stands, and likewise the hemlocks of the surrounding areas.

Please support our work alongside the PA DCNR, PA Bureau of Forestry, the High Allegheny Hemlock Conservation Partnership, the Allegheny Forest Health Collaborative, imapinvasives, and others at this critical time for Cook Forest, and for all Eastern Hemlock.


Research & Resources on Cook Forest State Park

Unique History

Origins of the Black Forest

The dense canopy and verdant mossy undergrowth inspired early settlers to term this primeval woods the Black Forest. The oldest stand of virgin white pine and towering hemlock east of the Mississippi, Cook Forest is designated an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society, and the Forest Cathedral is a National Natural Landmark.

Park Data

All the numbers

We’re a fledging organization, so we’re still working on this bit, busy compiling some statistics on visitation, local land boundaries & use, and our animals.  We’ll work to collect data to improve the park and its environs for the benefit of locals, visitors, and the environment.  To that end…


Trails, roadways, and area communities

Facilitate your travels and your trips for provisions, and view historic plat and topographic maps of Cook Forest and the counties of Forest, Jefferson, and Clarion.

Visitor Resources

Tips and Information

If you’re planning a trip to Cook Forest, this section will provide some suggestions, information, and guidelines for hikers, campers, and paddlers.

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The Cook Forest Conservancy appreciates your support!

Join us in protecting & improving this forest ecosystem, which provides habitat for wildlife, recreation and clean water for all, and a home for the last intact stand of old-growth hemlock and pine in the East