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Cook Forest State Park sets several events

Cook Forest State Park will hold several events in the coming weeks, starting with Meteor Shower and Stargazing at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11.

Those attending should bring their chairs and flashlights and meet at the Ridge Camp Park Amphitheater to learn about the constellations and watch the Perseid meteors put on their annual show. All families will receive a star chart to use and keep. The program is presented by the Friends of Cook Forest. In case of heavy cloud cover or rain, the program will be rescheduled for 9:15 p.m. Aug. 12.

Other programs include:

¯ The Clarion River History Educator Workshop at 9 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 13-15. Teachers will receive a copy of the Pennsylvania Land Choices curriculum and copies of True Tales of the Clarion River, Dinkies Dams & Sawdust: The Logging Railroads of West Central Pennsylvania-Book #12, and Expedition of Celoron to the Ohio Country in 1749. Teachers will also have the option to earn 23 ACT 48 hours.

The workshop will emphasize history of the Clarion River through various first-person living history character portrayals during the mid-1700s French & Indian War and mid 1800s lumber boom era. Teachers will also investigate and document various lumber ghost towns and raft fabrication sites along the Clarion River, as well as gain valuable insight into how local history can be incorporated into the classroom.

Those attending should be prepared to be in the river and being wet and muddy most days. Sturdy river shoes are a must. Participants must be able to traverse slippery footing conditions and steep river banks. Secure registration by Friday by contacting Dale Luthringer at 814-744-8407. The cost is $125 payable by check or money order made out to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and sent to: Cook Forest State Park, ATTN: CRHEW, P.O. Box 120, Cooksburg, PA 16217. The course meets for eight hours each day.

¯ Friday, Aug. 28, at 830 p.m. is Night Hike. Those attending should meet at the Fire Tower Parking Lot for an evening hike to the Fire Tower and Seneca Point. Search for owls, raccoons, porcupines, coyotes and other critters of the night. Learn some of the adaptive designs of night animals that allow them to be masters of living in the dark. The hike lasts about two hours.

¯ Saturday, Aug. 29, at 9 a.m., Searching for the Giants: Breezemont-Camp Trail. Those attending should meet at the park office to journey to the study site to search for and document big, old, and tall trees in the Ridge Camp Old Growth Forest Area. The difficult hike is almost all off-trail through steep terrain, it may harbor some new big and tall records. This is one of the view remaining old-growth areas in the park that hasn’t been measured yet with a fine-toothed comb. The hike will take about three hours.

¯ Thursday, Sept. 3, at 8 a.m. will be the ‘B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Boat): Lathrops-Maple Creek Float. Those attending should meet at the park office for an interpretive guided float down the National Wild & Scenic Clarion River. Pre-register by contacting the park office at 814-744-8407 or cookforestsp@pa.gov. Registration is limited to 10 boats. The cost is $40 per boat payable by cash, check or money order made out to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Prior Cook Forest kayak training participants receive a 50% discount.

¯ Friday, Sept. 4, at 830 p.m. is ‘Cooners & Cream’. Bring spotlights and meet early at the Cooksburg Cafe for ice cream before a driving tour to “night bandit” hotspots in the park. The event should last about two hours.

¯ Saturday, Sept. 5, at noon the park will host “River Critters.” Those attending should bring river sneakers, swimsuits and snorkels to the park office as the group drives to various sections of the Clarion River to search for and identify hard-to-find underwater creatures. Various species of fish, mussels, snakes and salamanders often make an appearance. Children must be with a participating adult. Low-clearance vehicles are not suggested due to access to some areas. The event lasts about 2¢ hours.

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