Cook Forest Gears Up for Busy Summer

| May 29, 2019

COOKSBURG, Pa. (EYT) – While many are gearing up for the Cook Forest French and Indian War Encampment, there are several other popular events and amenities that Cook Forest State Park has to offer.

(Courtesy Pale Whale Canoe Fleet)

Last week, had the opportunity to travel to the Cook Forest area and talk to some of the local business leaders about the countless events that are happening this summer.

Cook Forest Sawmill Center


Gaye Ochs, Craft Market Manager at the historic Cook Forest Sawmill Center, told about the many upcoming events, including the Herb and Fiber Festival on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2.

The event is from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Admission is free.

This year marks the 35th year for this signature festival that draws hundreds of people looking to start their gardens and get closer to nature.

There will be hanging baskets, bedding flats, perennials, annuals, garden artists, and herbs.


On Saturday, June 1, the annual “Soup at the Sawmill” luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Visitors receive a handmade pottery soup bowl (to keep), homemade soup, bread, dessert and a drink for $12.00.

French & Indian War Encampment

French-Indian War

This program is presented by Cook Forest State Park at the Cook Forest Sawmill Center for the Arts property on Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9.

Take a walk back in time with Colonial British, French and American Indian re-enactors as they portray lifestyles and war tactics of the 18th Century.

The admission is free.

Click here for the full agenda.

Verna Leith Sawmill Theater


Enjoy a night at Verna Leith Sawmill Theater. Seats are $15.00 each or season tickets are available for $135.00.

Tickets may be ordered online, by calling 814-927-6655, or by email (emailed reservations are not guaranteed until you receive a confirmation by return email or by phone).

This weekend the Clarion County Homeschoolers will be presenting The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

It will be performed at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1.

There will also be a matinee on Sunday, June 2, at 2:00 p.m.

Click here to purchase tickets.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the story of good vs evil.

Joseph Robinette’s dramatization of the C. S. Lewis story brings the story of friendship, family, and duty to life. It is the story of four siblings who live the world of war, which they have no control over to a world where they are tasked with saving the lives of residents of Narnia. It is rated “G.”

There are several newcomer groups that are coming to perform at the Verna Leith Sawmill Theater this summer.

The theater has a full list for locals and visitors to enjoy.

Check them out here.

Attendees can also visit the Craft Market during the performance.

Pale Whale Canoe Fleet

Pale Whale aaa

Those looking to take a canoe trip on the Clarion River, contact Pale Whale Canoe Fleet at 800-680-0160.

It is located at 115 Riverside Drive, Cooksburg, Pa.

For more information, visit Pale Whale Canoe Rental.

Gateway Lodge Bed and Breakfast

“Nestled among the hemlock and pine of Pennsylvania’s Cook Forest lies Gateway Lodge — a grand getaway destination with the intimate feel of a bed and breakfast.”

Gateway Lodge a

Gateway Lodge is hosting a “Murder Mystery Weekend” from August 23 to August 25 that will put you “smack dab in the middle of a homicide investigation.”

This is brought to you by Keith and Margo’s Murder Mysteries, and offers “a chilling opportunity for people like you with a passion for slippery red herrings… diabolical clues… and ingenious detective work.” More details can be found at

Learn more about Gateway Lodge here.

Pickle Barrel

While you’re out at one of these events, make sure to stop by Jefferson County’s own Pickle Barrel, nestled along State Route 36, run by Wanda and Jim Henderson

“We sell anything and everything pickled,” said Wanda.

If you’re looking to try some pickle flavored popcorn, soda or cotton candy, look no further than the Pickle Barrel.


Also found in this little shop is the Pickle Museum. Wanda explained the museum is a collection of pickle-themed items that people have brought to her over the years. There are pickle-themed items from all over the Commonwealth.

DCNR: Cook Forest State Park

Cook Forest Park Ranger Ryan Borcz said: “We’ve got something going on almost every weekend!”

For more information, click here.

The busiest days for camping at the park are the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.

The D.C.N.R. offices will be open seven days a week during the summer.

A complete list of 2019 Cook Forest Park Events can be found here.

There is more to Cook Forest than events and shopping, though.

Kalyumet Campground and Kalyumet Fore Fun

Nestled deep within these woods is Kalyumet Campground, owned by Mark and Becky Wineman. This campground is equipped with a full-scale miniature golf course, arcade, snack bar, and a virtual reality escape room.

Screenshot at May 17 18-07-32

For the young and “young at heart,” check out the Powerwheel Derby on August 17.

For all of the upcoming events at Kalyumet, visit their website here.

Be sure to make some time to get out this summer and explore our local treasure: Cook Forest State Park.

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Category: Community, Events, Local News, Regional News