Evergreen Cabins and Mercantile

Experience the Spectacular Mountain Laurel in Cook Forest

One of the most breathtaking sights in Cook Forest during late spring is the vibrant display of mountain laurel lining the park’s many trails. As Pennsylvania’s state flower, mountain laurel is found in abundance in both Cook Forest State Park and its sister park, Clear Creek, peaking around mid-June.

Top Trails to See Mountain Laurel in Cook Forest

  1. River Trail: This 1.2-mile trail near the Cook Forest fire tower is a must-visit during the mountain laurel bloom. The trail offers stunning views and an immersive experience in the heart of the forest.
  2. Seneca Trail: Though steep, the Seneca Trail leading up to the River Trail is particularly fabulous during this time, with mountain laurel enhancing the scenic beauty of the hike.
  3. Clarion River Lands: Located off Gravel Lick Road, this area is beautifully adorned with mountain laurel, providing picturesque landscapes along the trails.
  4. North Country Trail: This trail winds through streams and mountain laurel areas, offering a serene and visually stunning hike.

Clear Creek State Park: A Mountain Laurel Haven

Clear Creek State Park, Cook Forest’s sister park, deserves special mention for its spectacular mountain laurel displays. A highly recommended trail here is the Bear Town Rocks Trail, starting near the Clear Creek State Park office. Cross SR949 to reach the trailhead, and you’ll embark on a journey through valleys filled with white and pink mountain laurel.

  • Bear Town Rocks Trail: This 2-mile trail winds through abundant mountain laurel, culminating in vibrant pink blooms as you approach Bear Town Rocks. Enjoy the stunning vista overlooking the mountains before making your way back. The return hike is another 2 miles, offering a delightful trek through varied topography, streams, and hills, all adorned with mountain laurel.


Visiting Cook Forest and Clear Creek during the late spring is an unforgettable experience, thanks to the spectacular mountain laurel. These trails provide not only beautiful floral displays but also a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Pennsylvania’s state parks. Whether you’re hiking the River Trail or exploring the Bear Town Rocks Trail, the mountain laurel in full bloom is a sight to behold.

Plan your visit to Cook Forest and Clear Creek State Parks around mid-June to witness this natural wonder. Enjoy the trails, take in the views, and experience the beauty of mountain laurel in these remarkable forests.

Spread the word!