We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Just a great Pa state park” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cook Forest

Cook Forest
Cooksburg, PA
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Cooksburg
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Sarasota, Florida
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Just a great Pa state park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

It has all the things a little summer get-away needs: canoes, swimming, theater in the round, camping, fire tower to climb, trout fishing, wading in the streams, some fun little stores, and lots of trails to walk.
Cook Forest Park contains one of the last stands of virgin tree's in eastern USA(The Forest Cathedral ). If you want to take the Longfellow Trail to see it....take some comfortable walking shoes for the little hike up the trail.
Don't forget to visit the Fire Tower and Seneca Point( real close to each other and you can park nearby). Some scenes of the movie "Unconquered" with Gary Cooper were filmed in the park.
Don't forget to take fishing pole for the kids.....Cook Forest has a nicely stocked trout stream impoundment which is free for foungsters 12 and under :)

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

91 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Terrible Customer Service and Lack of Integrity in Business Dealings”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

I would like to preface my review by saying that we did not complete our actual stay at the Riverside Cabins so I cannot speak to the quality of the actual cabins. I can only speak to the terrible customer service that I experienced while dealing with owner Cheryl McMurray. We booked our planned two night October stay at the Riverside Cabins in August. A one night deposit was taken when we provided them with a credit card number. We did change the date of our stay to the beginning of November and notified the office manager over a month in advance. That didn't seem to be an issue. She stated at the time that we would be receiving a packet in the mail with a map and instructions on what to do when we arrived at the cabin on Friday evening. The packet still had not arrived by the day when we were scheduled to check into the cabin. We called the office, which apparently is closed after 5pm and left voicemail. No one returned our call (apparently they do not check their voicemail after 5pm even to check on possible emergencies). We proceeded to drive 2 hours from Pittsburgh that evening with our two dogs in the car only to arrive at the closed office. There were other keys in envelopes with guest names hanging on a board outside of the office. There was no envelope with our name so we attempted to call the Riverside number again and still received no answer. We even went into the bed and breakfast next door to use their landline because there was no cell phone reception. We drove around for nearly another hour through the area making sure that our GPS confirmed that we were at the correct address. At that point we had no other option then to drive back two more hours back to Pittsburgh as we were unable to find other dog friendly lodging in the area. I finally received a call back from the office manager Cindy the following morning. The owner, Cheryl McMurray came to the phone after I expressed my discontent for the way that things were handled on their part, not receiving the proper documentation with instructions and not being able to reach a live person after 5pm. I explained the situation and Cheryl verbally agreed to refund my money. A week later the charges had still not been reversed on my credit card. I called the office manager, Cindy, who stated that Cheryl had now "changed her mind" and was not planning on provided the refund that she had agreed to. I asked to speak with her and Cindy would not connect me. I filed a dispute with my credit card company which Cheryl responded to by creating a "fake" instructional document which she faxed to them claiming that she had sent to my mailing address. We never received anything in the mail. If we did, this incident would not have occurred. In addition, she claimed that the original instructions on where to pickup the key were sent to me via email as well. She also claimed that she offered me a credit which would be usable for up to 6 months and that she had attempted to contact me via email to inform me and received a bounce back. I contacted Cheryl again, via email this time after seeing her written response to my credit card company. I asked her to please send proof of delivery confirmation from the post office showing the the instructions had actually been sent to me. I also asked her to please forward me copies of the two emails that she "claimed" to have sent and we would consider this matter closed. I stated that if she could not provide proof that this documentation had actually been sent, then she should acknowledge the service failure on her end and refund our deposit money, being that we did not receive the service that we paid for. Needless to say, she couldn't provide proof, as these documents were never sent to us in the first place. She then proceed to admit in her last email correspondence that she never did make us the offer of a 6 month credit, although she lied and informed my credit card company in writing that she did! The right thing for an honest business owner who acts with integrity to do would be to admit service failure on her part and refund the deposit for a stay that was never completed and a service that was never delivered, rather then spin lies over a meager $200. I feel very sorry future guests that have the misfortune of dealing with Cheryl McMurray. Our interaction with her has not only been frustrating and time consuming, it has also been extremely disheartening to see someone who claims to be an honest business owner spin lies and succumb to greed over doing the right thing.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael M, Front Office Manager at Cook Forest, responded to this review, September 9, 2014
As a person that tries to make every guest's visit a pleasant memory, it is hard not to take personally a bad review; especially when you are being called a liar. The policies in place at Cook Riverside Cabins, Inc. are standard, and are complied with to the best of each individuals ability. We are not flawless, but do take responsibility for our mistakes when they happen. This response was full of misinterpretations and misrepresentations.
We accept reservations by phone, in person, and on line. When we take a reservation, the guest is informed there is a 50% nonrefundable deposit required. After processing the reservation, we send (either by postal or e-mail) a confirmation letter and receipt. There is never a packet sent because we do not have one, and we do not say we have one. General driving directions are on the website, however, I believe it is the guest's responsibility to acquire a map if more detailed directions are needed by them. I have done so personally when traveling out of a familiar region; it makes sense.
Check in time is any time after 4pm, and check out is by 10am. If guests have not checked in by the time the Office closes, we put the keys and a map in an envelope with their name on it, on the front door of the Store(office is inside), in a very visible location; which has worked well for over 20 years. The guest takes their envelope, lets themselves into their cabin, and comes to the Office the next day to register and pay.
Regarding a cancellation; if a guest has paid a larger sum than the required 50% nonrefundable deposit, we will refund all money accept the deposit. Mrs. McMurray was under the impression the guest had paid the 100% amount of the stay, and was willing to refund the appropriate amount to the guest. Only after having conversation with the staff did she realize the guest had only actually paid the deposit, which was clearly stated as nonrefundable. Even though we will not refund the deposit, we will give the guest up to six months from the reservation date to reuse the deposit toward another reservation.
We were also told by the guest that they were never able to even find our location, let alone know if we left a key for them; even though through their responded description they passed by it several times, not noticing the large signage on the side of the road in front of the Store. How do you notice you did not have an envelope when you could not even find the location?
When I spoke with the respondent to achieve an amicable resolution, and let her know of the 6 month policy to reuse the deposit, she was passionate about only receiving a refund, and I knew it fruitless to continue.
When I was contacted by her credit card company regarding her dispute, I forwarded them the requested information about our policies and my understanding of the course of events. I had no need to "create a fake instructional document" but only provide true information to have the card company dismiss her claim in our favor.
This has been one of those unfortunate situations that we at Cook Riverside Cabins work hard to prevent from happening. Our Guests are our #1 priority. What the McMurrays have established here has had numerous guests returning yearly for over 23 years, and I'm sure will continue to do so in spite of a few we could not please.
Cindy Rowe
Office Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benezette, PA
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Fun place to visit with a lot of variet”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We went to Double Diamond Deer Park, which was a really nice place. There are many other options inside Cook Forest, so you can just jump from one place to another. You can visit this place all day and still not cover everything you want.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradford, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Old growth forest hiking is wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013 via mobile

We went to Cook Forest as a day trip to see the old growth forest. The promise of seeing wonderful old growth trees was absolutely true. We spent a few hours in the woods and took tons of pictures. Such a peaceful, beautiful setting. We'd love to go back and stay at the inn so we could hike more extensively. It's a wonderful way to get in touch with nature.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erie, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Beautiful and relaxing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013 via mobile

Cook Forest has beautiful trails, canoeing, tubing,horseback riding, camping and picnic areas as well as go-carts, waterslides and a couple gift shops. It's perfect for a day trip or to stay over night for a few days. Don't miss the fire tower and overlook.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Cook Forest also viewed


Been to Cook Forest? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Cook Forest, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.