Cook Flats, outside CFSP, PA
  Sep 22, 2006 15:11 PDT 


On 6/30/06 I investigated an old lumber mill site (prior to 1878 county
atlas) along the south side of the Clarion River in Cook Forest State Park.
After collecting some data for archaeology research at this site, I continued
down river to an impressive stand of ancient E. hemlock.

I've been driving past this stand for 11 years now along River Road, but have
never set foot in it since it's on the opposite side of the river. Turns out
we have another old growth forest area on our hands. It is just outside of the
park boundary, but is in very good hands. After closer map inspection, the
current owner is no other than the prestigious Anthony E. Cook.

It's not a purely untouched stand, but is quite impressive none the less. A
number of ancient hemlock cover this flat with some scattered old N. red oaks.
It appears this old growth area continues up the slope to the ridge top, but I
ran out of time & daylight in the bottoms. I'd be surprised if the entire area
would go over 15 acres when it's all mapped out.

Here's the day's stats:

Species          CBH   Height   Comments

Am. hornbeam     2.2   32.1     new park girth record
cucumbertree     6.1   109
E. hemlock       12.3 121.1    12x100 club
E. hemlock       9.6   125
E. hemlock       11.6 125.3
N. red oak       12.6 106.6    12x100 club
white ash        9.1   87.5
yellow birch     10.3 90.2     new park girth record

Gorgeous day. Kayaked over the river to get to the site. Can't believe they
pay me to do this stuff...

Re: Cook Flats
  Sep 22, 2006 16:25 PDT 

Ahhh yes...

I can smell it now. Mushrooms are really popping now after all the rain we've
had. Just had some folks bring in some 'shaggy maines' and 'sulfur mushrooms'.
Made me hungry. Time to go home and get a bite to eat.


Quoting Russ Richardson:


A very good description of the terrain. On this wet September day I can
also imagine the scent of the hemlock needles and the low wafting smell of
musty, damp moss.