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Reviews for Cook Forest Area Scenic Trail Ride
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Clarion, PA

Overall TRAIL RATING with 80 votes:
Overall CAMP RATING with 78 votes:

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The camp is easy to find and there is plenty of room for turning your rig. The bath house is clean and nice. We used the tie stalls and found them to be just fine for us. We had little contact with Terri or Ray however; we had plenty of contact with them while planning our trip and they were helpful and what they told us was accurate. We took our own horses but we were able to see some of the horses they use for guided rides and they appeared to be great trial horses. Some of the trails were really rocky so I would recommend having shoes all the way around. Trail maps are pretty good but not exact so pay attention on the trial. If they offer to trailer you to the river crossing, take them up on the offer, its a solid 1.5 to 2 hours from camp to the crossing. The trails are well marked and you have a lot of riding right from the camp. We stayed in a bunk house more like a sleeping room and it was clean and worked for us. There is a lot of hills and some of the trails are a good climb, the river crossings are awesome and the scenery is grand. I have seen a lot of beautiful places but cannot say that any of them are much prettier than the sights we had seen there. I would suggest your horse be a good trail horse and be in good condition. We rode 9 1/2 hours the second day and if we were to take a wrong turn it could easily been 12 hours. Cell service is limited to none so, don't rely on gps or a cell phone. take a map and a compass. Cant wait to go back. One more thing, we did a more do it yourself type of ride and our expectations of involvement with the staff was low and they did a fine job just leaving us be but, when we had a question they were quick to help out, thanks staff.
Reviewed by: Doug Wade on 5/14/2015 6:47:07 AM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/12/2015 Hometown: Newell, wv

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The purpose of the this site is to provide factual reviews of facilities. They are not all going to be favorable on every aspect or they likely would not be true. Please don't criticize people for giving opinions. I loved being at PA trail ride, I am making a little video for them of the trails I taped so they can use it for publicity. I have spent a lot of time editing etc and was going to make it a Christmas surprise. Just because I don't write every word a favorable word does not mean I did not like it there. Your sarcastic comments Jay are just that, your opinion and a sarcastic one at that.
Reviewed by: RachelV on 9/24/2013 5:18:55 PM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 8/21/2013 Hometown: ,

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The riding is incredible, the hospitality unmatched. No one can work harder than Ray and Terri Smith, owners of Cook Forest Scenic Trail Ride, to make your stay a memorable one. I guess it is just human nature that hundreds, no, thousands of people over the last 25 years have really enjoyed themselves at Cook Forest Scenic Ride but have not taken the time or did not know about this website to express their appreciation for the experience they had. While conversely, those few people who have something to complain about are very active in making their complaints known. Is it as interesting to you as it is to me that most often they do not sign their names? And what do they complain about? That the trails are rocky, that there are tree roots on the trails and there is mud. Duh? It's nature, it's the mountains. I don't think they would ever get permission, but would they be happier riding on a golf course? How long would it take how many horses to turn the golf course into a mud pit? Then there are the people who complain about the maps which are provided for their convenience. Since the number of complainers seems to be quite small, I have to wonder if it is a problem with the map readers and not the map itself. And how about the complaints regarding the cleanliness of the bathrooms? Maybe the complaints should be directed at the people who leave the bathrooms in a condition that causes people to complain about them. Dogs barking? Yes, that can be a problem. And what is ironic is that the owners of the barking dogs do not know it is happening, unless they are told, because most of the barking occurs while they are out on the trails riding, and the dogs are, most often, locked in the horse trailers. Hey, I know! How about if Ray and Terri hire a canine specialist to provide doggie daycare while their owners are away? But, I guess the owners would not be interested in the additional expense. How about some of the other absurd comments. There is the person who was ticked off because Tommie Turvey did not show up. Is that Ray's fault? I don't think so. Take it up with Tommy on his website or Facebook. Someone complained that cow sorting took too long and was too crowded. "It took 90 minutes between rounds." What can I say? Someone complained about too many flies. Really? It is a horse campground. I guess that person was there the week before Ray and Terrie paid the Pennsylvania Air National Guard to fly over the campground with fly spray. Someone else complained that "they won't allow picketing even with tree protectors". I don't know the definition of picketing but it's my understanding that you can put your horse just about anywhere as long as they don't damage the trees. I really like the one about the person who rented a tie stall but could not get his horse to go into it. Perhaps if they had been there during a different phase of the moon, it would have been easier. And someone was unhappy that the "stalls were too far away from the cabins." My guess is that it would take about a minute and a half to cover the distance, maybe a little bit longer if you are using a walker or if you were on crutches. So, people who are website savvy know there is no way to guarantee the veracity of the comments made, or the integrity of the people making them. No matter what one does, no matter how hard anyone tries, it's just reality that you can't please all the people all the time. So, if you are looking for an incredible horse riding experience, this is the place you want to be. Believe all of the good things you read. There is one more organized ride at the end of September. If you can not make a ride or weekend this year, plan on signing up next spring and helping Ray and Terrie begin their second quarter of a century of fabulous equine adventures!
Reviewed by: Jay on 9/24/2013 8:28:37 AM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/2/2013 Hometown: Clinton, PA

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Reviewed by: Jay on 9/24/2013 7:48:22 AM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/2/2013 Hometown: Clinton, PA

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Had a great time food was good ,campground was nice guided ride was long but fun , I did get a stall and was very happy I slept better knowing my horses where in a stall more like home since I don't take them overnight often .(but the tire stall area looks nice too) .campground map shows you the sights that have electric and water would love to come again as soon as time allows
Reviewed by: Karen Knight Houston on 9/3/2013 6:54:34 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/15/2013 Hometown: Conestoga, Pennsylvania, PA

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Ray and Terrie Smith couldn't work harder to insure that their guests' every wish is accommodated. They kept me happy and busy from dawn to dusk for the week. WONDERFUL activities and company. I'll be going back ASAP
Reviewed by: Cathleen Springer on 9/3/2013 6:16:58 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/10/2013 Hometown: Aquebogue, NY

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Just came back from Cook's Forrest, Pa. Loved it. Ray and Terrie are very helpful. Loved having them drop us off at the Country Store and riding out from there. When we got back we called and they came,picked us up and took us back to camp. These are not city park trails. There are some rocks and mud, probably 80% of the trails are old logging roads and very easy to ride, you are in the mountains and it is beautiful. We like to be able to climb rocks and drop down into creeks and we always ride with a GPS, this helps if you don't quite understand or miss a trail marking. We ride gaited horses and there is plenty of places to gait. The food was great, all their employees were friendly. They do not have marked camp sites. You pull in the trees and camp so you may have to level just a little and you have to put up your own picket line. This is their 25th year doing this and it was our 20th year of vacationing there. We will be back.
Reviewed by: Jill Eckroad on 9/3/2013 10:09:01 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/1/2013 Hometown: Massillon, OH

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Spent 4 days and 3 nights at Cook Forest PA Trail Ride in August 2013. Campground was quiet, only a few other campers. As our experience here, the place was quite tidy. The restrooms were clean nd well stocked. There were a lot of flies at the sites. The trails are excellent, especially across the river. Ray has done a lot of work on the Picture Rock trail, clearing stones and widening the trail in the hillside, so much so that it is a MUCH better ride now. We rode across at both the Picture Rock Crossing and the Highland Road crossing, it has another name, but I cannot recall it now.... We rode the Boiler trail, ran into bees on the Keyhole segment above the river, but it was a gorgeous ride. The second day we rode the Rim Trail and some of the loops down to where Highland Road ends and leads to the river. We rode the Alberts trail, got lost and ended up going further out, found a LOVELY bend in the river with a nice area to let the horses graze and for us to eat lunch. Got a bit lost finding our way back but made just the same. We were out nearly 7 hours. The ride over to the river crossings is the only down side - 1-2 hours to get there and back limits the time to ride those trails. The camp will ferry you in a nice stock trailer one way but due to other demands they cannot take you both ways. Owners and staff are hospitable and friendly, called and got a farrier to replace a shoe for me. This camp will be a frequent stop for this trail rider!
Reviewed by: Rachel V on 9/2/2013 5:00:41 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 8/21/2013 Hometown: Chardon, OH

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Over the past 3 years I have been all over the Northeast camping with my horses and this is my first bad review of a place. We had box stalls reserved, when we got there other horses were in our stalls, had to wait while they moved them. Then come to find out later on that the horses they moved were sick. Saw them the day before we left with globs of green snot and runny eyes. Shipping fever, which of course our horses caught. They were the owners horses or his sons. Never asked to see our health papers. People there were not very friendly, they just point in the general direction of camp and up to you to find a spot. Not that many 30 amp electric hookups or water hookups as we were led to believe and very difficult to get a big rig into a spot. Owners never came by to see if we needed anything. Trails were very confusing and not well marked or maintained. Lots of exposed roots and most trails were very rocky. Most horse people travel with their dogs, as I do, not a very dog friendly place. Also overcharged us and didn't want to do a refund. Took t-shirts in place of refund, but will not wear them at other horsecamps as I would not recommend this place to anyone. Good points, nice showerhouse, lots of horse manure dump stations around camp, lots of shade.
Reviewed by: rose on 8/21/2013 8:23:05 PM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 8/10/2013 Hometown: New Martinsville, WV

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what a ripoff payed over $600. dollars and tommie Turvey donot show John a Josh Lyons yippe yippee same old shit.Always use thiers after 20 yrs. of samething. Also watch for all of the hidden fees.I think I know as much as the 2 experts.
Reviewed by: From Ohio on 7/16/2013 1:40:13 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/23/2013 Hometown: , OH

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Attended the food ride last week. Ray and his staff are great. Food was very good. Trails are very Rocky, should have four shoes for sure. We were very disappointed that Tommy did not show up. However,Josh did a nice job. A long trip for us most likely will not be back.
Reviewed by: Buck on 6/25/2013 10:24:20 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/17/2013 Hometown: Delta, PA

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Old trail to the river crossing is NOT open yet, but not the campground owners' fault. Hopefully soon the old crossing will be open again. What is new are trails are better marked, more trails across the river, and a free shuttle service to a drop off area about 20 minutes from the river crossing. Once across the river you can ride 1 hr to 7 hours in various size loops. Old forest to open fields, deep ravines, fresh streams, and breath taking views. Once you get back to the pick up area and quick call gets you picked up in under 15 minutes!!!! Otherwise it is about an hour and a half ride to the river crossing. The trails can be very rocky in places. The campground is tidy, bathrooms kept fairly clean. Meals are offered on organized rides. They ran out of wood on the first night and we had to go buy some. Maps are available but not very accurate, just approximations of the trail location. Being better marked helped this year but we lost the trail several times when riding the blue trail across the river and got turned around. I highly recommend taking GPS. We are making our own maps for future use. Their guides and staff are very kind and helpful! We will be making regular trips to this destination.
Reviewed by: RachekV on 5/27/2013 6:56:50 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/24/2013 Hometown: Chardon, OH

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No complaints here. We had a blast! Bathrooms were clean, stocked and had privacy which I appreciated. Enjoy riding their trails especially on the other side of the river. Campground offered many activities; something for everyone. The mechanical bucking bull was a favorite of everyone. Nice family atmosphere. We will be back next year.
Reviewed by: Alyssa, Heath & Sean on 1/24/2013 7:49:36 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/18/2012 Hometown: , GA

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My favorite place to vacation! Trails are not as rocky as out west. Trails are very nice to ride on. Many scenic & safe overviews. Very clean restrooms. Loved the Halloween party, Magician and Disc Jockey...so much fun. Ranch Sorting was also such a blast. Met alot of nice people and plan to return as often as I can. I'd recommend this horse camp to everyone who enjoys riding trail horses.
Reviewed by: Pam & Emily Harrison on 1/15/2013 4:55:48 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/7/2012 Hometown: , Select State

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Campground too noisy!! Dogs, dogs, and more dogs all barking at once!! Trails very muddy and rocky, some of the horses in our group went lame from the conditions. Public restrooms clean, but no amenities most of the time. ( toilet paper and hand towels) Food was good and plentiful. Would not return, trails not enjoyable.
Reviewed by: Anonymous on 6/24/2012 5:06:40 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/8/2012 Hometown: , OT

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Where do I want to start???? I made res, she said I had to prepay for the stalls, so I just went ahead and paid in full for our 3 days and 2 stalls. We get there, I go check in and she gave me the receipt---$300.00. I about sh#T. We have you down for food. I told her, we only wanted just a spot with w/e and 2 box stalls. She gave me total attitude. Then refunded me $90.00. I asked, where our spot was/stalls were and she pointed, down that way, the stalls have your name on them, just camp anywhere. We have never been there before. After about 10 mins I found our stalls. They do not have pads nor is there electic/water at every site. No pinic tables. It's pretty much find a spot and hope you have a long enough extension cord and water hose to share with others. Most trails are also shared with ATV's, which we ran into about 25 in 3 days. After asking our neighbors twice to keep their 4 dogs on a leash, my husband went to talk with the owner (who knew them) and told them that their dogs need to be leashed. Well, as soon as the owner left, guess what--they unleashed their muts. The trails we were on, were very rocky and muddy. We left a day early. Also, we looked thro the campgrounds to find a dumpster, they don't even have one. We will not be back EVER.....Also, they kept popping a brecker. WHAT A DUMP. SAVE YOUR MONEY. $24 per trailer, $8 per horse, $10 per stall, 6% sales tax, 3% trail tax. THIS IS NOT WORTH IT......
Reviewed by: Teresa on 5/28/2012 5:18:31 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/28/2012 Hometown: Freedom, OH

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Where to begin. The campground is situated in a wooded area. Electric and water are spread throughout the campground but do not have specific parking pads or fire rings or picnic tables. Horses can be on a picket line, portable corral, tie stall or they just built 10x10 box stalls that have horse mats in them. Trails are “marked” and laid out on maps but can be confusing if you don’t read the directions carefully. They offer organized trail rides where you can purchase a food package and ride with their guides (I would suggest this). Food is really good and plentiful. And the organized trail ride guides are nice to go with so you don’t have to worry about anything. Some of the trails are muddy especially the Toby Creek trail (if this is the only trail you see you would think all riding is horrible here) And I would 100% agree with you. But other trails are very nice and scenic. Across the river is the best riding but due to some trail issues it takes longer to get to the river or the owner will trailer you to a location to save you time. The shower house and restrooms are nice but sometimes have not been cleaned for awhile (not horrible but not spotless). Watch the fees. Like one person posted there is 6% sales tax, 3% trail user fee, $8 per horse per day. Just watch what they charge. Campground could use some updating but show signs of the down slide on the economy. Go atleast once and make your own decision. Make sure you don’t just ride trails within an hour or two of camp. Get out and see the other trails!!! Over all I would say try it once, most of us come back several times a year.
Reviewed by: Honest review on 10/12/2011 9:29:26 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/1/2011 Hometown: , PA

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We've been to cook forest five times now and have had great experience each time. Great trails, well marked. The campsites are clean and there are plenty of trees... Lots of shade.
Reviewed by: Derek & Rachel on 8/21/2011 6:21:53 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 8/20/2011 Hometown: Chardon, OH

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it was the worse week ever! the trails unmarked and terrible!!! Stalls too far away from cabins. I'm sure if we would have paid for a guide we would have MAYBE had a better ride. Paid for a week but left after 4 days. For a june week there was no one there. I can't believe people come from all over and rave about it
Reviewed by: Carol Roberts on 8/7/2011 7:48:28 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/20/2010 Hometown: COAL CENTER, PA

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This was our 4th trip to PA Trail Ride and we continue to enjoy the trails and facilities immensely! The campground is neat and tidy, the showers are clean, and the trails are fairly well marked. Love the shady campground, the wash rack, and the obstacle course out back!!
Reviewed by: Rachel V. on 7/19/2011 8:41:07 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 7/15/2011 Hometown: Chardon, OH

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Loved the newly built box stalls! We stayed for a week and got 2 days free, plus free firewood, water/electric hookup with no extra charge too. Clean shower house and campgrounds. Nice color coded maps which were easy to follow. Great place to vacation.
Reviewed by: Stacy McClure on 7/17/2011 7:53:23 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 7/15/2011 Hometown: Bridgeton, Select State

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Ray and Terri are great hosts they made us feel very welcome and at home.The camping facility's good with elec,water and showers. The trails were good from easy to hard depending on what you like.Free guide service which we loved.Had a great weekend highly recommend going there .
Reviewed by: Kathy on 7/16/2011 8:14:14 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 7/4/2011 Hometown: Mcclure, PA

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Its nice place to ride. Campground is great
Reviewed by: Leighann Patterson on 6/28/2011 5:53:22 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/28/2011 Hometown: Marietta, OH

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7 New Trails opened this year (2011) with more to come soon! They are also working on getting a quicker access to get to the river. (30 minutes instead of 90 minutes) They had to renegotiate due to death of landowner so plan on getting quicker access by Spring 2012. You can still enjoy the scenic Clarion River it just takes a little bit to reach it. If you want, the owner will trailer you to a drop off point for those who want a shorter ride. Food is awesome! Loved the cowboy polo, ranch sorting, auction, colt challenge and seeing the Josh Lyons and Tommie Turvey at their June organized food ride. Try it you won't be disappointed. Free firewood also available. Loved the campfire sing a longs with the yoddling etc...
Reviewed by: Anonymous on 6/28/2011 2:29:13 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/20/2011 Hometown: , PA

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Due to no acess to the river and no new trails this year my group has no option but to ride somewhere new this year.
Reviewed by: Ohio riders on 4/20/2011 4:45:25 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 4/11/2011 Hometown: Salem, OH

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