Cook Forest Half Marathon & 5K

Saturday, April 1, 2023 • Cooksburg, PA • Course Map

The deep woods trails alongside the cool, green Clarion River in northwestern Pennsylvania are the setting for the Cook Forest Half Marathon, a USA Track & Field-certified event which takes place every spring in this 6,668-acre state park, often called the “Black Forest” of Pennsylvania by locals.

Located just a little over 30 miles north of the town of Punxsutawney, of “Groundhog Day” fame, the park features a 27-mile trail system through its plentiful hills and mountains and is open year-round for hiking, camping, swimming, canoeing in the warm-weather months, and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding and other cold-weather recreational activities in the winter.

The course for the half marathon – described by race organizers as mostly flat with a few gentle, rolling hills – follows an out-and-back route along traffic-controlled roads, starting at the park’s Log Cabin Visitor Center.

From there, runners proceed along state route 36 to River Road, following the twists and turns of the Clarion’s waters toward the race half-way/turn-around point, and then retrace their route back to finish line at the visitor center.

The terrain for the race – which welcomed a field of just over 900 runners for the spring 2014 running of the event, for both the half marathon and the 5K – is made up entirely of paved roads.

Along the course, the only significant change in elevation occurs at miles 2 and 12 (which, because it’s an out-and-back course, are the same hill).

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled within Cook Forest State Park in northwestern Pennsylvania, roughly 90 miles north of Pittsburgh and about 290 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Cooksburg typically sees April temperatures that range from the high 30s to the low 60s.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Cook Forest Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 11:00 AM – half marathon
  • 11:00 AM – 5K


  • $40 and up – half marathon
  • $35 and up – 5K


To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Cooksburg’s Cook Forest Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Cook Forest Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: Pennsylvania

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