This short loop trail looks like something out of a fairytale. The verdant walkway may be one of the most magical paths in Pennsylvania.
The official name for this part of Cook Forest State Park is the “Paved Trail.” But because the walkway is often carpeted by green moss, it’s known locally as the “Emerald Path.”
The trail is only about a quarter of a mile long. It’s a sweet little loop that’s accessible to everyone, making it so those of all physical abilities can enjoy the beauty of this Old Growth forest.
Stepping past the trail sign into the trees was like stepping into a storybook landscape. The trail looks like it’s been reclaimed by nature, as if it’s an ancient, forgotten part of the forest (though it was only built in the 1970s). Log benches dot its edges, adding to the charm.
Know Before You Go
From Forest Road (Rte 1015) in Cooksburg, Pennsylvania, turn in to the Sawmill Center entrance and take an immediate left up the dirt road to the top of the hill. You'll find a parking area directly connected to the trail.
The trail is an even, flat walk and is handicap accessible. If there is moss when you visit, the trail can be a bit slippery when it’s wet. The moss is most prevalent during damp or rainy periods; it is periodically cleaned off by the park, so it may look more or less green at times.
It’s a quick walk, but hikers can jump on the Black Bear trail (and there are plenty of other trails in the forest), and adventurers can also check out the nearby Sawmill Center for the Arts and take a drive along, or float in, the Clarion River.