Written by Danielle Taylor | Header photo by Jeff London

One of Cook Forest State Park’s most popular events is coming up soon, and you’re invited to join in on the action. On June 9 and 10, hundreds of historically attired reenactors will descend on the forest for the 16th annual French and Indian War Encampment, and they create a realistic atmosphere of living history from the 18th century for you to participate in and experience.

A reenactor takes aim at Cook Forest State Park’s annual French and Indian War Encampment. Photo by Kyle Yates.

The highlights of the event are the thrilling cannon and musket firing demonstrations — a heart-stopping cacophony of noise and smoke — and the tactical engagements between the British, French, and Native American combatants. These live events occur twice each day so no one misses out on the excitement.

However, the reenactors also showcase simpler glimpses of what life was like in the 1700s. Visitors can witness 18th-century demonstrations of surgical techniques, blacksmithing, cooking, and more, and you and your family can participate in a period church service, a children’s musket drill, and children’s games. Also, you can try your hand at crafting some practical tools and elements of the time in classes on sinew processing, powderhorn and turkey wingbone calls, and parasol decorating. The event also features storytellers, artists, authors, and historians, so spend some time talking to the individuals involved to get a better sense of what life was like back then and how those events shaped our lives today.

To learn about other exciting places, events, people, and more in the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region, go to or call (814) 849-5197.


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