Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

For your convenience, our most common customer questions are answered right here or contact us at 800-680-0160.  Like and follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter for information updates!


Q:  What are your hours?

A:  We are open 7 days a week starting the first week of April through the end of October.  Hours can be found on our front page including our daily status update on the Facebook thread.  Remember,  all 10 mile trips must register by 12:00 pm, 4 mile tube or raft trips by 2:00 pm, 2.5 mile tube trips by 3:00 pm, and all others by 4:00 pm.


Q:  How do I know if there are any restrictions in place?

A:  Due to ever changing river and weather conditions, please see our Facebook page for any restrictions in place or call us at 800-680-0160.  If the Clarion River depth is 6 feet or greater at where the USGS measures it at the Cooksburg bridge, we are not permitted to rent equipment.  Low, high, and or rough river conditions may require a higher age limit for children and/or limiting the number of persons to a canoe to 2.  We reserve the right to make that determination. Tube rentals are not available during spring until the river temperature warms. 



Q: How many people can ride in one canoe?

A: One canoe can hold 2 adults and 2 small children OR 3 adults as long as the weight of the guests and their equipment does not exceed 550 pounds and/or we do not have any additional restrictions in place such as for low water conditions.


Q:  How old do you have to be to go on a trip?

A:  The minimum age is 2 years old.  All children ages 2 – 12 must be accompanied by an adult. All children, 17 years old or younger, must have a parent or guardian complete a minor release form.  Guests age 18 or older must complete an adult release form.  Low, high, and or rough river conditions may require a higher age limit for children – please check our Facebook page for any restrictions. 

Waiver Form - Minor              Waiver Form - Adult



Q:  Do you offer any discounts?

A:  All guests of Cook Riverside Cabins, Fair Winds in the Forest Cabins & Lodge, and Whispering Oaks Cabins receive discount vouchers for use with the Pale Whale Canoe Fleet.  We offer discounts for church, scout, school and other organizations/groups – call in advance for details.  U.S. Active Duty and Reserve Military receive a discounted price when they present a current military identification card.  Be sure to check our Specials page for limited time discounts. Only one discount is valid per purchase.


Q:  What is included in the cost of my trip?

A:  The price of your trips includes parking, personal flotation devices (PFD) for each person, paddles (2 per canoe), and transportation to the embarkation point.  Our crew takes care of the loading and unloading of all equipment to make your float as enjoyable as possible. We have restrooms, changing rooms, and a footwash for your convenience.


Q:  What other items can I rent?

A:  You may rent floating coolers, additional paddles or PFDs. 


Q:  Am I required to wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)?

A:  In accordance with Pennsylvania State Law, all persons underway in a boat must have a PFD on board and accessible; persons age 12 or younger must wear their PFD at all times.  Persons older than age 12 are welcome to wear a PFD on tubes, but it is not required.  All persons, regardless of age, must wear a PFD from November 1st through April 30th.  We encourage all guests to wear their PFD for their safety.


Q: Do I need a reservation?

A: No, we take you on your trip as you arrive and our next van becomes available.  Though not required, please call ahead to make arrangements for large group trips. 


Q: Do I need to arrive at a certain time to be able to go on a trip?

A: Yes …  you must register by the following times:

12:00 pm                                                 10 Mile Canoe, Kayak, or Raft Trips

2:00 pm                                                   4 Mile Tube or Raft Trips

3:00 pm                                                   2.5 Mile Tube Trips

4:00 pm                                                   4 Mile Canoe or Kayak Trips

We require that all equipment be returned by 6:00 pm.


Q: Can I bring my dog?

A: Yes, you may bring your dog if your dog can ride safely with other people and dogs while being transported to the launch site.  The pet fee is $5.00 per dog. We do not have PFDs for dogs, you must bring your own if you wish for your pet to wear one.


Q: Will you transport me and my canoe, kayak, or tube?

A: We will transport you and your equipment for 1/2 price which includes parking and use of our dock.    We reserve the right to see your equipment before quoting a price for transport and/or not transport your equipment due to size limitations such as for rafts exceeding a 2-person capacity.  The price of transporting a double kayak is considered to be the same as transporting a 2-person canoe.  Transports are considered a discounted price – only one discount is valid per purchase. We do not transport rafts that have appendages such as heads, legs, tails, or wings.


Q: Will you transport me without equipment?

A: Unfortunately, we cannot shuttle people without equipment – you must either rent equipment from us or have your own canoe, kayak, or tube for transport in order for us to take you upriver. Cook Forest State Park has public launch sites as well as parking available to those who wish to transport their own equipment. You can stop by the Cook Forest Park Office on River Road in Cooksburg to pick up maps of both Cook Forest and/or Clear Creek or check out their downloadable maps online at then choose “Find a Park”.


Q: What other things should I consider?

A: Come early on weekends and holidays to avoid long wait times.  Bring appropriate footwear to wear in the water – if you need water shoes, you can purchase them at the Cooksburg Dry Goods store next to Pale Whale Canoe Fleet.  Bring plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, snacks/picnic baskets, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, trash bags, waterproof containers/dry bags, rope to secure your containers/bags,  fishing equipment, as well as extra clothes in case you get wet. Always keep your car keys in a safe place – we will hold your keys until you return! Put a lanyard or something familiar on your keys to make it easier to find them in our bin.  Stop by the Cooksburg Cafe for Hershey’s hand-dipped ice cream, burgers, and fresh cut fries after your float!


For Your Information

The Clarion River is a moderate-sized river with riffles and pools with trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish, and various panfish. The river is classed as flat water to class 1 depending on conditions. The average depth for the adjacent 10 miles is 2 to 3 feet. The average gradient (foot/mile) is 6 feet. It is truly a family river for beginners canoeing Cook Forest.

51.7 miles of the Clarion River were designated part of the National Wild & Scenic River System on October 19, 1996.

It is against the law to harass wildlife. Notify the park rangers if you see any littering or improper behavior on the river.  Always respect other enjoying the river including fishermen. Please notify us if you observe any willful destruction of canoe equipment.