Into the forest. Enveloped by the cool, damp shadows created by vast canopies of old-growth trees. We tilt our chins toward the sky to gaze upon the scope of their towering, majestic bodies. They seem to stretch on forever, their branches mingling with clouds. We walk upon their soft, spongey floor, covered completely by golden pine needles and electric green moss. We feel their gentle breeze grace our skin. We inhale their fresh, fragrant air. We run our fingers along their thick armor of bark. We share their space and treasure their silence.
If you spend time with trees and listen very closely, these gentle giants will teach you something. About being still. About nurturing others. About slowing down and having patience. About steadfastness. Some of these trees are hundreds of years old, growing slowly but surely — little by little — until their magnitude is undeniable. It’s hard to believe that rare forests like this used to cover the East coast. We can only hope that the ones that have survived, like Cook Forest, remain protected from logging. We are happy to hear that the Old-Growth Forest Network is making sure this happens. You can learn more about their amazing forest preservation project at oldgrowthforest.net.
If you have never been to Cook Forest State Park, we definitely recommend a visit. We planned this trip on the way home from a Chicago delivery, and this place became special to us the moment we arrived. It is a beautiful haven of endless trails to hike upon, lovely camping spots, and some of the largest trees of their kind.