– Parking Coordinates: 41.34571, -79.21714 (Park at the far end of the parking lot furthest away from the bathrooms and learning center)
– Trailhead Coordinates: 41.34549, -79.21700 (As of February 2021, the bridge at 41.34260, -79.21554 is currently closed and blocked with plywood for repairs. Don’t follow the signs near the trailhead for Tom’s Run as you will be forced to backtrack. Hike across the field next to the parking lot and follow my coordinates)
– Distance and Type: 1.75 Mile Out-and-Back
– Trail Difficulty: Easy
– Elevation Gain: +/- 140 Feet
– Trail Markers: None but the trail is easy to follow
– Tom’s Run Creek
– Forest Cathedral to your side as you hike at the base of the hillside
– The Swinging Bridge
Note: Trail conditions change over time. If you discover any inaccuracies with this post during your visit, please post a comment below to let us know.
Tom’s Run was our first hike on our Saturday to Cook Forest State Park. Our legs were stiff after hiking in the snow up Fire Tower Road and then along the River Trail to Henry Run Sawmill Dam the day before, so we wanted to warm up with Tom’s Run as the trail doesn’t have that much elevation gain. We hiked almost a half mile along the posted path before we discovered the foot bridge to cross over Tom’s Run was closed off for repairs. I couldn’t find a good spot to cross Tom’s Run that didn’t risk soaking our feet and ending our hiking for the day so we retraced our steps back to the parking lot.
Next to the parking lot was an unmarked, but groomed trail that followed Tom’s Run. Following this path allowed us to bypass the closed foot bridge and eventually joined up with Tom’s Run Trail. The groomed path and trimmed trees along the path led me to believe the park meant hikers to hike the route. Hopefully park services will mark the trail or open the closed bridge before too long. Using my Gaia GPS track that I posted above will keep hikers on the right track. (Please let me know if the park opens the bridge and I will update this section)
The trail follows the base of the area known as Forest Cathedral where all the tall, old growth, trees are located within the park. Tom’s Run eventually flows into the Clarion River. Tom’s Run Trail ends at a rope bridge the park has simply named Swinging Bridge. After you are done exploring the Swinging Bridge, you can turn around and retrace your hike back to the trailhead. Another option would be to jump on the Longfellow Trail at (41.33822, -79.21315) and hike through the Forest Cathedral eventually reaching the parking lot where you started your hike.
Tom’s Run Trail is a good hike to warm up on, or a perfect option for families with small children. The recent snowfall that coated the trail and the ice formations along Tom’s Run added a layer of beauty to an already amazing location.
(41.34571, -79.21714) – Park at far end of parking lot near field.
(41.34549, -79.21700) – Hike across the field staying on the north side of Tom’s Run (foot bridge is closed for repairs on other side of Tom’s Run)
(41.34250, -79.21518) – Hike along Tom’s Run eventually rejoining Tom’s Run Trail at closed bridge.
(41.33822, -79.21315) – Follow the trail along Tom’s Run eventually reaching the Longfellow-Tom’s Run Trail junction.
(41.33522, -79.21132) – Remain on Tom’s Run Trail eventually reaching the Swinging Bridge. When ready, return to your vehicle following the trail back to the trailhead.