Tubing (Our Camping Experience)

There are several places you can go tubing when camping at Cook Forest State Park. We didn’t really plan ahead, and ended up checking out three places before we actually hit the river.

Take our word for it, make yourself a reservation if you’re skeptical. Or, figure out a way to take your own tubes and get dropped off and picked up. Our first choice would probably be the best place, but we opted out due to long lines and our own impatience. 😉

We ended up renting tubes from Pine Crest, but it’s not one of their main attractions. It ended up being the best choice for us because the whole day led to some fun(ny) experiences that we would not have gotten from any other place in the Forest.

Like the discovery of the tubes back behind a shed, and learning that the woman running the desk worked with me at Pizza Hut when I worked there in college. Or the van ride there (and back). I mean, how could you not enjoy this?

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I joke, a ‘lil.

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We set out in our tubes, only thing really missing on them was a cupholder or a way to secure our cooler (thanks to Tom for taking care of it for us).

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The river was beautiful, but a bit shallow. We took our time (maybe too much–we were over an hour late for our pickup, but “no watch!”) and enjoyed the views, some laughs (like making sure the trail mix was saved over all else), and jumped off a rock. (Ok, one of us jumped off a rock, bet you can’t guess who.)

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As if our first post about tubing wasn’t enough to convince you to let things go and enjoy a day on the river, hopefully this one will.

Pittsburgh Tip: River’s Edge

For Greg’s birthday, I got him a certificate for River’s Edge Canoe and Kayak (in Leechburg) for all day tubing for two. We redeemed it over the weekend and quite honestly can’t wait to go back.

Disclaimer: We participated in this activity at our own cost, but thought our readers would enjoy learning about this Pittsburgh Fun activity. All opinions are 100% my own.

River's Edge Leechburg

Our day at River’s Edge technically began when Greg made our reservation. He got us a 1:30 reservation, but that’s not a normal time to start tubing. They recommend between 12 and 12:30 due to the need to have time to get the whole way from drop-point to ramp before they close; however, since we had oil changes scheduled, they were a little flexible with us. (I think this impacted the distance we got to travel, but it really was okay with me…we had plenty of time and distance on the water.)

When we pulled up, there was ample parking (and they’ll hold your key so you don’t lose it in the river). We had to sign waivers and got to look around their store. Not only do they have tubing, but River’s Edge has a variety of services including canoe/kayak rentals, bait shop, and landscaping. Next we got loaded into a van and whisked about 2 miles up river. The path down to the river was a sort of steep (I want to find out if there’s an easier “launch” spot so my dad could come with us some time!) and led us to a shallow-ish area where we were able to launch our tubes.

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The river felt amazing on this hot day, but we got launched and started a slow, beautiful journey down river. To be honest, it was nice to put the phone down and just BE with my husband for a few hours. We talked, we laughed, he imagined something was going to grab him out of the water (and thus tried to stay out of the deeper areas). We lounged along the river bank and saw some deer. We swam, we went down “rapids” once and then walked back up to do it again. (Dear Greg, I can’t wait to actually go on rapids, sir.) We enjoyed the sun. We laughed (did I mention that already?). We rested. We were at peace.

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Our 2 miles took us about 2 1/2 hours and then we were back at the ramp at River’s Edge. It was a great day, and comes at a great price for a date or a group outing (it’d be very fun to link a bunch of friends up and tube down the river).

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You can link up with them on Facebook and stay up to date with all the latest fun happening on the River. Greg and I highly suggest you get on up river and enjoy a peaceful day. Bring along sunscreen, a cooler, and a water proof pack to hold a camera. You won’t be sorry. Have fun!