Like much of the surrounding area, the state forest was once part of a vast expanse of:
Remnants of old American chestnut stumps can still be found on the two tracts of forest land in Forest County. Early on, much of the land was settled and at least partially cleared for subsistence farming.
By the late 1800’s timbering in northwestern Pennsylvania was reaching its peak and another industry, oil exploration, was about to be launched with the drilling of the first successful oil well in August 1859 in nearby Titusville.
Abundant evidence of past oil exploration activity exists, and new wells are still being drilled. The commonwealth does not own the oil, gas, or minerals under these state forest lands; however, cooperation with the mineral operators tries to keep surface disturbance to a minimum.