If you’re in looking for some year-round rest and recreation in southeast Pennsylvania, look no further than French Creek State Park.
Less than 60 miles west of Philadelphia, the park has a lot to offer, from boat rentals and camping cottages, to disc golf courses and mountain biking trails. Whether you want to spend Labor Day fishing Hopewell Lake, or a brisk Memorial Day morning horseback riding through a pristine pine swamp, we hope this list of things to note in and around the state park natural area helps make your trip one to remember!
1. French Creek State Park Camping & RVing
While campers will be happy to know that most of the French Creek State Park campgrounds feature the usual suspects like fire rings and picnic tables, others have water, sewage, and electric hookups, making them RV and trailer friendly. Make sure to call the park offices well in advance to make reservations, as spots are known to go fast, especially in the busy season.
2. Modern Cabins
In addition to rentable yurts and camping cottages, the park offers top of the line cabins outfitted with flush toilets and electric heat. While regular sites for group camping are also available, we’re sure the rangers will forgive you for wanting wall-to-wall carpets and warm showers in Winter.
Both of this Pennsylvania state park’s lakes are stocked with fresh fish several times a year. At 68 acres, Hopewell Lake is a great size for angling bass, walleye, pike, and others, while the smaller 22-acre Scotts Run Lake is your go-to for trout.
4. Miles of Trails
Whether you’re hiking, biking, or horseback riding, the park has a trail for you. From short 3-mile loops, to an immense equine trail that’s over 100 miles long, most of French Creek’s trailheads can be reached by way of its central park road.
5. Swimming Pool
Why come all the way out to a creek only to soak in a swimming pool built right next to a couple of lakes? Although swimming isn’t allowed in the natural bodies of water located throughout the park, the pool more than makes up for it with life guards and snack bar!
6. Wonderful Wildlife
Alongside squirrels, raccoons, and other forests critters, French Creek is a great place to see some serious songbirds. The Audubon Society has even listed it as an Important Bird Area, so have your binoculars and cameras ready.
Speaking of forest creatures, the park also has thousands of acres open to hunting and dog training during designated seasons. Although they won’t let you bag any groundhogs, you can consider turkeys, pheasants, and deer fair game.
8. Boating & Rentals
Don’t worry: If you didn’t bring your own motor boat or inflatable dinghy, you can rent an authorized boat from the park office. If you do bring your own boat, be sure to check park regulations, because certain designs are prohibited.
9. Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Immediately east of the park you’ll find the Hopewell Furnace, a well-preserved throwback to 19th century American ironworks. Comprised of 14 historic structures and a visitor’s center, the site is a great way to sneak some educational value into a trip without the kids suspecting a thing.
10. Day Use Area
Since the park is only a short drive from tourist destinations like Birdsboro and Elverson, it makes a great stop for a peaceful meal, even if you’re not going to stay overnight. The picturesque picnic areas in this cool wetland hideaway make any sack lunch taste that much better.
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