Guide to French Creek State Park

French Creek State Park is a great place for a hike close to Philadelphia! Read on to learn more about this amazing state park in Eastern Pennsylvania.

View of Hopewell Lake from the Hopewell Lake Trail
As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.

French Creek State Park Hiking

This state park is a GREAT one for hiking as it offers thirty-five miles of hiking trails. Amazing for a park so close to a major metropolitan area! I’ve only hiked a couple of the below trails but can’t wait to come back and explore more.

Best Trails in French Creek

Hopewell Lake Trail is 2.2 miles long and circumnavigates the lake. Most of the pictures in this post are from this hike! This was a great hike. I would consider it beginner due to the length and minimal elevation gain, but there were parts with a lot of roots (don’t treat it as a towpath hike). If you only have time for one short hike in the park, choose this one!

Boone Trail is 6 miles long and connects many of the other trails. This trail circumnavigates both lakes and is great for those looking for more of a challenge.

Horseshoe Trail is actually a 140 mile long trail but is an 8 mile point to point trail within the park for more advanced hikers. It passes near Hopewell and Scotts Run lakes, over Scotts Run stream, near the fire tower, and along the bottom of a CCC era camp.

Mill Creek Trail is 6 miles of challenging hiking with elevation changes. The trail has unique areas such as creeks views and a walk through a mountain laurel tunnel.

For a map of French Creek State Park and all of the hiking trails, visit the PA DNCR website here.

A view of Hopewell Lake in the early fall
Love state parks? Check out my Guide to all the PA State Parks! 

Or go directly to some of my favorites:
McConnell's Mill 
Kinzua Bridge
Laurel Ridge

About French Creek State Park

French Creek State Park is a 7,977-acre Pennsylvania state park in North Coventry and Warwick Townships in Chester County and Robeson and Union Townships in Berks County, PA. French Creek is home to two lakes, Scott’s Run and Hopewell. The park is located in Hopewell Big Woods, which is the largest contiguous forest in southern PA.

As I mentioned above, French Creek is great for hiking! Other activities available at French Creek include mountain biking, disc golf, orienteering, hunting, and horseback riding. For a comprehensive recreation guide, visit the PA DCNR site here.

Hopewell Furnace Historic Site

French creek completely surrounds Hopewell Furnace, a national historic site that showcases American industry during the 1880’s. For more info about Hopewell Furnace, visit the national parks’s guide here.

Planning a day hike in French Creek? Check out the 10 Essentials for Day Hikers!

French Creek State Park FAQs

Is camping allowed in French Creek?

Yes! The large campground is open from March through the first weekend in January and has about 60 electrical hookup sites. The park also offers modern cabins, camping cabins, and yurts. To make a reservation to camp in French Creek, visit the Reserve America website here.

Does French Creek State Park allow dogs?

Yes! Like almost all PA State Parks, French Creek allows dogs. You won’t see ours in the pics because we left him in Pittsburgh during our trip (we were in town for a wedding). But we saw and pet many dogs!

What is near French Creek State Park?

  • State Game Lands 43, located southeast of the park, consists of more than 1,800 acres of public land available for hunting.
  • Looking to explore another state park? Check out Marsh Creek State Park, which is located about 30 minutes south of French Creek.
  • Daniel Boone Homestead is a historical site located in nearby Birdsboro.
  • Hopewell Furnace is encompassed by the park and is easy to access if you’re already there.

When is French Creek open?

The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset, however, day use areas close at dusk.

Can you hunt in French Creek State Park?

Yes, hunting is allowed at the park in designated seasons. For more information, visit the PA DCNR page on Hunting in French Creek.

Where is French Creek State Park?

The park is located in both Chester and Berks county. To get to the park, input the following address into your phone: 843 Park Rd, Elverson, PA 19520

How big is French Creek?

The park is the 7,730-acres and, according to PA DCNR, is the largest block of contiguous forest between Washington D.C. and New York City.

Can you swim in the lake at French Creek State Park?

No, swimming is off-limits in both lakes at French Creek. However, swimming is available in the park pool, which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day from 11am to 7pm. Swimmers will be charged a pool use fee.

Looking to visit another state park near Philadelphia? Check out Ridley Creek State Park!

Post Updated October 23, 2022

1 thought on “Guide to French Creek State Park”

  1. How far is the trout stocked sections of the actual French Creek from the State Park’s camping area, specifically loop A? We would rather fish the creek as opposed to the lakes. Thanks in advance!

    Reply

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