Marsh Creek State Park

Looking to visit Marsh Creek State Park? Check out my guide to the park!

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.

About Marsh Creek State Park

Marsh Creek State Park is a 1,785-acre park in northern Chester County, PA. The park contains the Marsh Creek Lake, where park-goers can fish, sail, and enjoy birdwatching.

Marsh Creek is open every day of the year from sunrise to sunset. The park has many amenities that are seasonal, such as a pool, boat rentals, and restrooms. There are restrooms in the park, but they were closed for the season when I visited on April 1st. If you need a restroom, there was a very clean port-a-potty in the parking lot for boat rentals, right before the trailhead I parked at. 

The PA DCNR website notes that if Marsh Creek has too many cars, they will close off access to the park. When I visited in early April on a weekday, I was the ONLY car in the parking lot for my trailhead. Seems like winter and early spring might be the time to go if you want to avoid crowds!

Dogs are allowed at Marsh Creek State park, but must be on leash.

Want more parks? Check out my list of all of the state parks I've visited with links to guides or visit the PA DCNR website to check out the list of all the Pennsylvania State Parks.

Trails at Marsh Creek State Park

There are many hiking options in Marsh Creek. Unfortunately, it looks like there is no loop around the entire lake, which seems like a missed opportunity to me. The longer trail options, while incorporating loops, are basically out and back trails.

Red Trail at Marsh Creek is a 1.3 mile hike along the Marsh Creek Lake. I think I found the best picnic spot in the park on this trail overlooking the lake and the other side of the park. It does border on a neighborhood for the first part of the trail. I could see it being crowded on a nice day, as the trail leads to many other picnic tables.

But maybe go on a warmer day if you want to picnic?

If you wanted something longer, you could try the Marsh Creek Loop, a 2.3 mile trail on the other side of the park. While I didn’t try this trail myself, this trail looked more secluded than the Red Trail and would probably be better on a less crowded day.

AllTrails also has longer options – Marsh Creek Trail at 7.4 miles and Marsh Creek Long Loop, at 15.1 miles. If you want something longer, I’d recommend looking outside of Marsh Creek, as there are some more interesting longer hikes.

How to Get to Marsh Creek State Park

Marsh Creek is about an hour from Lancaster, PA. If you’re coming east from Philadelphia to visit Lancaster, this would be a great stop along the way.

If you want to visit more than one Pennsylvania State Park in a day, Marsh Creek is only 40 minutes away from Ridley Creek State Park (to the east) and 30 minutes away from French Creek State Park (to the north).

Post updated December 30, 2022

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