Summary: This hike explores most of the trails in the eastern portion of Pennsylvania's French Creek State Park. Before hitting the trailhead, I recommend visiting the Park's main office (accessible from the South Entrance, off PA 345, a couple miles before the trailhead) for a trail map. Miller's point, an easily climbable rock formation affords limited views of the Schuylkill River valley only in the winter and early spring before the foliage reappears. Many of these trails are also shared with mountain bikers, so be alert. Although there were a fair number of other hikers and bikers one unseasonably warm March weekend, my companion and I did find a reasonable amount of seclusion, considering the proximity of several major metropolitan population centers. This hike was moderately difficult due to the constant up and down of the topography. I consider this to be a tasty appetizer to the coming hiking season.
Trailhead: From the PA Turnpike (Interstate 76), take exit 312 to PA 100 north. Turn west onto PA 23, then north onto PA 345. It is about 4.6 miles to the east entrance of French Creek State Park, and then another 0.2 miles to the intersection on PA 345 and Shed Road where there is a small parking area and the trailhead. (Lat:40.21668 Lon:-75.77611)
Trail Guides for Eastern French Creek State Park:
50 Hikes in Eastern Pennsylvania
by Tom Thwaites (The Countryman Press)
Best Seasons: Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: French Creek State Park, 610-582-9680
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jeremy Taitelbaum, who has posted 9 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by oxo on 8/27/2012
Dear bxh. I shall remember to bring a toxic spray with me when I come if humans who go there are so extreme that they think "such dog owners are enemies of humans."
Reviewed by bxh on 1/29/2012
I shall remember to bring a toxic spray with me when I come if dog owners who go there are are so inconsiderate of others and think their dog would never harm another animal or person. Such dog owners are enemies of humans. Every dog has the instinct to chase prey, some more than others. Even if one's dog is not likely to chase or it runs up to another human in un-trained friendliness, what about the many people are are afraid of dogs or made uncomfortable by a dog un-restrained? Oh, what about harm that could come to an unleashed dog? Oh, what about the potential harm to wildlife by an unleashed dog? No matter to these people: their dog has the right to run free and ruin the nature walk for humans.
Reviewed by Andy G on 4/15/2011
Dear sns I'm sorry about your dog being attacked by an unleashed dog. The owner was an idiot to let a dog that would attack another dog off a leash. My dog however would NEVER attack another dog and I would NEVER take away the joy she has of running free. You have nothing to fear from my dog so enjoy hiking the Park and I hope to run into you and your dog over there. Maybe your dog and mine can run around a little bit and play. You may change your mind some.
Reviewed by RM on 9/7/2009
The trails are serene and offer a nice view of the lake. We visited the park/trails in May 2009. It was a little nerve-racking to see signs on some of the trails saying "beware of hunters" and hearing rare and distant gunshots. I advise wearing bright and reflective clothing. The difficulty is really mild-moderate. Get the map. We would visit it again with the more "sightly" clothing.
Reviewed by sns on 8/25/2009
I live nearby. Great trails. Being able to switch/mix trails provides variety. Have been hiking the park for the last 15 years on a weekly bais. Please go to the park office and get a map. There are location maps where a trail meets a road. But please don't be like Andy G. Dogs are to be on a leash, park rules. My leashed dog was attacked by an unleashed dog in a secluded area. By the time the owners made it up the hill to answer my cries, my husband had knocked it away. I believe he killed it. Horrible experience for all involved. We continue to hike the park with my dog, but we both carry pepper spray. Remember this is a PUBLIC park. There may be adults or children who are afraid of dogs. Or a dog that doesn't like other dogs.
Reviewed by Bob on 3/30/2009
I am somewhat biased in that French Creek is about 20 minutes from where I live. As for the reviewer that said Mill Creek does not allow Mtn Biking, this is untrue. It does allow Mtn Bikes, but you don't see many in the winter. There are other trails closed to Mtn Biking however, and the trail maps clearly state which ones they are. There is quite a bit of variety in the entire park. Everything from a walk around the Hopewell Lake to the more difficult Mill Creek Trail. The Horseshoe Trail(http://hstrail.org) also goes through the park. My personal favorites are the Mill Creek(starting at Shed Road) and Six-Penny sections(starting at Scott Lake), usually mixed with other surrounding trails.
Reviewed by Christa W. on 3/23/2009
I went here over the weekend with my dog. Went on a trail where no bikes were allowed (Mill Creek) and it was very peaceful. Saw a few people along the way, but otherwise very quiet. We were out for about 2.5 hours and could have easily spent much more time out there. Can't wait to go back again.
Reviewed by Andy G on 2/20/2008
I've been hiking the trails of French Creek State Park for close to 30 years. I'm on my third dog. There isn't a trail or old abandoned woods road I haven't been over many times. What keeps me coming back over and over again is the solitude. Once you've gotten away from the more populated areas of the park and way out in the woods you usually don't run into another soul all day. The dog can run free and so can my thoughts. At 47 years old I hope to have at least another 30+ years of walking the trails at FCSP. The absolute best time to hike the Park is winter, especially in the snow. It's SO quiet you have trouble believing your in SE PA. You can see well into the woods and watch a group of whitetails bound away. I love this place!
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