Trail - White and Red Blaze, 6 mile loop, difficult
trail, experienced and equipped hikers only: The
trailhead is located east of the main campground on Shed Road.
Once you leave the trailhead and head into the eastern section of the
park, you will not cross another road or park feature. Rugged
trail and terrain with backcountry conditions. Proper gear, boots
and water are required. Navigation skill and the ability to read a
map and use a compass, as well as being equipped with both are required. Outstanding opportunity for solitude
on this difficult trail through almost full restored eastern
forest. Excellent opportunity to see area wildlife. Mountain
bikes are restricted.
Buzzards Trail - Yellow and Red Blaze, 3 mile partial loop, moderate difficulty when
accessed through the Raccoon Trail, difficult trail when accessed through
the Mill Creek Trail, experienced and equipped hikers only: Branches
off of the Mill Creek Trail to the north and the Raccoon Trail to the
west. Can be taken as a loop to extend a backcountry hike on the
Mill Creek Trail. This trail is restricted to hikers only.
Kalmia Trail - Purple Blaze, 1 mile one way,
moderate difficulty: Trailhead is located on the Six Penny
Trail. Running south of Six Penny Trail, the Kalmia Trail runs
along the mountain side through mature eastern forest covered with
laurel. This trail is restricted to hikers only.
Raccoon Trail - Red Blaze, 1.7 miles one way,
moderate difficulty: Trailhead is actually located in Hopewell Furnace
National Historic Site about 1/4 of a mile east of the main gate on
Hopewell Road. Provides the most direct route to access the Mill
Creek Trail. This trail is restricted to hikers only.
Horse-shoe Trail - Yellow Blaze, 8 mile loop, moderate
difficulty: The Horse-shoe Trail actually runs 130 miles from
Valley Forge in the east to the Appalachian Trail in Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania to the west. The eight mile wide loop in the western
part of the park provides outstanding hiking, mountain biking and
equestrian trails through mature eastern forest and some of the
developed sections of the park.
are a number of small connecting trails not listed above in the western
part of the park. Most noteworthy is a White and Blue Blaze trail
that connects the Horse-shoe/Turtle Trail to the north to the Turtle
Trail to the south. Heading north to south this trail is all
uphill and a strenuous climb up a rocky slope. Although the
distance is shorter, time on the trail is about equal swinging out to
Scotts Run Lake to the east.
With so much to see and do, French Creek State Park and the adjoining Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site can keep you busy for several
days. It is hard to imagine that just 100 year ago this area was
clear cut and barren, laid to waste by the iron furnace at Hopewell and
its appetite for hardwood charcoal. Although the old growth
chestnut trees may never return, the areas dense forest cover is a
wonderful experience to see, and offers wonderful solitude. You
won't meet too many people on the trails, and those that you do meet,
seem to know that French Creek State Park is a very special place.