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French Creek State Park, Pennsylvania - OutdoorPlaces.Com

 French Creek State Park, Pennsylvania

 French Creek State Park, Hiking Trails In Detail (continued)

 Fall Colors, French Creek State Park, Pennsylvania, United States, Copyright 1999 OutdoorPlaces.Com, All Rights Reserved
Creek 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.
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.

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.

There 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.

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