“The forests of French Creek are a nicely wooded destination in Southeast Pennsylvania to find great singletrack trails.
— Jeff Williams
Fall Colors · Lake · Wildlife
French Creek State Park offers access to large swaths of woods with a variety of terrain and features. This loop offers a nice mix of highly navigable trails using part of the well known Horseshoe Trail.
Need to Know
Parking was free, I did not have to pay any park fees. On my first visit, I grabbed a map at one of the pull outs; there are markers on the trees and signs at most intersections. There is camping in the park. I've heard it is popular with mountain bikers, and it is near state game lands for hunting. There are some lakes, boating, and fishing as well, so it's a diverse area.
This route goes over and through mountains and ridges. Steady climbs and technical sections are intermixed with smoother downhills. Overall, it follows well-groomed trails and is easy to navigate. Expect classic Pennsylvania woods, with a mix of hardwoods and oak and abundance of smaller rocks and leaves.
There are no super long or highly loose sections; this loop was fun and pleasant with just the right mix of terrain. When I was there, it was quiet, and I found plenty of solitude. There are many trails in the area that you can extend or link up with. There are some signs and maps at nearly all the road crossings. I've heard that the area is popular with mountain bikers, and I did hear a lot of hunting activity. You'll pass through some camping areas too.
Flora & Fauna
Deer, laurel, and a mix of hardwoods. There are rivers and streams and moss-covered rocks throughout.
History & Background
There is lots of history in the area. It is near a the Hopewell National historic site. I did not see any major historical buildings, but the area surrounding it has a lot of history, and I'm sure there are opportunities to find out out more. There are signs, and the area does draw sightseers. The surrounding fields and woodlands were retained and are administered by the National Park Service as Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. This was used to provide steel for the weapons in the Revolutionary War. There are re-enactments held there.