French Creek State Park is one of 6 State Parks in the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, and one of the best places for outdoor recreation, rest, and relaxation in the region. There are miles of trails of varying terrain and difficulty, two large lakes, picnic groves, and tent, RV, and cabin camping opportunities throughout the park.
Much of the 7,500 acres that make up French Creek State Park were part of the landholdings for Hopewell Furnace. The hardwood forest covering the park provided ample fuel for the bustling furnace, producing iron for a young America from 1771 to 1883. Woodcutters chopped wood from the forest and colliers burned it in "hearths" throughout the wooded hills surrounding the furnace to produce charcoal. To sustain the furnace operations, the entire area now contained in French Creek State Park was timbered repeatedly to make charcoal. The original forest of predominately American chestnut was cleared and eventually mixed oak forests developed after the furnace closed in 1883. It is hard to imagine that the thickly wooded hillsides enjoyed by today's visitors were once barren and treeless. The forest of French Creek State Park played a vital role in America's industrial infancy.
Managed by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
French Creek State Park is located on the border of Berks and Chester Counties. There are several entrances located along Rt. 345. Consult the map for more detailed directions. The directions provided are for the Park Offices.