The drive to northern Chester County can be delightfully rural. Small towns, farms and forests are Pennsylvania scenic. French Creek State Park has over 7,700 acres of forest along with two lakes, Hopewell Lake and Scotts Run Lake. Both lakes are inviting places for picnics. Hopewell Lake is the larger and has more parking and picnic areas, which are well spaced to give small groups plenty of social distance. There are grills but bring your own charcoal.
More than an inviting picnic spot, French Creek is both an Important Bird Area as designated by the National Audubon Society, and an Important Mammal Area as designated by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Taking the easy, flat path from Hopewell Lake’s main area to the swimming area, you may be treated to not only the water lilies that bloom in profusion but also, to a variety of turtles, butterflies and birds. The best turtle viewing is from the fishing pier. It is a paradise for nature lovers and both lakes are open for fishing.
While nearby Hopewell Furnace is not currently open, you can walk from French Creek Park and see the buildings and the farm animals, if you have the energy for a walk, it is only about 15 minutes’ walk from the dam on Hopewell Lake. If you want to make a full day of the trip, there are wineries in the area and also St. Peter’s Village. Some restaurants and some wineries are open, just do a quick internet search and plan your scenic day along French Creek and in the State Park.
Clare Novak travels far and near. She started her travel website and blogs in 2018, seeking to share the world’s beauty and delightful experiences. Ms. Novak is an international consultant in Human Resources, Gender Equality and Leadership. She has published business books and articles and speaks on those topics for international Conferences. When at home in Pennsylvania, she travels locally to discover interesting places.