French Creek Trail


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French Creek Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Chester
Length: 4.6 miles
Trail end points: Township Line Road and Hares Hill Road
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Dirt, Grass, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 8858811
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking

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French Creek Trail Description

A work in progress, the French Creek Trail is one of several trails being developed by East Pikeland Township.

Although a small part of it follows the route of the former Pickering Creek Railroad, most of the trail runs along a route much closer to the creek for which it is named. The trail passes several prominent local historical sites, including Rapps Dam, Snyder's Mill, Rapps Dam Covered Bridge and Jacob Rudy's Powder Mill.

A roughly one mile section from Rapps Dam Road west to a bridge over French Creek is paved with asphalt and is wheelchair-accessible as well as suitable for cycling. However, most of the trail is natural surface of dirt or grass. This portion is not handicapped-accessible and is best for hiking and mountain biking and is often muddy and flood-prone after rainy weather.

Although currently used primarily by locals, township officials envision the French Creek Trail being extended east into Phoenixville, where it will connect to the Schuylkill River Trail and west to the Horseshoe and Big Woods trails in Warwickn County and French Creek State parks, forming a major link in Southeast Pennsylvania's burgeoning trail network.

Parking and Trail Access

The best parking is on either side of Rapps Dam Road, immediately south of the covered bridge. The paved portion, as well as the ruins of Snyders Mill and an archeological site where Jacob Rudy's Powder Mill once stood can all be accessed from here. There are other trailheads to the west and east.

French Creek Trail Reviews

I thought this trail was very nice for what we needed. My dog loves to walk along the water and be able to enter often to cool off. The water was easily accessible multiple places along the trail. It was an easy walk for someone that isn't looking for tough terrain. We walked just over a mile of it (one way) from Hares Hill to Rapps Damn and back (2.25 miles total).

We rode this trail on our long wheelbase recumbents (not recommended). There is a sign at the trailhead at Hares Hill Road that states the trail is 2.1 miles long, and it is, not the 4.6 miles listed on the trail description. Also only a very short maybe 1/4 mile is wheelchair accessible. The scenery is wonderful, the trail is a mountain biking trail (similar to Blue Marsh Lake trail). A nice place to walk if you live near by, not worth the drive to ride there.

I was underwhelmed on my first trip on this trail. Rode from Hares Hill to Rapps Dam yesterday... the trail was closed from Rapps Dam to Township Line. I was able to ride 1.2 miles on the trail This trail is about a 4 mile round trip if you go the full distance (not one way) and the paved section is less than a quarter mile.

Still, nice scenery and the bridges are beautiful with some areas to pull over and picnic or swim. I was able to ride about 2 miles up Rapps Dam/Mowere to the Schuylkill River Trail trailhead and take the trail to Spring City, then the same route on return for a good 10.5 mile ride.

The French Creek Trail is unsuitable for road bikes. I was on a Trek 3700 with fat slick tires and that was OK, but since most of the trial is natural surface a knobby tire would work best. I also had my toddler riding in a seat on the back but he was OK with the bumps (rocks, roots) and I was careful to take it slow.

I would love to see the trail continue to be developed and paved as it offers great scenery and could easily connect Kimberton with downtown Phoenixville


We rode on hybrid bikes from Hare's Hill Rd trailhead to Township Line Rd. trailhead. The 2 bridges over French Creek are quite impressive for such an undeveloped trail. Hopefully someday the trail will match their magnificence! Most of the trail is natural surface and the section between Rapps Dam Rd and Township Line Rd is just a little wider than a rocky deer path. Many muddy areas encountered as remnants of rain puddles. Nice day out exploring but not what we had expected.

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