Marsh Creek State Park
Marsh Creek State Park is in the rolling hills of north central Chester County. The 1,727-acre park contains the 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake, which is a wonderful resource for fishing, sailing, and migrating waterfowl.
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The pool and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the French Creek State Park office for facility seasons and hours.
Picnicking: Several picnic areas containing over 150 picnic tables, restrooms and charcoal grills are available year-round. A children’s playground is near the pool complex and picnic area.
Swimming: The ADA accessible “L” shaped swimming pool and sprayground attracts many visitors. The guarded pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day unless posted otherwise. A snack bar, large grassy area and bathhouse are located at the swimming pool complex. A pavilion is available to rent.
For more information on the pool, pavilion, and swimming lessons please go to www.marshcreekparkpool.com or call 610-458-8535.
Swimming is prohibited in Marsh Creek Lake.
Explore swimming for more information.
Boating: electric motors permitted
A boat rental concession at the East Launch offers rowboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats and lake tours throughout the summer. Weather permitting, rentals may be offered on weekends during the spring and autumn. 610-458-5040 www.marshcreeklake.com
Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Fishing: The 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake is an excellent lake to fish for warmwater species. Anglers have landed 40-inch-long tiger muskies. Other species include largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie and a variety of panfish. The lake is designated a big bass lake and specific regulations apply.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: About 900 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, waterfowl and deer.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.
Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.
Hiking: 18 miles of trails
Horseback Riding: 11.5 miles of trails
With an emphasis on families and fun, Hope Springs Farm offers horseback riding lessons, boarding and trail riding. www.hopespringshorsefarm.com
Mountain Biking: 11.5 miles of trails
Cross-country Skiing: Red Trail, Blue Trail and the fields of the park are recommended for cross-country skiing.
Sledding: About seven acres of slopes are by the picnic area in the East Launch.
Ice Fishing: Ice fishing is permitted on the 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake. The lake is designated a big bass lake and specific regulations apply. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Ice Skating: Ice skating is permitted on the natural ice. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Iceboating: Iceboating is permitted on the natural ice. Iceboats must display a state park launch permit. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
The park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.
Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the park office. Programs are offered April to November. Contact the French Creek park office for more detailed information.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Exlore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
Marsh Creek is a popular place for birding, especially during the spring and fall waterfowl migration.
The bird checklist is a comprehensive listing of all birds found in the park, their season, their habitat, and the likelihood of being seen. Bird Checklist of Marsh Creek State Park (.pdf) (1,903 kb, 7/16)
Marsh Creek State Park was developed to help manage the water resources in the Brandywine Creek Watershed. Frequent flooding, water shortages and lack of recreational opportunities were problems in the watershed.
The park was formerly a combination of rolling, wooded hills and small farms located on both sides of the Marsh Creek valley. The former village of Milford Mills is now under 30 to 50 feet of water. All of the buildings were removed; leaving only a few roads, foundations and the embankments to the Larkin’s Bridge under the lake.
The lake was created by the damming of Marsh Creek. Construction of the dam occurred between May 1970 and June 1973. The impoundment is a 90-foot-high, 990-foot-long earth and rock fill dam on Marsh Creek, a tributary of the East Branch of Brandywine Creek. On November 16, 1973 the gates of the dam were closed. The lake reached normal pool stage 218 days later on June 21, 1974.
At normal pool elevation of 359.5 feet above sea level, the impoundment covers an area of 535 acres plus a 25-acre wetland. The lake volume is 13,000 acre-feet (4.4 billion gallons) with a maximum depth of 80 feet at the dam.
The Marsh Creek watershed comprises 20 square miles of the Brandywine Creek watershed, which is part of the Delaware River Basin. The main tributaries in the watershed are Marsh Creek, Black Horse Creek, Indian Run and Jerry Run.
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DiscoverE has programs for young people ages 4 to 17, provided by Pennsylvania State Park educators. By combining recreation and education, we hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.
In Watershed Education, teachers and students assess water quality of a local stream on a quarterly basis and develop strategies to solve local water quality problems.
ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors - is a week-long residential camp for a cross-section of high school youth from across Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Participate in action-packed, hands on activities and recreational adventures in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests that expose youth to conservation, recreation and careers in natural resources. Learn how people make a living working in the outdoors.
Explore education for more information on these and other programs.
Explore the Calendar of Events to find a program near you.
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Marsh Creek State Park
Maps and Downloadables
Below are many of the maps and publications for this park. You can read them or download them and might need special software (all free) to view the publications.
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Alternate versions of the text of the brochures are in rich text and text formats. Click on the files to view them. To download (.rtf) files:
Interactive GIS Map
The Interactive GIS Map uses Geographic Information Systems to create a map that does not need to be downloaded and features driving directions, searchable park amenities and customizable maps. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Lake Depth Map
Marsh Creek State Park Bird Checklist (.pdf) (1,903 kb, 7/16)
The park is about two miles west of the village of Eagle, off of PA 100. Access to the park from the Downingtown Exit 312 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is via PA 100 north. In Eagle, signs direct you to the day-use (east) side of the park. The horse stable, most trails, and 24-hour boat launch access are located on the west side of the park at 800 North Reeds Road, Downingtown, PA.
GPS DD: Lat. 40.06805 Long. -75.71925
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Marsh Creek State Park