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Marsh Creek Lake at Marsh Creek State Park, looking towards the West Launch Area

Marsh Creek Lake at Marsh Creek State Park. Photo: Choess, Wikimedia

Nestled within the picturesque rolling hills of Chester County, the Marsh Creek State Park is a fantastic place to unwind and relax.

Just a 45 minute drive east from Philadelphia, the 1,784-acre park features the stunning 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake.

Open from sunrise to sunset every single day of the year, this PA state park provides superb opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking and hunting.

Boasting unique opportunities to immerse yourself in nature, it is the perfect destination to visit when you want to escape the frenetic pace of city life.

Activities

While there is no overnight accommodation at the park, there is plenty to entertain the visitor once you are here.

Below are just some of the things you can do during your time at Marsh Creek State Park.

Boating at Marsh Creek State Park

Accommodating two boat launches and 244 seasonal mooring slips, the lake is a haven for those who enjoy boating activities.

While you won’t be able to go out on gasoline-powered vessels, you can take to the water on one that has an electric motor.

If you didn’t bring them yourself, you can also hire out canoes, kayaks, rowboats, sailboats and SUP from the East Launch. Lake tours are also available to book all through the summer.

Swimming at Marsh Creek State Park

If you want to swim whilst you are at the park there is a fabulous ADA accessible ‘L’ shaped pool and sprayground for visitors to enjoy.

This pool is lifeguarded from the Memorial Day weekend all the way to Labor Day, weather permitting. You will need to pay a fee to use the pool, but if you do that, you will be able to make use of a large grassy area, snack bar and the bathhouse.

There is also a picnic pavilion which you can rent too.

Fishing at Marsh Creek State Park

Spanning 535-acres the lake at the park enjoys a fantastic reputation as a great place to fish.

Renowned for being a warm water fishery, some lucky anglers have landed tiger muskies that are a whopping 40 inches long!

Other common fish you can catch include panfish, walleye, black crappie, channel catfish and largemouth bass.

The lake is designated as a big bass lake, so specific regulations will apply. Namely, only bass that are 15 inches or greater can be kept. All other sizes must be put back in the water.

Hiking at Marsh Creek State Park

For those who enjoy hiking, the park accommodates more than 18 miles of trails.

Representing different degrees of difficulty, these trails meander through the park’s forest, woodlands and wetlands, showcasing a gorgeous, lush and vibrant landscape along the way.

Most of the trails can be accessed from the west launch parking area, with one of the most popular of them being the ‘Marsh Creek Long Loop’. On which time you are highly likely to spot fauna like squirrels, groundhogs, waterfowl and white-tailed deer.

Biking at Marsh Creek State Park

As well as hiking trails, the park has 13 miles of trails that are specifically designed for mountain biking.

The mountain bike trails take the form of different loops whose distances vary. While riding them, exercise extreme caution when you are navigating the areas set aside for hunting during its seasons.

Picnicking at Marsh Creek State Park

The park is a lovely place to enjoy a picnic, and with over 150 tables available there are plenty of scenic places to do that.

Open all year round, most of these picnic tables are located in close proximity to the restrooms. They feature charcoal grills and many of them are situated near the swimming pool. Where there is also a playground for children.

Birding at Marsh Creek State Park

The park is a popular spot for birdwatching, particularly between the spring and fall waterfowl migration seasons. Attracting birders from all over Pennsylvania and the surrounding states.

Many species of birds reside in the park including the likes of House Wren, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Orange-crowned Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Towhee and Fox Sparrow.

If you are lucky, you might get to see them all!

Hunting at Marsh Creek State Park

When the established season for hunting is on, around 950 acres of the park are set aside for hunting, trapping and the training of dogs.

Some of the common game species you can hunt include squirrel, pheasant, rabbit, deer and waterfowl.

The hunting of groundhogs – which you might know better as woodchucks – is strictly prohibited.

Hunters can use muzzleloaders, shotguns and archery equipment for hunting purposes. However, for the safety of visitors, the use of all handguns is forbidden.

Dog training is only allowed starting from the day after Labor Day until March 31, and strictly within clearly designated hunting areas.

Winter Sports at at Marsh Creek State Park

When the snow comes, the park turns into a haven for winter sports.

Some of the most popular activities you can do there include cross-country skiing, on both the red and blue trails.

In addition, you’ll find sledding slopes available by the picnic area at the East Launch. While ice skating and fishing is permitted on the natural ice of the lake.

Please be aware if you plan to do the latter two activities the ice thickness is not monitored.

Pets at Marsh Creek State Park

Pets are welcome in the park, but must be kept on a leash at all times.

Some restrictions may apply, so it is best to call the park’s main office to ascertain what they are.

Camping at Marsh Creek State Park

Unfortunately there is no camping available at the park, so if you are wanting to stay overnight with your RV you will have to go to one of the other state parks in the area.

Thankfully there are around a dozen other state parks within 30 miles of Marsh Creek, many of which – including the Brandywine Creek Campground and Birchview Farm Campground – offer full hookups with 20-amp to 50-amp electric, water and sewer.

Between them, these sites provide a range of modern amenities including pull-thru sites, comfort stations with flush toilets and showers, free WI-FI, a launderette, swimming pool and a dump station for visitors to use.

Park Location

Marsh Creek State Park
675 Park Rd,
Downingtown, PA 19335
Phone: 610.458.5119

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Marsh Creek State Park: