Marsh Creek State Park Downingtown, Pennsylvania
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, sailboaters, windsurfers and migrating waterfowl. The forest, fields and wetland habitat of the park are also home to rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, and deer. The trails are great for mountain biking and equestrian use. Those that begin behind the restrooms are narrow at first, but widen out to doubletrack for most of the ride. There are rocky descents and ascents that all are connected by a rail-trail that hugs the Brandywine Creek. This network of trails allows for rides for all skill levels. Mountain biking trails are on the south side of the park and have loops of various distances. Use extreme caution when riding in hunting areas during hunting seasons.
Marsh Creek Lake has two boat launches and 244 seasonal mooring slips. The lake is especially popular with sailboaters who take advantage of the combination of natural terrain and prevailing winds. A boat rental concession at the East Launch offers rowboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats and lake tours throughout the summer. There are two picnic areas which contain more than 150 picnic tables, ample restrooms and a few charcoal grills. There’s a snack bar at the pool and a boat rental booth during the summer season.
Marsh Creek State Park was opened to the public in 1974 for boating, fishing, hiking, hunting, ice sports and sailing, and the pool and day use area opened in 1979. 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.