A Morning Hike At Hopewell Lake In French Creek State Park
I awoke early on Friday during my stay at the historic Inn at St. Peters Village in Chester County. And, after a cup of coffee, I decided to hike around Hopewell Lake in nearby French Creek State Park. After a 10 minute drive through beautiful farm country I arrived at the lake shortly after sunrise.
The rising sun and some high cirrus clouds created a spectacular scene over Hopewell Lake. .
There were already a few fishermen in their boats on the lake. It was a warm morning with temperatures in the mid 60’s.
I walked along the shore of the 68 acre lake looking for the Lake Loop Trail. I had hiked a short distance on this trail on my only other visit to the park two years ago. The woodlands around the lake were lush and green. They were a second growth hardwood forest.
There were oak , maple beech and some towering white ash trees on the trail.
The trail took me along the shore of the water lily covered waters of the lake.
A gray catbird was singing in a tree above the trail,
while a great egret flew across the lake.
I was excited to see these young wood duckling swimming amidst the water lilies. These elusive birds usually fly off as soon as I approach. These didn’t,
they swam in front of me and fed on the aquatic vegetation under the watchful eye of mommy wood duck.
Continuing my walk I saw a kingfisher perched in a tree, and, as I watched, it dived into the waters of the lake, caught a fish, and flew off to the other side of the lake. I had wanted to watch a kingfisher fish since I first learned about them in elementary school. I finally got my wish.
The trail continued through the woods along the lake, where I saw some more large ancient trees,
I also saw a few wild flowers including these pretty blue chicory flowers,
There were also a lot of mushrooms growing along the trails including some bolete mushrooms and,
and this mushrooms I was unfamiliar with.
The trail led me to the damn on the French Creek that created the lake . The cirrus clouds had dissipated and the deep blue sky was reflected in the waters of Hopewell Lake.
In the clearing by the best of the damn I saw a few birds including this pretty male goldfinch,
I decided to leave the Lake Loop Trail and I hiked into the Hopewell Iron Furnace site. There is so much to see there I will do another blog post on my visit.
After my visit to the historic iron plantation I walked back to the lake and continued on the Lake Loop Trail. I followed it a short distance,
then decided to walk along a less used trail along the shores of the lake. It appeared to be used by fishermen and took me along the many patches of pink water lilies blooming on the lake.
The trail continued through the woodlands along the lake,
occasionally approaching the lake and providing some nice views of the scenic lake.
I was surprised I didn’t see more wood ducks or other water fowl on the lake, in fact, I saw almost no birds or other wild life activity on my hike.
I prodded along the trail and came to a wetland area where the trail split into many different trails, all of which were overgrown.
I finally returned to the Lake Loop Trail, where it soon led me to an open meadow. Here I saw a few tiger swallowtail butterflies feeding on some bull thistle flowers,
and finally saw a bird, this eastern phoebe.
There were large black walnut trees in the meadow,
and they were already laden with black walnuts. There will be a lot of squirrels here when the nuts fall in the Fall .
The trail soon took me over the waters of the French Creek and back to the area parked. It was now late morning and there were a lot more hikers and fishermen along the lake.
I walked back over to area where I saw the wood duck family earlier and they were still there.
I also saw a few more critters, including this green frog and
this dragonfly Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the birds and other critters I saw on my hike around the Hopewell Lake. French Creek State Park lake hike August 12 2022.
I enjoyed my five mile hike around the lake. and I wanted to stay longer to look for more wildlife but it was now around 11:30 and I was hungry. A ranger at the Hopewell Furnace suggested the Sunset Family Restaurant in Birdsboro, about 1o miles from the park and I was off to eat. I had a nice breakfast at the restaurant and then was off to visit the Daniel Boone Homestead. I was enjoying my unplanned stay in Southeastern PA. I always enjoy my adventures, especially the unplanned ones. Here is a link to a gallery with more photos from my morning hike around the lake. French Creek State Park morning hike August 12 2022.
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more that what we could learn from books.”— John Lubbock