In the last post I wrote about a hike around Hopewell Lake in French Creek State Park. Hopewell is what most people think of when they think about a lake at French Creek. But its not the only body of water in the park.
Tucked into the woods, Scotts Run Lake is ignored by many visitors. But while the 22 acre lake lacks boating and a swimming pool and Hopewell Village, it has great fishing and greater scenery. And, once you get on the trails away from the parking lot and dam area, seclusion.
As with my Hopewell Lake hikes, I’ve circled the lake twice, once with snow, and once without.
Starting from the parking area on Scotts Run Road, you have a choice of crossing the dam or following the Horseshoe Trail below the spillway. I’ve done both. Aside from the spillway itself the Horseshoe Trail route adds little but distance. But as dam spillways go, its very attractive, lined with brick and stone.
Once you are on the other side of the lake, continue to follow the Horseshoe Trail. In some places boardwalks are installed because the trail surface is degraded. The surface is basic dirt and rocks, and not difficult even for a somewhat uncoordinated guy like me.
Continue on the Horseshoe Trail as it moves further away from the lake. You will climb the hillside to meet the blue blazed Boone Trail. Follow the Boone Trail back towards the lake. A couple of bridges will take you over stream crossings and wetlands. As you near Firetower Road you will pass through a grove of pines.
Unlike at Hopewell Lake, there is no trail running entirely around the water. So when you reach Firetower Road turn right and walk along the shoulder. Ignore any trails in the group camping area you will pass -I wasn’t able to find one that took me back to the start. Instead continue to Scotts Run Road, and turn right.
From Scotts Run Road look for the yellow blazes of the Horseshoe Trail. Follow them back to the parking area. Total distance of the hike is about two miles.