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French Creek Water Trail Printable Maps
 
Section 1 - Union City Dam to Cambridge Springs
Section 2 - Cambridge Springs to Meadville
Section 3 - Meadville to Cochranton
Section 4 - Cochranton to Utica
Section 5 - Utica to Franklin
 
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Boating

French Creek’s main branch is navigable for its entire length from the Union City Dam to its confluence with the Allegheny River at Franklin, a distance of approximately 76 miles by water.  When water levels are elevated, some boating is also possible upstream from the Union City Dam.  There are several public access points along the entire length of French Creek, as indicated on the adjoining maps.  Below are average float times on the French Creek Water Trail between access points:

  • Union City Dam Recreation Area to State Routes 6N and 19—3.5 to 5 hours
  • Routes 6N and 19 to Cambridge Springs—5 to 7 hours
  • Cambridge Springs to Conneautee  Creek confluence—1 hour
  • Conneautte Creek confluence to Saegertown: 3 to 4 hours
  • Saegertown to Meadville: 2 to 3 hours
  • Meadville to Wilson Shute—1 to 2 hours
  • Wilson Shute to Shaw’s Landing—1 to 2 hours
  • Shaw’s Landing to Utica—4 to 5 hours
  • Utica to Franklin—3 hours

Boating is also permitted on lakes and reservoirs in the watershed.  Motor restrictions apply to most of these bodies of water, and all boats must be registered with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) if they are launched or removed at PFBC operated access areas. Public access areas are available on Findley Lake in New York, Eaton Reservoir, Lake Pleasant, Union City Reservoir, LeBoeuf Lake, Edinboro Lake, Conneaut Lake, Woodcock Creek Lake, Tamarack Lake, and Sugar Lake.

USGS French Creek River Gauges:

Near Union City                  Meadville                   Utica                 Franklin (Allegheny River)

For Canoeing Conditions see the Canoeable Streams in Western Pennsylvania website.  Please note that the Canoeable Streams website does not note safe maximum water, only minimum flow for passage.  Be aware of the skills of all paddlers in your group; always know your limitations and use good judgment when deciding to paddle a waterway.