French Regional Park
Along the north shore of Medicine Lake there are a variety of opportunities for outdoor exploration. French Regional Park offers amenities such as a swimming beach, fishing pier, lighted trails, and more.
Plan Your Visit
Walk the paved path to the lake and enjoy lunch with a view at one of the many picnic tables along the lake. On your way back, burn off some energy with your family on the newly remodeled play area that features towers, nets, slides, swings and more.
Bike or walk the 4.6-mile paved loop around the park and take in views of Medicine Lake. Stop by the pier near the rental equipment building and look for turtles, geese, ducks and other wildlife in the wetlands. Pack snacks and relax at the picnic areas near the beach, where you’ll find a perfect open space to fly a kite and gorgeous fall views over Medicine Lake.
Plan a full day of adventure hiking on the turf trails through the park! Park at the lot near the nature exploration area and head north. Explore the woods, look for wildlife and take in the sights. This area offers relaxing and peaceful views in the heart of the city. Follow the trail north and cross the paved trail to continue, where you’ll find the Meadow Trail and Lakeview Trail loops. Follow the Lakeview Trail back to the visitor center and treat yourself to something fun from the concession stand! End your day with a stroll down to Medicine Lake for colorful sunset views.
things to do
886 acres of water
Limited parking spaces are available for those launching watercraft; a daily or annual trailer parking pass is required. Paddleboats, rowboats, kayaks, and canoes are available to rent during the summer. Sailboat slips and canoe/kayak racks are also available to rent.
Please contact the French Visitor Center at 763-694-7750 with any questions.
5.8 miles of trails
886 acres of water
With nearly a mile of shoreline to explore, dip a line into the quiet lagoon or the open waters of Medicine Lake. An accessible fishing pier is available or rent a boat to while away the afternoon. A valid Minnesota fishing license is required.
Geocaching is a family-friendly, high-tech treasure hunt that combines respect for the environment with a sense of adventure. This activity involves placing or looking for a cache using global positioning system (GPS) equipment. GPS units with pre-loaded geocaches are available to check-out for free at the Visitor Center on a first-come, first-served basis. Units may only be used in the park and must be returned before closing.
10.4 miles of trails
Turf trails feature views of marshlands, hills for climbing, and a few seating areas for relaxing. Near the visitor center, a paved, 1.1-mile Trail at Your Pace features gentle terrain and rest stops every quarter mile. Paved trails provide a loop between the visitor center and beach and access to the Medicine Lake and Bassett Creek Regional Trails. Nordic walking poles and GPS units with pre-loaded geocaches are available to rent for free at the visitor center.
Fall Hiking – Lighted Trails
Hike under the lights in fall. The following trails at French have lights on until 9:00 PM until winter trail operations begin (typically after 2–3 inches of snowfall).
0.5 miles and 8 acres
Sept. 15 | MAC Wildlife Area
Try rock climbing, geocaching and more! Search for critters and explore with naturalists.
Sept. 17 & 19 | French & Hyland
Get ready for ski season with the dryland training club! Work on conditioning, balance, strength and more.
Need some gear? No problem. Three Rivers offers rental equipment for nearly any activity.
French Play Area Virtual Tour
Climb the towers, scale the nets and fly down the slides in a tour of French Play Area.
In the spring of 2016, the University of St. Thomas and the Park District launched a three year project at French Regional Park to study turtle population dynamics in an urban lake.
The Wandering Naturalist
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Lowry Nature Center and the prairie at Crow-Hassan Park Reserve. Learn how Three Rivers has helped paved the way for environmental stewardship over the last 50-plus years.
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