Clifton E. 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.
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
4.6 miles of trails
Dogs on a six-foot, non-retractable leash are allowed on paved and turf trails. Owners must pick-up after their dogs. Dogs are not permitted on cross-country ski trails in the winter.
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 (currently not available due to COVID-19). Units may only be used in the park and must be returned before closing.
Spring, Summer, Fall: 10.4 miles | Winter: 2.7 miles
Spring, Summer & Fall Hiking
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 paved Medicine Lake Regional Trail. Nordic walking poles and GPS units with pre-loaded geocaches are available to rent for free at the visitor center (currently unavailable due to COVID-19).
Fall Hiking – Lighted Trails:
Hike under the lights in fall. The Lagoon, Lakeview and Skyline have lights on until 9 PM until winter trail operations begin (typically after 2–3 inches of snowfall).
Winter Hiking & Walking
Go for a walk on the Medicine Lake Regional Trail, which connects French to Fish Lake Regional Park and Elm Creek Park Reserve. Access the trail from the French Visitor Center. For a different adventure, visit the 30-acre Nature Exploration Area. This natural area offers an ungroomed turf trail that circles a pond and wetlands. Challenge yourself on hills and valleys. Areas may be icy or snow-packed in winter. Boot grips and/or hiking poles are recommended.
Please note: In winter, hiking on cross-country ski trails is not permitted.
886 acres of water
Rowboats, kayaks and canoes are available to rent. Limited parking spaces are available for those launching their own watercraft; a daily or annual trailer parking pass is required.
Rental Hours & Process
Memorial Day Weekend–Labor Day
Daily: 10 AM–8 PM
Reserve a boat online. (Beginning May 24)
Boats can be reserved online up to seven days in advance or in person. Reserving online is encouraged to ensure availability.
0.9 miles and 30 acres
Explore two different areas to snowshoe in the park. Please note: Snowshoeing is not permitted on cross-country ski trails unless otherwise noted.
Nature Exploration Area: This 30-acre natural area offers an ungroomed turf trail that circles a pond and wetland and offers hills and valleys to traverse.
Lagoon Trail: This 1.5K lighted trail is groomed for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Great for beginners, it traverses through woods, along the lagoon and over gentle hills. Lighted until 10 PM.
Snowshoes are available to rent online up to seven days in advance. Advance reservations are required.
Need some gear? No problem. Three Rivers offers rental equipment for nearly any activity.
French Master Plan
Three Rivers is developing a revised vision for French Regional Park. Learn more about the master plan.
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.
Related Blog Posts
By: Beth Kalpin
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Beth Kalpin was looking for safe ways to get herself and her family out of the house. A walk through Hyland Lake Park Reserve kicked off what would become a year of new adventures at Three Rivers. From kicksledding to fly fishing and everything in between, read all about their year of outdoor explorations.
By: Emily Dunlap
When an invasive species isn't immediately eradicated, things can get tough to control. Learn about the most widespread invasive species in Three Rivers and how we and our wonderful volunteers manage them to protect our high-quality forests.
A three-year turtle study on Medicine Lake has come to a close. See what researchers learned.
Starry Stonewort, an aquatic invasive species, has been found in Medicine Lake near the French Regional Park boat launch.