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.

french pdf maps

things to do

Bike Trail


Group biking on paved trail

4.6 miles of trails

The parks paved biking/hiking trails provide a loop between the visitor center and beach. The park is also a great place to begin an adventure on the connecting Medicine Lake and Bassett Creek Regional Trails.

The Park District has begun a pavement rehabilitation project at French Regional Park, expected to be complete in November 2017. Please see the Medicine Lake Regional Trail Detour.

Boat Launch


Man fishing from boat

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.

Construction Updates and Closures
The pavement resurfacing project will have intermittent impacts on the boat launch and boat rentals, check for updates.

Please contact the French Visitor Center at 763-694-7750 with any questions.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing

Skiers on a groomed trail

5.2 miles of trails

Lighted cross-country ski trails start at the visitor center and are groomed daily. A daily or season Three Rivers Park District Ski Pass is required. Equipment rentals are available.

Dog Trails - On Leash

Dog Trails

Women walking with stroller and leashed dog

4.6 miles of trails

Dogs on a six-foot, non-retractable leash are allowed on paved trails. Owners must pick-up after their dogs.

Fishing / Fishing Pier


Man showing of the fish he caught

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.



Group looking at GPS units

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.



Man hiking on paved trail in the woods

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.



Family paddling on lake in a canoe

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.

Picnic Area

Picnic Areas

Girl enjoying a hotdog at a picnic

Picnic tables and grills are provided on a first-come, first-served basis near the lake and next to the visitor center. Two picnic areas with shelters are reservable for groups. The Visitor Center has concessions, public seating and restrooms.

Play Area

Play Areas

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Closed for reconstruction

After serving a generation of kids, the signature play area is scheduled to be rebuilt in 2017. The new play area received community input for planning and design and is sure to thrill generations to come. See Construction for updates and closures.



Kids sledding on hill

A lighted and groomed sledding hill for non-rail sleds is located near the visitor center. Snowboards and tubes are not allowed.



Girl running on snowshoes

0.5 miles and 8 acres

Explore two different areas where you can go off-trail with your snowshoes. One area is along the shore of Medicine Lake and the lagoons, the other is in the northeast portion of the park and includes a wetland area.



Children swimming in lake

Beat the summer heat at the Medicine Lake swimming beach. Changing rooms and restrooms are located nearby. No lifeguard on duty.

The swimming beach is closed due to water quality issues.

Swimming beach closed

The swimming beach is closed due to water quality issues. The water quality will continue to be monitored, and the beach will reopen if water quality improves.


Pavement Resurfacing

During 2017, all of the pavement within French Park will be resurfaced. Check the Construction page for updates and closures. 

Contact the French Visitor Center at 763.694.7750 with further questions.

Temporary Park Entrance

Beginning July 7th, the park entrance at Rockford Road will be closed for construction. A temporary entrance will be located at 36th Ave. N.

Visitor Center Open

August: 9 AM–8 PM Daily
September–December: 9 AM–5 PM Daily

The sidewalk leading up to the visitor center will have periodic closures between August 16th and August 25th due to the installation of new concrete. A detour walkway to the visitor center will be established and marked with signage.

Shuttle Service

Open daily through August 20th from 11 AM–8 PM
Closed August 21st through August 25th

Boat Rental Open

Daily through August 23rd: 10 AM–8 PM
Weekdays starting August 24th through Labor Day: 12 PM–8 PM
Weekends starting August 26th through Labor Day: 10 AM–8 PM

Boat Launch

Open daily through August 20th from 5 AM–10 PM
Closed August 21st through August 25th

Parking Stalls & Cul-de-Sac Area Near Beach:

Between August 14th and August 19th, damaged curb and gutter will be removed and replaced along the roadway. A segment of the road west of the boat ramp entrance drive will be removed (both asphalt and aggregate base course) and replaced with new base course. The roadway removal will prevent vehicles from accessing the beach area (including the parking stalls and cul-de-sac).

Dog Walking Trail

A temporary dog walking trail has been established for use during construction.

Lagoon Trail

This 1-mile loop is paved and open, except for a short section between the Visitor Center parking lot and the first bridge. To bypass this section, travel southwest of the Visitor Center to utilize the turf trail and to reconnect with the paved trail.

Play area closed

The play area is closed for reconstruction and is anticipated to open in the summer of 2018. Learn more

Programs and Events

Upcoming programs and events at French.

French Regional Park offers indoor and outdoor spaces that are perfect for meetings, retreats, weddings, and other events.

Equipment Rental

Need some gear? No problem. Three Rivers offers rental equipment for nearly any activity.

Natural Resources

Turtle Survey

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.

Follow French

Lifelong memories are made at camp! Camps for kids ages 4–15 are available on topics including nature exploration, outdoor recreation, golf, fishing, farming, art and Minnesota history.

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