French Creek (Western PA) Float Trip

Hi. My brother and I are planning a French Creek into Allegheny River weekend float/fishing trip this May. Was wondering if anyone could throw a little info my way.

We were planning on putting in on Friday either at Shaw’s Landing 4 miles upstream of Cochranton, or at the access in Cochranton. Then, we were going camp somewhere just upstream/downstream of Utica. Are there good primitive camping locations in that area? Or are there other locations between Cochranton and Franklin that are better for camping?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Can’t help much, not having been on
those sections, but you can use Google Earth to scout campsites from space. It’s been especially useful for me when dealing with a mixture of populated and woodsy surroundings.

RE: Can’t help much, not having been on
Thanks for your reply.

Yeah, that’s what we’ve been doing, and have done in the past. Sometimes though, especially with smaller islands, it gets hard to tell if you really have something worthy of a campsite (tree cover to provide firewood, space, separation from private homes, etc). So, I usually reach out online in those cases.

There is a good series of
maps with all the info you need

Camping is limited so you will need to ask permission.

I’ve canoed a stretch of it and it can be very bony.

RE: There is a good series of
Thanks for the reply.

I have checked into those maps.

When you say that “it can be very boney”, are you referring to the camping situation? Or canoeing the creek overall?

And does it seem like even the islands are private property?

Thanks again.

I 've only done some 15 miles of it and
it was in June and frankly I don’t remember where except near Slippery Rock…

It was a bottom hitting trip. IIRC all the land bordering the river is private. I don’t happen to condone stealth camping but that’s your decision.

RE: I 've only done some 15 miles of it
Near Slippery Rock? Are you sure you’re not thinking of the Slippery Rock Creek? Because Slippery Rock is about 30 miles away from the closest point of French Creek (Franklin).

From what I’ve heard, the flow in Spring is pretty good on French Creek. Probably not so good in middle of summer though.

I do seem to be getting the same answer from multiple places regarding camping places and private land. And no, stealth camping is not an option for me either. If I can’t figure this one out, we may be moving our start point to Franklin and just doing an Allegheny trip down to Emlenton. Would be disappointed though…was looking forward to what I hear is a great paddling and fishing experience on French Creek.

ask this person
I would send a PM to Sparrowood who posted this trip report and ask for more info:

LeeAnn lives on French Creek and has paddled it often.

It was with LeeAnn and a group
and I just followed in the shuttle line. We were camped at Coopers Lake and the shuttle was about 45 minutes. My knowledge of W PA is limited as I live 700 miles away

Utica to the Allegheny
Take out was at the junction of French Creek and the Allegheny River. I am pretty sure the put-in was at Utica.

PM sent…thanks very much

She may be on the road
between winter and summer abode. Don’t think she has wifi enroute. Just give it time.