Utica Access

Utica Access provides public access to French Creek, which is documented as having the highest level of aquatic biodiversity of any stream of its size in Pennsylvania and all states to the northeast of Pennsylvania.

Utica Access is a non-motorized boat launch site on French Creek at Utica Borough. It is the last public launch site along the French Creek Water Trail before French Creek joins the Allegheny River at Franklin.


Utica Access was purchased in 1990 to provide public access to French Creek.  In 2001, improvements were made to the site when PennDOT replaced the Utica Bridge, which is adjacent to the property.  In 2017, Utica Access was rehabilitated as part of an Eagle Scout Service Project, which included a refreshed driveway and parking area, new signage and native tree and shrub planting.


  • Utica Borough, Venango County

Dates Acquired



Approximately 1 acre

Notable features

Floodplain forests and creek access


Parking Available

Recreational Activities

  • Fishing
  • Paddling

Recreational Activities

Non-motorizedBoating and Fishing

A grassy path across from the vehicle unloading area leads visitors to the designated canoe launch. An improved parking area capable of accommodating up to 10 vehicles is located nearby. Fishing is possible from the edge of the creek.

Plan Your Visit

GPS Coordinates: 41.438719, -79.955350

Directions to the Preserve

Interactive Preserve Map


From Franklin, travel west on US-322 for approximately 7.4 miles. Turn left on Utica Road and continue for approximately 2.4 miles. The entrance to the property is located on the right between the railroad tracks and the bridge crossing French Creek.

Visitor Tips

Visitor Guidelines

  • To avoid spreading aquatic invasives, thoroughly clean and dry boats and other gear before entering the creek.
  • Licensed motorized vehicles are permitted only on the gravel parking area and driveway.
  • Camping and campfires are prohibited.
  • If you carry it in, carry it out.
  • Dogs must be on a leash or otherwise kept under control at all times.
  • Collecting (animals, plants, rocks, etc.) without WPC permission is prohibited.

Downloadable Materials