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.
Interactive Map of French
French PDF Maps
Find yourself in the parks with the Avenza app! Learn more.
Things To Do
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.
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
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.
New for the 2020-21 season: Classic and skate ski rentals are available by advance reservation only.
Make sure trails are open before you visit.
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 to Labor Day (May 28–September 5):
Thursday–Sunday and Holidays: 12–8 PM
Boats can be reserved online up to seven days in advance or in person. Reserving online is encouraged to ensure availability.
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.
The French Regional Park play area features iconic towers and nets, slides and more. Learn more about the project and see photos of the play area.
A lighted and groomed sledding hill for non-rail sleds is located near the visitor center. Rent a sled from the visitor center or bring your own. Snowboards and tubes are not allowed.
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.
Closed for the Season
Beat the summer heat at the Medicine Lake swimming beach. Changing rooms and restrooms are located nearby. No lifeguard on duty.
Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Search for signs of spring with us!
Throughout May | Multiple Locations
Paddle in canoes across the lake, practicing water safety while looking for wildlife around the lakeshore.
All Programs & Events
Try a variety of recreation activities from paddling on Medicine Lake to snowshoeing through the Nature Exploration Area to getting fit through Nordic walking with the GreenFit Club! Browse all programs offered at French Regional Park.
French Regional Park offers indoor and outdoor spaces that are perfect for meetings, retreats, weddings, and other events.
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.
Trails That Connect
The Wandering Naturalist
Episodes 161: Breaking Trail
In this bonus episode, aspiring winter backpacker and thru-hiker, Emily Ford, shares the remarkable journey of being the first woman to thru-hike Wisconsin's 1,200-mile Ice Age National Scenic Hiking Trail in winter.
Related Blog Posts
Three Rivers Parks guest Hani Roble shares her experience creating a biking group, and what she and other participants learned as they improved their biking skills.
Where to Go Birding in Three Rivers (Part 1)
By: Steven Hogg
Curious where you can spot different birds during our Big Year of Birds? Get tips on what species you can see in which Three Rivers parks from Wildlife Supervisor Steven Hogg.
Finding Peace Through a Healing Walk
By: Nicole Fernandez
Nicole Fernandez, a cultural liaison at Three Rivers, reflects on leading a healing walk and offers tips on how you can create the experience on your own.
KARE 11's Hitting the Trails series highlights Three Rivers Parks.
Three Rivers partnered with the Autism Society of Minnesota to offer sensory-friendly services and Sensory-friendly Sundays at French Regional Park.
WCCO-TV | CBS Minnesota interviewed Three Rivers staff about the sport of Skijoring. Watch their video to learn about how to get started and a get preview of the upcoming Skijoring Clinic Sat. Nov. 10 at 9 AM at French Regional Park.
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.
Mississippi Gateway Regional Park
10360 West River Road
Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
2500 County Road E
St. Anthony, MN 55421
Fish Lake Regional Park
14900 Bass Lake Road
Maple Grove, MN 55311