Hibernia County Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:Park Rd, Coatesville, PA
Hours:8 a.m. to sunset daily
Fee: Free

chesco.org/ccparks, 610-383-3812

Bathrooms: See park map
Water/Snacks: None

chesco.org/ccparks (click on Park Sites)

Hike, paddle, fish, and camp at this hidden forest treasure surrounding a small lake.

Hibernia County Park
Photo by: Smallbones

Hibernia County Park is a quiet refuge offering numerous opportunities for families to enjoy its woods, stream, and lake. Hibernia was historically an iron-making center; cottages, ruins, and other structures from the ironmaking era remain.

The 990-acre park occupies the hills east and south of Chambers Lake, a reservoir created from a dam on the Birch Run. Surrounded by woods and farm fields, the serene 90-acre lake, which is open only to electric motors or unpowered boats, is a lovely spot to learn how to handle a boat. 

South of the lake the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek runs through the park in a low, steep-sided valley, where there is easy hiking through lush woods. Rim Trail is a level, easy trail along the east creekbank via an old railroad bed that loops back after a steep but short climb up the ridge. Forge Trail explores the west side of the creek near the old dam. Birch Run Trail is fun; it climbs up the stream from the lower dam to the upper dam, revealing a view of the spillway. Other trails in the park explore the wooded hills overlooking thelake in and around the campgrounds and playing fields. The half-mile Lake Trail is wheelchair-accessible. Most trails are open to mountain bikes, horses, and cross-country skis.

There are ample opportunities for fishing on the trout-stocked creek or the lake, which is stocked with warm-water species. A fishing pier is at the lake’s north end, or you can fish from the shore. In addition, Hibernia has a threequarter- acre kids’ fishing pond southwest of the mansion that’s restricted to children and differently-abled individuals during trout season. Fishing rods can be borrowed at the park ranger station.

In addition to shady picnic groves, you can picnic along the lake, the pond, or the creek. Two playgrounds, one near the office for ages 5 to 12 and the other in the Old Dam area for all ages, feature state-of-the-art equipment. 

Hibernia is an excellent destination for families seeking an introduction to camping. Two campgrounds have first-come, first-served sites (water but no showers). The Lake Campground is near the boat launch; Fiddlers’ Campground is northwest of the mansion.

Remember: Dogs must be leashed. Swimming is not permitted in the lake.

Plan B:

Sadsbury Woods Preserve, west of the park, is a large nature preserve with many trails through Chester County’s largest intact forest.

Where to Eat Nearby:

It’s best to bring a picnic.


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