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CHESTER SPRINGS, PA – Summertime brings a high volume of visitors to Marsh Creek State Park (MCSP), a 1,727-acre park primarily located here in Upper Uwchlan Township. Over the past several years, the park has seen an enormous increase in annual visitation. This has resulted in increased vehicular and pedestrian traffic, particularly along Park Road.
With construction of the new trail along Park Road continuing through the summer months, Township officials and officials from MCSP and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) anticipate significant vehicular and pedestrian traffic this year.
Residents and members of the public are encouraged to review the information below to better understand the procedures that are put in place during capacity closures at MCSP.
What happens when the Park is full?
When MCSP reaches capacity, the main gate at the end of Park Road is closed, and traffic is diverted from the area at the intersection of Park Road and Moore Road. Dynamic messaging signage on Park Road, at critical regional points along state highways, and along the Pennsylvania Turnpike will alert motorists to the closure and advise that they avoid the area. Capacity closures mean that neither vehicles nor pedestrians will be permitted entry.
If MCSP is at capacity, where can I go instead?
Southeastern Pennsylvania is home to many lovely state and local parks. This summer might be the best time to explore them! The nearest state park to MCSP is French Creek, a park with amenities very similar to those found at Marsh Creek.
You can information about all the nearby state parks on a map and listed by name on the DCNR website: www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks. Find a park while you’re on the go by downloading the Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests Pocket Ranger mobile app. Or, search a database of state and local parks at goodforpa.com/explore.
What if I live along Park Road?
Local (non-Park-going) traffic, i.e. residents of the neighborhoods along Park Road and their guests, will continue to be permitted to proceed down Park Road. Residents of Marsh Harbour should contact their HOA to obtain a residency placard.
Why is the park so crowded? And why is that a problem?
In addition to the large increase in annual visitation, changes to Marsh Creek State Park’s parking procedures may influence the frequency of Park closures. In past years, visitors parked their cars on grassy areas near the entrance of the Park. The Pennsylvania DCNR has found that cars parked in this unofficial overflow area have had an adverse impact on the Marsh Creek Lake, particularly because of soil compaction and runoff. Water quality has suffered as a result. Therefore, parking in this area is no longer permitted. Overcrowding also has a negative effect on the Park. Resources – from sewage facilities to safety procedures – are designed to handle a certain number of visitors. When these are stretched, no one can enjoy the Park to its fullest.
Upper Uwchlan Township is a Township of the Second class, population 11,500, located in central Chester County, PA. Visit us on the web at www.upperuwchlan-pa.gov. Like us on Facebook and Twitter @upperuwchlan.