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“The Grizzlies are long gone - so it's safe now”
Review of French Creek

Ranked #28 of 39 things to do in Custer
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Owner description: Accessible only by hiking.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Seriously, Grizzlies were once common here. French Creek has a long history, Native Americans, famous explorers, General Custer, logging railroads, and Presidential visits. The fishing is reportedly excellent. This is a scenic mountain stream that eventually meanders into the prairie. Bottom line: bring your hiking boots and combine with other stops in the area.

1  Thank Food_Detective101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 - 18 of 18 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2012

Poison ivy can be a problem. We go in the early Spring (April), when the plants haven't leafed out, and the problem is manageable. Take the kids somewhere else.

We have a lot of success fishing with spinning gear. There are plenty of trout in the creek, and some are in the 20 inch range. The poison ivy keeps the faint-hearted away, so the fish have not received much pressure.

If the fish are bumping the lure, but not taking it, try dressing the hook with a little bit of chub meat. Chubs are minnows that live in the bottom end of the many pools. They will bite on a piece of worm or critter found under rocks or logs.

4  Thank Alljack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2012

Not a big creek if you are looking to fly fish, normal small trout. Pretty area to walk though, so may as well fish it if you are there.

1  Thank Robtzu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

I had hiked the length of French Creek back in the 1970's, as a teen. Nostalgic, we went back in June 2012 to hike there and found that it had been developed by Custer State Park as "French Creek Natural Area". The biggest use is by horse riders.

The first thing you discover is that there are wide stream crossings literally every few hundred yards. To hike the whole 12 miles requires 42 crossings, either rock hopping or wading up to your knees.

The next thing you see is huge high fields of poison ivy every where. These were the largest and healthiest poison ivy plants that I had ever seen in more than 50 years of hiking all over the world.
We entered from the west, then drove around to the south central entrance and hiked in again. It was hard to even find a trail in the central area, and the ivy plants there were the largest.

On the positive side, it is quiet, scenic, and has good wildlife viewing opportunities, especially bison (who blocked the trail on our return, forcing quite a bit of bushwhacking through the stands of ... ivy).

3  Thank trekkin_1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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