The 3,520-acre Swatara State Park consists of rolling fields and woodlands situated in the Swatara Valley, between Second and Blue mountains. Scenic Swatara Creek meanders the length of the park and is surrounded by forests and wetlands that support a diversity of wildlife. Swatara State Park was acquired with capital development funds appropriated by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Planned facility and infrastructure improvements will support day use outdoor recreation such as canoeing, fishing, hiking, picnicking and bicycling.
We love this whole park! The mohntain bike trails are the best around! Bordner cabin is a must see and digging for fossils is great with the kids. I canoed the river many a year ago and you never touched bottom unlike the Schuylkill river. The new bridge traversing the Swatara river is a neat structure to cross. Beware of rude horse owners and their animals large piles on the bridge and on the trails. If I have to pick up my dog's crap so should they. Rudest most arrogant group of people I have come across that are above cleaning up after their own animals.
I only walked the A-1 and A-2 trails (unpaved), but I had a great time. Just remember to watch and listen for mountain bikers, since the trails in that part of the park are considered to be mountain bike trails (though hiking is allowed, as well). Several times I had to hop off the trail and into the brush to let a mountain biker through, because the "A" trails are fairly narrow.
Updated. I returned to the park and walked the Bear Hole Trail, which is described as "more difficult" in the official Swatara State Park brochure. Honestly, it's moderately difficult at best; there are very few inclines, and the entire path is either pavement or packed dirt with loose gravel. I'd recommend wearing sneakers over hiking boots or shoes.
This trail would probably be better suited for the fall (at least for me). I liked the trails themselves, but it was extremely buggy and I was there fairly early in the morning. I'm prone to bug bites and always use a bug spray when I'm in the woods and I still got eaten alive. Unfortunately, the bugs cut my run short today.
We walked this trail today looking for the waterfalls and cabin that were in the photos. It was very disappointing to walk 8 miles to find out that those things are not on this path. I'm assuming they are on the rail trail, but there is nothing like that on these loops. The trails were well maintained. Wish it would have been more specific and not so misleading.