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.
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.
Kelley G. on Swatara State Park
There are 6 different loops and all were well maintained. I am a beginner mountain biker and I was challenged in some of the areas. Lots of roots and logs (big and small) and a couple of little streams throughout the courses. Great place to learn. For a beginner course, I felt some of the climbs were tough because of the roots, but more experience bikers would probably think they are easy. Overall, this course was a lot of fun for all skill levels.
Dawn W. on Swatara State Park
Nice, easy trail. Hiked approx. 6.5 miles by following outer trails A-B-C-D. Saw a few mountain bikers. Swatara State Park leading to the trails was not marked very well along the main road, we followed at street sign that actually said State Park Lane, so we assumed this lane would lead us to the trails and it did (the AllTrails Map gave excellent directions in leading us to the park),
I would recommend this this for a nice comfortable hike.
Went today on mtn bikes! Total blast awesome down hills not to bad up hills! Cool creek crossing a few log crossings you can do and some jumps! Def found a new favorite riding spot! If you keep turning right than do the "D" loop it's roughly 7 1/2 miles.
I went hiking to this area forth first time today. There are about 6 trails and they all make loops. Depending on how far you want to hike I believe you could go as far as 7-8 miles. The trails are mostly clear and clean. I was out for about 1 1/2 hours and only saw 2-3 pieces of trash, no vandalism, and 5-6 people. When I went the bugs were pretty bad, so be prepared with bug spray.
You can't judge the location based of the map in this app. State Road Ln is about 1/2 mile further north on the right.
Overall great trip. I'll be back for more hikes.
This park is a hiker/hunter/biker paradise. I have been to this park many times before but mainly stayed on the paved roads. The park is developed around old roadways but has a great hiker/biker trail I had the priviledge of hiking two paths this evening. There are six hiking biking trails, all connected with loops and switchbacks. The trails are well established and all turns and intersections are well marked. Be careful if you are going on the trails during hunting season, wear orange, I saw four hunters during my hike and they were highly engaged in the high population of squirrels. On my trek I observed over a dozen squirrels myself while traveling at a fast pace and not trying to be stealthy at all! Kudos to whoever designed and/or developed the trails. To hike the trails is enjoyable and I can only imagine that biking them would be a lot of fun. Want to stay away from the bikers? Then take advantage of one of the two hiking trails that pass through the park. Swatara Rail Trail (10 mile trail from Lickdale to Pine Grove) or the Appalachain Trail (for those like me that can only still dream of thru hiking it)!