Swatara State Park is a 8.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Jonestown, Pennsylvania that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
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.
easy trail, shaded depending on the trails you take. Trail is either gravel or pavement. Wide trails shared with bikers and horses. Bear Hole trail is the trail with the cabin and waterfall. Beautiful carbin!
easy - moderate...mostly cleared....very peaceful....rail to trails nearby actual trail...
Just a great hike. No real vistas. Good for all ages and abilities.
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.