Explore the most popular hiking trails in Swatara State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great trail!!! Bike and foot traffic all very courteous.

Had hiked from parking lot on 501 out to just before decline down to Swatara Gap (had gone up the incline on previous day). Would have to say this was quite a boring stretch of trail with not much variety or change of scenery. Have done several stretches of AT northern of this stretch in PA so in comparison to those this was my least favorite. There is one spot that may have been somewhat a lookout but not worth the hike to get there. Though there is Kimmel Lookout which is a very brief hike from Rt 501 parking lot. Don't recall too many rocks, so may have that going for it, but that's about it.

2 months ago

Great trail 4& 6 year olds enjoyed loops A and B for a total of 3miles. Both reporting they loved this hike. Fair amount of bikers but no issues.

Fun favorite. Easy path in a nice meandering loop. Dog friendly.

trail running
5 months ago

Very clean and maintained trails. I ran the 8.3 mile loop, A-D. Good easy trail run.

5 months ago

Wasn’t the hiking trail we expected, was a manmade gravel trail that was level throughout. Great for a nice easy walk or training for runs but wouldn’t consider it a hiking spot for people who want seriously hike.

Nice, short hike. A bit rocky, and for me, a novice, I would rate it moderate. But my dogs and I both loved it!

At about the 2.5 mile mark there is a clearing with amazing views in both directions. The trail itself was not overly difficult; however, the amount of leaves on some of the steeper grades made for some "fun" descents.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

We enjoyed this trail. It can be busy with bikes. I gave it 4 stars because of road noise. It was a good hiking experience, and we will return to try other park trails. Our two dogs enjoyed meeting other dogs on the trail.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

We did a 7 mile loop along Swatara Creek. Easy hike with wide, flat trails that are well maintained. A lot of people on bikes and many families. If you are looking for something to "get away" this is probably not for you. [Several trails do not show in app]

Pro: Plenty of trail, but not too strenuous. Family friendly. Maintained trails.

Con: No overlooks or scenic views. Not many places to stop and sit and just soak it in. Pretty busy.

Monday, August 28, 2017

This is not a paved trail (someone posted pic above that indicated a paved path). Decent walk, but have good trail/hike footwear. Kid and dogs OK, as long as they're used to it.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

verryyy steep lol

Great easy trail. Good views!

it's a good day hike

it's a good day hike

Great easy family friendly hike. Did a bit of trail running with the kids and they loved all the fallen trees along the side of the trail, which made for a great obstacle course. Easy to find parking and other hikers had left plenty of walking sticks behind.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

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.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

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.

We loved running about 8.5 miles on this trail. Mostly flat, well maintained, great forest and open pastures. Definitely recommend this as a trail run!

As a trail runner, I decided to run this and not hike it. Definitely worth it and will be doing it again. Great views!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

It's exactly 2.5 mi from the parking lot on 850 to the view. This part of the AT is nice in that it rises steadily and then levels out giving you time to recover. The steepest portion is hard but is relatively short and the view is rewarding.

I went another 1.5 mi along the ridge. It is level but rocky which caused me mind every step.

I'd say this is on the more difficult side of the moderate rating.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Very easy trail! It's all pavement,if you're not on the pavement..Go back. LOL

trail running
Monday, July 18, 2016

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!

Alltrails is going to need to add PokemonGo to the list of activities. Moderate hike to the Cumberland View!

trail running
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

easy - moderate...mostly cleared....very peaceful....rail to trails nearby actual trail...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Just a great hike. No real vistas. Good for all ages and abilities.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Did this as about a 9.4 mile overall out and back. From where you start on rte 850, it is almost exactly 3 miles to the Cumberland Overlook bench and so I kept going down the other side for another mile and a half or so. There are some definite ascents and descents on this one, but nothing too outrageous I suppose :) I only took along a liter of water, I would suggest taking two, especially if it is warm out. There are one or two places along the way with water, but I did not have a life straw along with me.

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