South Loop Thunder Swamp Trail

HARD 7 reviews

South Loop Thunder Swamp Trail is a 18.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

18.2 miles
1,587 feet

dog friendly




horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips



wild flowers





over grown

From Interstate 80: Take US 209 north for 3.9 mi. Take a left onto PA 402 North in the town of Marshall's Creek. Take PA 402 another 7.7 mi to the main trailhead parking area on your right (east side of PA 402). Note: The main trail is now blazed ORANGE, and is no longer blazed blue.

24 days ago

MUst wear boots real rocky and was a wet summer feed were wet a lot was a great 2 day hike

5 months ago

Started at trail head off 402 going counterclockwise. Stopped after just over 1 mile near Saw Creek due to poor trail maintenance (several dozen downed trees or large branches) and tons of poison ivy.

6 months ago

This was a beautiful hike. Beware, the trail is not prepped for the season. Meaning, there are a lot of lot hanging branches and logs to jump over. Since it had just rained, there were several places that were too soft for trail shoes. Hiking boots are recommended. All told, it's long, moderate and gorgeous.

9 months ago

I did South Loop as an overnight. Parked car at lot on Bushkills Falls Road at Flat Ridge Road since my overnight destination was to camp along Bushkill Creek. This divided the loop almost equally in half. West side of loop is wetter and characteristic of wetlands. Expect wet feet. Tricky stream crossings due to recent rains and snowmelt causing higher water levels over what would normally have been a simple rock hop, but there are bridges over the larger streams. East side is higher and drier through logging activity areas, down and up small ridges. The best camping is along south end by Bushkill Creek and Red Rock Run although you are free to camp anywhere along the loop. If you are a hammock hanger, you have even more options. The footpath is typical PA rocky footing, tedious at times . Good winter destination in my opinion because it is obvious where trail could become overgrown quickly with plenty of ticks and mosquitoes in other times of the year. A good example of PA wetlands if you have never experienced it. Also deciduous trees dominant - should be pretty in fall. Plenty of water sources and solitude ( at least this particular weekend in February). I only saw one dayhiker on my way out from camp. Day 1 mileage 8.5 miles. Day 2 mileage 9.7 miles. Next time, I might explore the side trails into the swamps and natural areas.

Friday, July 14, 2017


Friday, April 19, 2013

Hiked the entire Thunder Swamp Trail, including the loop around Big Bear Swamp, as a 2 1/8 day backpack. Parked at the main trailhead on Rt. 402 and began hike counterclockwise. Lovely at first, especially beside Red Rock Run. Got really ugly for quite a stretch...nothing but dead hardwoods and rocks. Set up tent at the south end of Painter Swamp, which was lovely. Slack packed around Big Bear Swamp loop before dinner. Saw one person all day - a backpacker going the opposite way. The beavers came out in the swamp in the evening - great camp site. About 17 miles for Day 1.

Day 2: Left camp at 9:30 for the western part of the hike. Part was pretty, but most had tons of dead hardwoods and was really overgrown. Ticks galore. Camped in the low area near the Bushkill where there were loons on the river. Drizzled on and off all day. Saw no one. About 12 miles for Day 2.

Day 3: Left camp at 7:30 and returned to car before 9. Saw no one. About 3 miles.

Overall: Trail is well blazed but almost unmaintained in many sections. Little elevation change, but still not easy because of the rocks and the bush-whacking. Very little foot traffic.
Hike is described in Backpacking Pennsylvania, by Jeff Mitchell.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wet in many places (Of course. It's a "swamp" hike), and (to be expected) rocky foot path. Very little elevation changes. Some sections very well maintained. Other places it's a jungle, especially just west of the northern intersection with Rt 402.