Swatara State Park Loop

EASY 65 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Swatara State Park Loop is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Jonestown, Pennsylvania that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.7 miles
787 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly


mountain biking

trail running



wild flowers


4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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.

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.

Friday, July 15, 2016

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!

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

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.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


mountain biking
Sunday, August 11, 2013

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.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One thing I've noticed about this site is they don't always give you good directions to the trails. I gave up looking for this one and spent about 3 hours on the AT.

trail running
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Very nice trail, but I rated it 5 star for the simple reason that it is one of the best places to find fossils in Pennsylvania and it is open to the public.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

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.

Friday, April 27, 2012

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.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

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.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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)!

1 month ago

2 months ago

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