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Thunder Swamp Trail is a 34 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 34.0 mi Elevation gain 2,588 ft Route type Loop
Dog friendly Backpacking Camping Cross country skiing Hiking Mountain biking Nature trips Snowshoeing Bike touring Bird watching Forest River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Muddy Over grown Rocky
Description
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Getting There

The Thunder Swamp Trail system provides over 40 miles of marked trails to explore in Pennsylvania's Delaware State Forest. True to its name, the Thunder Swamp Trail traverses some of the wettest terrain north of the Bayou. This fact, combined with the extremely rocky soil, makes good, sturdy boots an appropriate choice of footwear. If you plan on making this trip in the summer, it is recommended you wear long pants, as mosquitoes, black flies, and deer ticks are abound. By early July, the blueberry bushes have already begun yielding abundant fruit. Although the scenery is nothing spectacular, the heavy deciduous woods and sparsely used trail created a feeling of peaceful solitude.

Bureau of Forestry, Forest District #19, 570-895-4000, fd19@state.pa.us

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.

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Reviews (41)
Photos (216)
Recordings (34)
Completed (84)
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David Stofanak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 27, 2020
Hiking
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David Stofanak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking
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Katie Elander
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking

Fun trail! Some steep hills, rocky and varied terrain. Lots of spider webs. Didn’t do the whole trail (way too long) but fun little distance in and out. Really well marked. Followed the red trails from the trailhead parking lot.

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Harshal Haridas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
HikingBugsMuddyOver grown

Would not recommend this trail especially since there is delaware water gap so close and has many other scenic trails. We started out on the south 402 parking and only did a portion that was mentioned scenic in other posts. There was a lot of bushwacking we had to do as we did the small part of the trail. It is very well marked although there is confusion at points due to the need to bushwhack in order to stay on the trail.

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Vanessa Olaechea
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2020
Rocky

This is a hiking trail only. Very rocky. We when with our bicycles and it was a complete lost of time. The App directions are completely off.

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ernest phillips
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 24, 2020
HikingBugsRocky
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Ryan Verbel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 10, 2020
HikingOver grownRocky

Fun hike. Lots of blow downs. Ran into a few bears including a mother and cub, so make sure you practice bear safety. Plenty of water.

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h2qv9tr 9sk1mb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 12, 2020
HikingBlowdownOver grownRocky

The nice part of this trail system is the decent blazing throughout (orange). No need for map if following the whole trail. Most of this is very rocky...the frequent, pointy, toe-stubbing variety of rockiness. Also there hasn’t been that much rain lately it seems....for a trail named “Thunder Swamp” my feet remained completely dry. There are just enough rocks/branches laid out across the bridgeless water areas so wasn’t a problem. Most scenic part of this is the southeast part of the southern loop. The first couple miles from the trailhead parking lot ends up going along Red Rock Run which has some real nice small tiered waterfalls. Lots of moss all around the rocks/roots of this stream add to the beauty. The western side of southern loop has a lot of long stretches of the same scenery (at least without leaves grown in yet). There are a couple pretty spots where the trail crosses streams with single-rail bridges, but these are spaced apart and not that often. The northwest part of this was the most overgrown especially the closer you get to Pennel Run Natural Area. Least scenic part would be the entire north loop. That loop is really only good for adding extra miles and solitude. A lot of it looks the same and has several grown-in areas. The overgrowth wouldn’t be problem if there was something worth seeing, but there really isn’t other than 2-3 stream crossings. Even with the loop around Big Bear swamp you don’t get any views of the swamp or go near it. Only toward the back/east part of that loop does the trail start to go in some pine forests with standing water nearby, but doesn’t make up for the 4-5 mile hike just to get out there. Wonder now if would be a little more interesting taking the Stillwater Natural Area loop trail.

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Jonathan Kirschner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2019
Mountain bikingRocky
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Jerry Sollien
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 28, 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

An excellent part of Thunder-swamp trail. As the rest of this trail, it has plenty of rocks and some wet areas as well, which makes for some slippery parts, but it’s well maintained and very well marked (with red and orange markings rather than blue as you might’ve expected from the trail map). Trail cross 402 at the northern entrance to the parking lot and can be a little hard to spot.

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Geoffrey Peterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 14, 2019
HikingOff trailOver grown
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Tyler Kreiss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 15, 2019
HikingRockySnowWashed out

This trail is exactly as advertised. 90% of the trail is walking through an actual swamp. Me and one other hiked counter clockwise. There are tons of water sources along the trail, yet most were downstream of beaver dams so be mindful of your sources. We hiked with 3-4 in of snow so walking through the swamp was manageable. Hiking in warmer weather doesn't sound pleasant. Decent hike.

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Gerry Mack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 2, 2017
Backpacking

It was really great for the first section. Plenty of camp sites. After that everything became easy and camping was a bit more of a hassle. All in all an OK trail, but be prepared to find your own site on the second portion

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Lou Kang Verange
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 17, 2016

First section was great! However, after backtracking to the second section it gets really tough. Trail is not maintained at all, climbing over logs constantly with my 40 pound pack took a lot of extra energy. Also only passed 2 maybe 3 camp spots the whole second section. I wouldn't recommend this trail to anyone . Maybe for a day hike to the first section and back

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Matt Hague
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 17, 2013
Hiking

This was a great trail. My first hiking/Camping trip. We didn't make it to the bottom loop but still found some great spots to set up camp. I will definitely return to finish this whole loop now that I have more experience.

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jeremy norris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2013
Hiking

loved the trail, had some great camp sites and very well blazed. ran in to a 8' rattle snake at the power lines next to the bridge in the logs, scared the crap out of me, but very beautiful. had some really nice views and some big inclines and decents on the back half of the hike. did the trail in 3 days, didnt get to see big bear swamp but def gonna hit the trail again.

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Benedetto Miraglia
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 19, 2013
Hiking

This trail is NOT located in Forestburg, NY. A google search places it somewhere in PA..

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Jess Culton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 27, 2012
Hiking

This trail starts out extremely well marked and maintained. As you hike, the trail becomes less and less maintained and blazed to the point you may as well be bushwhacking. We went in early spring and probably picked off 20-30 ticks per person per day, so be prepared. On the positive side, there was a lot of wildlife and some decent camping spots. I would definitely stop off at the lake off of painter swamp Rd. Great campsites and views. Didn't see a single other person during the hike except for a hunter less than 1 mile in. Great if you're looking for solitude and to get a little lost! Would be 5 stars if better maintained!

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Gregory Dwyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 23, 2012
Hiking
First to Review

Nice loop. Excellent solitude. Pretty rock in spots. Excellent natural area to camp with permit.

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Jane Lane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking
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