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Swatara State Park

700 Suedberg Rd
Pine Grove, PA 17963

717-865-6470

The 3,520-acre Swatara State Park consists of rolling fields and woodlands situated in the Swatara Valley, between Second and Blue mountains. The scenic Swatara Creek meanders the length of the park and is surrounded by forests and wetlands that support a diversity of wildlife.

Hiking at Swatara State Park

18.2 miles of trails

Park trails are generally flat and wide. Many small, connector trails allow hikers to create loops of various distances. Hikers can also hike the additional 9.8 miles of trails in the Mountain Biking Complex. Below are the main trails in the park.

Bear Hole Trail
4.8 miles, more difficult hiking

Running along the eastern side of Swatara State Park is Bear Hole Trail, a wide, rolling trail for hiking and biking.

​Swatara Rail Trail
10 miles, easiest hiking

Swatara Rail Trail extends from Lickdale Interchange (Exit 90) of I-81 to the Pine Grove Interchange (Exit 100) of I-81. The trail grade is relatively flat, with variable surfaces: dirt, gravel, and pavement, requiring wide tires. This trail is good for cross-country skiing with adequate snowfall.

Appalachian National Scenic Trail
2 miles in the park, more difficult hiking

Stretching from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail(AT) traverses two miles of the southern portion of Swatara State Park. Overnight parking for AT hikers is on SR 443 just west of SR 72. Hikers may leave an itinerary with the park for emergencies.

Northern and Southern Multi-use Loops
11 miles of trails

By using Swatara Rail Trail and Bear Hole Trail visitors can recreate on two multi-use loops:

The Southern Loop, Waterville Bridge to Sand Siding Bridge and back, is 4.6 miles
The Northern Loop, Swopes Valley Road to Sand Siding Bridge and back, is 7.2 miles and includes a brief ride on Swopes Valley Road
Both loops can be combined to make the full loop which is 11 miles.

Fishing at Swatara State Park

Spring attracts many anglers to Trout Run -- the park’s only trout stocked stream. Other coolwater tributaries within the park support native populations of brook trout, as does Swatara Creek.

Warmwater fish like smallmouth bass and panfish can be caught in Swatara Creek.

Wagners Pond provides opportunities to catch largemouth bass and panfish.

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply.

Hunting at Swatara State Park

During established season, most of Swatara State Park is open to:

Hunting
Trapping
Training of dogs
Be alert for trail users and the 150-yard safety zone surrounding each of the occupied buildings in the park.

Common game species are:

Deer
Turkey
Ruffed grouse
Pheasant
Rabbit
Squirrel
Waterfowl
Furbearers include:

Muskrat
Raccoon
Opossum
Fox
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas.

​Bicycling at Swatara State Park

14.8 miles of trails

Bear Hole Trail
4.8 miles, more difficult hiking
Running along the eastern side of Swatara State Park is Bear Hole Trail, a wide, rolling trail for hiking and biking.

​Swatara Rail Trail
10 miles, easiest hiking
Swatara Rail Trail extends from Lickdale Interchange (Exit 90) of I-81 to the Pine Grove Interchange (Exit 100) of I-81. The trail grade is relatively flat, with variable surfaces: dirt, gravel, and pavement, requiring wide tires.

Northern and Southern Multi-use Loops
11 miles of trails

The Northern and Southern Multi-use Loops are popular rides. By using Swatara Rail Trail and Bear Hole Trail visitors can recreate on two multi-use loops:

The Southern Loop, Waterville Bridge to Sand Siding Bridge and back, is 4.6 miles
The Northern Loop, Swopes Valley Road to Sand Siding Bridge and back, is 7.2 miles and includes a brief ride on Swopes Valley Road
Both loops can be combined to make the full loop which is 11 miles.

Mountain Biking at Swatara State Park

28 miles of trails

Accessible from the State Park Lane trailhead, six loop trails twist through the woods and up-and-down hills. Each loop is about 1.5 miles in length, totaling 9.8 miles.

These single track natural surface trails are a maximum 24 inches wide with log obstacles and stream crossings. They are considered “most difficult” by DCNR trail standards, but “easy” by International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) standards.

Mountain bikes are also permitted on:

Swatara Rail Trail (10 miles)
Bear Hole Trail (4.8 miles)
Moonshine Trail (0.8 mile)
Trout Run Trail (0.5 mile)
State Park Lane (0.5 mile)
Portage Trail (0.4 mile)
Mifflin Trail (0.3 mile)
Round About Loop (0.5 mile)
Sand Siding Trail (0.4 mile)

Horseback Riding at Swatara State Park

12.8 miles of trails

Except for Mifflin Trail, horses are permitted on all trails between Sand Siding Bridge and I-81/Pine Grove Exit 100.

Bear Hole Trail, Swatara Rail Trail, and the 3.9-mile Equestrian Trail make a nice loop.

Kayaking and Canoeing at Swatara State Park

Swatara Creek is a popular destination for canoeing, kayaking, and tubing, especially during the spring. Designated launches provide access to the creek to put-in and take-out non-powered boats:

Swopes Valley Trailhead
Waterville Bridge Parking Lot
Lickdale Trailhead
Be aware of naturally occurring hazards which may be encountered on Swatara Creek. Each boater must possess a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD). Those 12 and younger must wear a PFD. Tubers nine and younger must wear a PFD.

Cross-country Skiing at Swatara State Park

When there is adequate snow cover, the 10 miles of the Swatara Rail Trail is good for cross-country skiing.

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