Swatara State Park Ride

 13 votes
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Featured Ride
Trail

7.4 Miles 11.9 Kilometers


95%

Singletrack

769' 234 m

Ascent

-768' -234 m

Descent

643' 196 m

High

468' 143 m

Low

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

14%

Max Grade (8°)

Minor Issues

22 days agoUpdate

Hitting all the highlights (but not all of the connectors) at Swatara

Frank Maguire

Overview

Although its not a very developed park, PA State Park rules are enforced. No drinking and no dogs off leash.
The first "planned for mountain bikes" trail system in PA State Parks, Swatara is great ride to introduce someone to the joys of singletrack. Well designed contour trails with log and root obstacles, the network is a text book stacked loop system so you can bite off as much or as little as you want.

Need To Know

The trailhead can be a little hard to find, its off State Park rd, just after you pass the sign for the Appalachian Trail.

Description

The ride twists and turns through fairly mature hardwood forest, with several creek crossings. Be prepared for numerous log hop opportunities as they make up the major technical challenge of the trail system and seem to pop up when you least expect it. For the most part, the trail surface itself is packed dirt, making it a less intimidating introduction to singletrack riding then most PA trails.

This route is described counter clock-wise and on the exterior of the system, but clockwise works as well, and might even be a little better. The ride here covers A, A1, A2, B, C and D loops, but if you wanted to ride more, you could easily take one of the connector trails and reverse direction on any given loop for a different experience.

History & Background

The park itself was originally intended to become a Dam in the 1960's. The state took possession of the land, but never developed it. It was declared a State Park, but remained undeveloped until the early 2000's. SAMBA got involved in the very early stages of the park planning process and were able to create this gem of network over the course of the last decade. So if you find yourself north of Harrisburg with your bike, definitely stop and ride!

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4.2 from 13 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Nov 12, 2016
Rusty Upright
Oct 9, 2016
Todd Berdanier
Sep 18, 2016
Ron Jameson
Jul 8, 2016
Nik Orlando
7.4mi — 2h 15m
Mar 30, 2016
Adam Diltz
7.5mi — 1h 12m
May 2, 2015
Josh Smith
Excellent trails. Lots of ups and downs. Plenty of roots and trees to maneuver over. Also the occasional creek crossing. 12mi — 1h 34m
Apr 29, 2015
Christopher Slade
All lefts loop. Actual distance is 9.5 miles 9.5mi — 1h 02m
Apr 10, 2015
Dave Martin

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Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 13 votes

#314

Overall
  4.2 from 13 votes
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Rankings

#9

in Pennsylvania

#314

Overall
232 Views Last Month
6,201 Since May 2, 2013
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Conditions


Minor Issues 22 days ago
lots of leaves
Update ConditionsHistory

Forecasting the weather...

Wear orange in hunting season. You'll be parked next to hunters. There are pit toilets at the Turtle trailhead, a mile or two on the road before you turn down to the trailhead. Great trails - a lot like Nox with more rollers. Nov 8, 2015


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