Make sure you hit this when there is good daylight. There is a connection off SR 443 south on State Park Lane with parking. Had trouble finding the parking lot in Lickdale so I drove to Pine Grove and parked at the Swopes Valley Trailhead parking lot. (This would also make for a good alternative starting point if the parking lot at the southern trail head is full.) Rideable but rough. North of the old highway another section of resurfaced trail starts. Nice crushed gravel mostly tree lined trail along the Swaty. SR 443 and I-81 (Pine Grove), Operating under several subsequent owners, the rail branch closed in segments from 1965 to 1981. That will take another two years. We rode to Sand Siding trailhead and back, approximately 10 miles. At Swopes Valley Road, DON'T keep going straight (there IS a trail there). Between those points, the Park provides a total of eighteen miles of three distinctly different types of riding surfaces. But by this time you will have seen route 443 that runs parallel to the trial. Overall, the trail is enjoyable, but it could use the noted improvements. We start on the Bear Hole trail and do the hills first, then connect with the Swatara for a beautiful flat ride. An 8-mile stretch of the Swatara Creek Water Trail winds through the park, and two miles of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine, cross its southern sector. are not so trail-like and not as rider/walker friendly. The trail from Lickdale to the Appalacian bridge is quite rough, I don't think it would be much fun on a road bike, but my hybrid goes fine. We were so nice to bikers that we got off the trails so that they could have the entire trail. There were several deficiencies in the trail surface at this point, which is mainly packed silt from a nearby marsh area and large pools of shallow water which I had to roll through. Dogs are also able to use this trail … 5) Make sure you stop at the old Bordner Cabin on your way down the Bear Hole Trail. The Swatara Trail is a mix of rough gravel, new pavement, old pavement, crushed limestone, a little dirt, and even some grass lawns thrown in just before the end in the parking lot of a Hampton Inn. Go right on the road about a half mile, and the entrance for the Bear Hole Trail is on your right. The trail grade is relatively flat, with variable surfaces (stone, gravel, and pavement) requiring wide tires. This continues for about 5 miles and then, to make a loop, you have to get on the Bear Hole Trail. From the southern main trailhead parking lot going north, the trail is a fine grit surface, but then becomes a coarse gravel surface for two or so miles that is unpleasant to ride on. This trail has come a long way in the past year. The park is totally undeveloped as is the trail. The five miles of the potholed, one lane asphalt, and sometimes dirt Old State Road rises and falls with the hillside terrain as it follows Swatara Creek through the forest. Youker. We are planning on doing this again, hopefully the Lickdale section will be open. ", TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails conservancy, We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors, Lickdale Rd. I have done parts of this great trail several times in the last few years but I wanted to check out all the new construction, mostly of new trail heads and parking lots and the one big bridge. All of the services are at the Lickville end of the trail. We'll return and ride the loop trails off of the Swatara Trail. I beginning. Trending right after the water gap on the Swatara Rail-Trail, you’ll pass six mountain bike singletrack runs to your left of about 1.5 miles each. The trail grade is relatively flat, with variable surfaces: dirt, gravel, and pavement, requiring wide tires. Doc ID: 1737226 Doc Name: SWAT_ParkMap.pdf; Error Message: Stack Trace: I found a topographical map that shows a number of structures already located along the road when the map was drawn in 1889. You can cross at the bridge at the north end at Swopes Valley Rd. I biked down stream down the lovely trail mostly single track with a smooth cinder surface and fully shaded. Todays trip --- Deer, Fox, Turkeys, and Grouse were seen. Spent a couple of hours on the Swatara Rail trail today 5/21/13. ", "Of all the trails I have been on this one is ranked highest by my teen. while on the old road you will turn left which takes you over a bridge where you will continue on the trail. But at one point you have to cross up on the road, not sure if its a park road or what, but it was in great shape. The trail now goes another 5 miles back to where you started, after you cross the bridge. if you do decide to start there, drive toward the back of the Hotel and, before getting clear to the back, notice the buildings to your right. I am guessing there must be a horse stable nearby that there are so many rude horse owners here as this isn't a problem on any other trail I have ridden. I managed to step off the bike into the mud a number of times. Since there was a threating rain cloud overhead, I turned around before I got to the end of the trail. The main highway now closed years ago but still smoothly paved is parallel and close to the old RR right away which has not been improved. While the potholes were a challenge to the motor vehicles, the potholes were easy to avoid on my comfort bike. It is more a logging trail quality than a road now, it has pavement, but an equal amount of gravel, and then those large stones mentioned below. The trailhead was also just where it was supposed to be. For the first two miles the trail is very rough, then you bike on an abandon road for a ways then jump back on the trail. I wouldn't think it would take all that much. My wife and I road the entire ten-mile length of the Swatara Rail-Trail (SRT) on Monday, May 28th. I parked here (even though it didn't look like a "parking area". But there is a temp concret plant on that part of the trial so I got back in the car and drove North on 443 for about 2.5 miles, on the right you will see a steel bridge that is the trial. But I wouldn't drive out of my way a second time to go there. A side trip here crosses the creek and turns left for a mile on the Bear Hole Trail to an old log cabin built from on-site lumber and stone in 1939. this trail is passible for most if you take you time. I rode about 8 miles before finding short section under water. You do need to study it carefully. Shortly you come up to a new bridge across the Swatara Creek. I once was almost run down by a rider who had her horse in full gallop going down the middle of the trail so that she could catch up to her friends ahead. Trail Description The Swatara Rail Trail stretches 10 miles along Swatara Creek from the Interstate 81 Pine Grove Interchange almost to Lickdale, revealing remnants of both the canal and the railroad along the way. You do not have to get on this road to ride this trail, actually I only did it for this review and to explore. The large field me at this point in the heat of summer with several spots stop... Around at that point and others say it is hard to get back to you! Imba ) standards lovely trail mostly single track natural surface trails are designed as Mountain bike were. Of negative comments about horses trail junctions, including one with the bikes all. I loved the mix of trail surfaces back to the Swopes Valley trailhead railroad! 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