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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 7 mi (11.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +945/984 ft
Total: 91 riders
 

Mountain Biking Swatara State Park

****   Add a review
#33 of 295 mountain bike trails in Pennsylvania
#1341 in the world

Excellent trail system with multiple easy to follow loops that interconnect with one another. 100% singletrack trails featuring log jumps, stream crossings, sharp bends and descents. Stopping for lunch by one of the stream crossings is a great place to take a break. Trails are well maintained.

First added by stgcrft on May 2, 2020. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
From I-81. Take the Lickdale/Lebanon off-ramp at Exit 90, left of the off ramp then go 1/4 mile to the lights at Lickdale turn left this turns into 443. Turn right onto State Park Rd, the parking lot is the bottom, for access to the rail trail and the single-track. Trail starts at notice-board and there is a rail trail that starts through the gate onto the old paved road.
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Swatara State Park Trail map

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mhowey (on Oct 12, 2019)
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Good (on Jun 1, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Lickdale, Pennsylvania

*****
Intermediate | 3 mi

Rider questions

Q: Would you consider this to be a reasonable place for a beginner to get some single track experience?

Q: Is this a reasonable place for a beginner to get some experience on single track?
A: See question and answer right above ..

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Reviews

  • eddttt
    **

    Have the MTB trails been abandoned? I did the Swatara & Bear Hole 'trails (actually gravel sidewalks) and the only singletrack I saw in the Southwest corner (where the MTB-specific trails were made) was WAY overgrown. Gravel sidewalks were nice for walking.

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  • Daniel Sidell
    ****

    My first time out on this trail. Enjoyed it a lot. there are lots of roots and tight corners. Not to technical on the downhills. There are a couple logs across the trail that I wasn't able to clear, but other than that it was clear sailing.

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  • Nick Hepler
    ****

    Visited for the first time yesterday and was definitely worth the detour off I-81. Good flow and trails are fairly well marked. Good climbs with some decent downhills as well. Too many log jumps for me, it started to get tedious at one point, but otherwise a great trail system. I'd visit more often if it wasn't two hours away from me. A great park worth checking out.

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  • D_raileur
    *****

    I found the single track this time. This trail is lots of fun (all left equals lots of fun)! My favorite trail in PA. So far.

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  • STJunky12
    ****

    This was my first taste of delicious singletrack. I have ridden it a few times now and I have never ridden the same line twice. It has great options and flows nicely. It has plenty of log hops and a few creek beds to ride through. The one thing it is lacking in is features. All and all it is a great ride. Also if you get tired of the singletrack (I don't know why you would though) there is always the Appalachian trail close by to go exploring.

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  • ballzy1
    ****

    Rode today, nice riding single tracks with some roots and logs. Not many rocks so you can keep moving pretty good. Trails are very well maintained.

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  • BigBenG
    *****

    First time riding these trails. Now I know why they are so popular. The loops are well marked. There are stream crossings, log jumps, roots, and other obstacles. Also some big climbs. Worth the drive, beautiful scenery!

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  • kdowd771
    *****

    First time riding this trail and was impressed. Well maintained and easy to follow trails. Stacked loop system. Great trail system for younger riders or those that are new to riding a mtb bike. Will be back again.

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  • Fbalfan
    *****

    Just rode this trail network for the first time. Very nicely laid out and well maintained trails. Will definitely be added to the schedule for another visit. These trails and terrain are very reminiscent of some southern Michigan trails we had the pleasure to visit, not rocky with some technical sections and some fast segments made for a nicely rounded morning ride!

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  • Reviewing A-1 & A:
    ****

    Single tracks doesn't list it but there are also b,c,d and a2 trails. They all flow together to make a great loop. Counterclockwise is often the preferred way to ride it. This is a great place to ride, especially if you are new to mountain biking. A couple tough climbs but not too much to handle. Trails are super clean and well maintained by the local mountain biking club (SAMBA). Be cautious if it is wet because the roots get super slick!

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  • jde5165
    *****

    I live near the trails and go often. They are great trails to learn on. They are well maintained with a a good mix of descents and climbs. All the paths can be ridden two ways except a few obstacles my be difficult from certain directions. The paths are well marked and it is easy to figure out where you are. Most of the more difficult obstacles are optional so if you don't feel confident you can just go around. It's a great work out and always a lot of fun to ride. Hikers also use the trails often so watch out. I ride the trails with a enduro 27.5" bike and it is overkill. My neighbor rides with a his 26" hardtail schwinn, and keeps up with me most of the time.

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  • Camkass97
    *****

    Wow this place has it all, great trails with incredibility easy to follow markings. Although finding the entrance took a bit of trial and error, once there it was worth the drive. Stream crossings, log hops, sharp turns and varying terrain all combine to produce an excellent day on the trails. This is more for Mountain biking and not hiking as the trails get insanely narrow in parts. The only draw back of this trail system is the lack of a view, and it's proximity to the highway didn't allow for scenic views(although we never heard the road noise while riding the trails). Overall one if the best trails within 2 hours of Lancaster Pa

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  • Jeremy Saltzer
    Reviewing A-1 & A:
    *****

    Fun and easy trails. Some small logs down for fun and some climbing and descents. A can be ridden counterclockwise for a high speed ride.

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  • Jeremy Saltzer
    *****

    This is not in Hershey, it is north of Lebanon/Lickdale. Located a few miles off the Lebanon exit on Rt. 81. This is my favorite local trail system. It's great for a quick or long ride. Piggy back trails allow for any range in milage, and if you need more than 8 miles, ride it again in the reverse direction. I prefer counter clockwise. It has steeper climbs but the downhill sections are longer and more fun. There is also a rail trail that links to the closed road at the opposite corner if the parking lot. Trail is usually well maintained except there have been new trees down after storms or in the winter months. There are some log jumps and very shallow stream crossings also if you look closely, there are some (now pretty much unsused) log bridges to ride on on trail C. Careful as they are slick as ice. A new parking lot was also built this summer allowing for overflow parking. These trails are also used heavily by hikers, joggers, and amateurs/children so be careful and cautious.

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  • cmyers.eps@gmail.com
    ****

    I rode this trail today on my way through town, and was happy that I stopped through. Overall it was a great trail with plenty of rolling terrain that kept things interesting. I averaged just over 8mph through everything so it was a little on the slower side because of the climbs and the terrain. One issue for me was the drops and jumps in the corners. Several times I came to a turn where a jump or drop would have thrown me into a tree or over an edge if I took them with any speed. Other than that, a great time and I wouldn't hesitate to stop in again if I'm in the area.

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  • Wiggles
    *****

    This trail system is a great spot for a quick ride after work. I plan to visit a few times a month for sure. Smooth trails not a lot of rocks, good amount of roots and log overs to keep things fun for the more intermediate/advanced rider.

    I have ridden the whole loop once in a counter clockwise direction and found it to be very challenging. I plan to run it all in a counter clockwise direction soon for another review or update. While running it in a counterclockwise motion by the time you get to D trail your legs are getting tired from climbing A-1, and C that D will just keep at it. The payoff the whole way thought is that the climbs are not so strenuous that it makes you want to walk or quit if you are a intermediate single track rider. Then you have the fun narrow switchbacks to the bottom of your climbs that make it all worthwhile.

    A-2 trail can be run both ways in a counter clockwise you will get a great workout due to it being mostly an ascend... running it clockwise makes it a great narrow switchback descend.

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  • Wiggles
    Reviewing A-1 & A:
    *****

    Great small loop part of the Swatara State Game Lands Trails. We had gotten rain all week before i went out so trails were a little slick with mud but nothing through sharp sharp turns that could not be riden above or below the mudin a burm. Great spot its my new weekly pleasure.

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  • mrh372
    ****

    Barely any rocks but the fun comes from faster pace weaving in and out of the trees. Not a difficult place to ride (beginners would be more than fine) and hills are minimal but I still had a lot of fun. Only complaint is there's only 8 miles of trails.

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  • RoadWarrior
    ****

    Good beginner to intermediate trails. Good flow with moderate grades. Fun place to ride. Trail however is quite rooty

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  • ****

    Nice, well-maintained trail. 6 different loops. Lots of roots and some logs. I am a beginner and was challenged in some areas, but it's a great place to learn.

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