The Swatara State Park Water Trail is formed by the roughly 11 miles of the Swatara Creek running through the middle of the park. Some boaters choose to enter the creek at State Route 645 just outside of the Pine Grove Borough which can add 2.75 miles to the park water trail. More commonly, boaters launch at the Swopes Valley Trailhead which affords two options. Paddlers can float for approximately 6 miles to the Appalachian Trail Bridge/Waterville Bridge Boat Launch or continue on to the Lickdale Trailhead Boat Launch for a trip of approximately 8.7 miles. The trip from Pine Grove to the Lickdale Trailhead launch site is just under 14 miles.
All boats and inflatables with more that one compartment must display a current: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Floating the creek when the water level shown on the "Current Conditions" link at the top of this page is below 3 feet is not recommending and will most likely result in boaters being forced to walk long distances through the shallows over wet, slippery rocks.
Be aware of naturally occurring hazards which may be encountered on the creek. All boaters must possess a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD). Those 12 and younger must wear a PFD. Tubers 9 and younger must wear a PFD.
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