The “Swattie” as it’s known by locals, is a tributary of the Susquehanna River that rises in Schuylkill County and passes through the Swatara State Park in the Lebanon Valley. During the colonial period, it was a significant transportation route and later, an integral part of the Union Canal. Today the Swatara Water Trail offers 60 miles of outdoor recreation including canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. Experience the Swattie firsthand from one of the numerous designated launches, and float by a magnificent limestone outcrop known as Blue Rock and under the historic Waterville Bridge.
This 60-mile water trail winds from Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, through Lebanon County, to the PA Fish and Boat Commission’s access in Middletown, Dauphin County. Travel through farmlands, Union Canal locks, forested riparian buffers, the Appalachian Trail and abandoned railroad and bridges, limestone outcrops, and the only lava deposits in the state.
Public access points in Lebanon County are located at Swatara State Park, Jonestown KOA Camp Ground, and the Swatara Creek Watershed Association Waterworks Access, north of Annville.
Type of fish: Warmwater stockings (Muskellunge fingerlings)
Spring attracts many anglers to Trout Run — the park’s only trout-stocked stream. Other cool water 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.
Body of water type: Creek
Boat access: Swatara Creek, Waterworks Access- owned by PFBC- unlimited horsepower; but slow-no wake regulations apply
Special notes: Class A Streams
Best Known For
Do you want to combine water, good food, recreation, open space, history, culture, scenic beauty and geology into one day-trip? We have you covered. Canoeing the “Swattie” is like exploring a wilderness. One of the only ways to tell where you are is by the bridges that cross the stream. “The Swattie” is an urban/suburban wilderness less than 50 minutes from Pennsylvania’s capital.
What Locals Love About It.
- “Very nice serene and peaceful place to walk or run. Nice nature trail. You can walk your dog, take a jog, or take a nice little romantic walk with that special somebody. Has a nice pond and bridge to walk over it on. Highly recommend if you need to just get out and take a breather.” – Stephen S. via Google.com
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