Parking on the PA Appalachian Trail

Section 7 - Swatara Gap to Clarks Valley (PA 325) Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club http://www.bmecc.org info @ bmecc.org Lehigh Furnace Gap to Bake Oven Knob Road and Tri-County Corner to Rausch Gap Shelter
  Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club http://www.satc-hike.org/ ATHikerJB @ aol.com Rausch Gap Shelter to PA 225


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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Weather  
Source
0.0
Swatara Gap
  Poor            Great



 
     
 
From I81 old exit number 30, go east on Lickdale Road to Route 72 North. We believe that our AT guide book refers to this as SR1001. The AT crosses route 72. GPS: N 40.28.790 W 076.31.915 This parking is just off the shoulder of the road along route 73. Be careful crossing this road as traffic passes by rapidly. (10/17/2004) 5-6 1
at @ rohland.org
hikers may want to know that the Interstate 81 bridge span that runs through the gap is under deck reconstruction. 4/26/05
MMiskie @ CARONFOUNDATION.ORG
Exit 90 from I-81. Go north on PA Hiway 772. After you pass under I-81 you enter Swatara Gap State Park. There USED to be a parking lot in SGSP on the right (east) side of PA Hiway 772, just under I-81. This lot was closed when I visited it in 2007 September. 10/23/07 None
MalteseCross @ comcast.Net
Between 1:30 pm 10/10/2008 and morning of 10/11/2008 - car window broken & car stereo stolen at parking area on east side of Rt 72 at Swatara Creek recreational area. PA State Police were notified. 10/17/08
jluthy @ appalachiantrail.org
Here is an updated and more detailed version of the above directions. Take Exit 90 off I-81. Go east on Fisher Aveneue for about 0.3 miles to PA 72. Go left on that for 2.4 miles to the trail crossing. An obvious landmark is the old iron bridge which the trail crosses. This will be to the right (east) side of the highway. The green arrow on the attached marks the approximate position of the trail crossing. Roadside parking is available on the east side of PA 72. The best seems to be north of the trail crossing. Rotate the street view on the map to the north to see the parking situation along the highway. Rotate the street view to the southwest to see the southbound trail to Section 7. It climbs side hill up the bank on the west side of the highway. Rotate the street view to the southeast to see the northbound trail to Section 6. It leaves the highway between the two guardrails on the east side of the road and descends towards the Iron Bridge, which is partially visible. The bridge can clearly be seen on the satellite view of the map. 02/09/10 Several roadside 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
To reach the parking lot for this trailhead, use the following coordinates in Google Maps: 40.480835, -76.531552, or 148 Old State Road, Jonestown, PA 17038. DO NOT park on Route 72!!

Take exit 90 of I-81 toward Fisher Ave
Turn left onto Fisher Ave
Go 0.1 mi
Turn left onto PA-72 N
Go 0.9 mi
Turn right onto Monroe Valley Rd
1.0 mi
Turn left onto Old State Rd
Go 1.7 mi
Parking lot at end of road (148 Old State Rd
Jonestown, PA 17038)
Ignore all advice to park on the shoulders of Route 72. There are numerous signs now that say parking is prohibited within a mile on either side of the trailhead. Instead follow the directions above to reach a new parking lot on the east side of the river. 04/25/17 8 1
dneily333 @ gmail.com
1.4
PA Rt. 443 (Parking Lot)
  Poor            Great




The AT crosses or comes to PA RT 443. There is Bayshore Boy Scout Camp a mile or so Southeast of that crossing that may allow overnight parking.  
MarkovicPL @ aol.com
From I81 old exit number 30, go east on Lickdale Road to Route 72 North. We believe that our AT guide book refers to this as SR1001. Continue past the point where the AT crosses Route 72 for approximately 1-2 miles. Turn left on Route 443. The parking is immediately on your left. GPS: N 40.28.913 W 076.33.044 This is a fairly large parking area with no overnight parking. There are no overlooks on this part of the trail going south. The creek is pretty at the spot where Rausch Gap Village was located in the early 1900's. (10/17/2004) 10 1
at @ rohland.org
Here is an updated and more detailed version of the above directions. Take Exit 90 off I-81. Go east on Fisher Aveneue for about 0.3 miles to PA 72. Go left on that for 3.5 miles to PA 443. Go left on PA 443 to the parking area on the left.
Alternatively if coming from the north, take Exit 100 off I-81 and go west on Suedberg Road (PA 443). This eventually swings to the southwest and meets PA 72 in 8 miles. Turn right here. The lot will be on the left.
The green arrow on the attached map marks the parking area. It can be seen on the south side of the road in the satellite view. Rotate the street view to the southwest to see the parking lot. The northbound trail crosses the lot, goes east on the road for a short distance then goes left. (north). Rotate the street view to the north to see the northbound trail. This parallels Route 443 for a short distance before crossing under the road via a pedestrian tunnel. This can be seen at the top center of the satellite view. Note: The position of the Appalachian Trail shown on the map is totally erroneous. 02/07/10 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
An update on whether overnight parking is allowed here or not. There is a signboard in the eparking area that states that Swatara State Park is open during daylight hours only. However next to that is a sign that says that if hikers have overnight plans, they should call the rangers at Memorial Lake State Park who apparently also administer this park. Apparently then overnight parking is allowed if the rangers are notified. 11/24/10
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
1.4
PA 72/ PA 443
  Poor            Great




See previous listing (Mile 1.4) for directions to the intersection of PA 443 and PA 72. There is a fairly large gravel pull off on the east side of the road. The satellite view shows a car parked there. Rotate the street view to the northeast to see this pull-off. Walk west along PA 443 a short distance to intersect the AT. The northbound AT goes right (north). The southbound continues west along the road for a short distance then turns left into the hikers parking lot. Note: The position of the Appalachian Trail shown on the map is totally erroneous. 02/08/10 4-5 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
2.0
PA 443/ Greenpoint Schoolhouse Road
  Poor            Great




To reach the trail crossing of Greenpoint Schoolhouse Road, go west on PA 443 from its intersection with PA 72. See Mile 1.4. In 0.2 miles, go right on Greenpoint Schoolhouse Road. Go 0.8 miles to where the road comes close to PA 443, which is to the right. There is a parking pull-off for 2-3 cars on the right. The southbound trail crosses PA 443 (no parking), the goes through a thin strip of woods to Greenpoint Schoolhouse Road. It crosses the road and continues on towards St. Anthonys Wilderness. The street view on the attached map is actually from the vantage point of PA 443. Rotate to the southeast to see the northbound. The view to the northeast shows the southbound trail. Greenpoint Schoolhouse Road can be seen in the background. 07/02/10 2-3 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
5.6
Rausch Gap (Old Railroad Grade to Gold Mine Road)
  Poor            Great



 
There is a PA State Game Lands parking area just off Gold Mine road. This is about a 3 mile hike from that parking area to the AT along the service road.  
MarkovicPL @ aol.com
From the intersection of PA 72 and PA 443 (See Mile 1.4), go north on PA 443. This swings to the east. In 2.1 miles go left on Gold Mine Road. Proceed another 2.8 miles to the intersection with a Gamelands Commision Service Road, formerly the road bed of the Stony Valley Railroad. This is at the the low point in the valley between two ridges. There is a large 'Welcome to Gamelands"'sign. If one zooms in on the area around Marker B on the attached map, a parking area can clearly be seen on the right side of the highway. This could hold 10-12 cars. However more extensive parking is available on the other side of Gold Mine Road. The service road is open to vehicles for approximately 0.2 miles, then it is gated. There is ample parking on the north side .
From the parking area on Gold Mine Road (marker B) follow the orange blazed service road southwest 3.5 miles to its intersection with the AT (Marker A). The blue line shows the route. At the AT intersection the northbound AT goes left (south), the southbound continues straight ahead on the railroad grade. 02/06/10 Ample 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
From the north take Exit 107 off I-81. Go west for 6 miles on US 209 to the intersection with PA 325 in the the town of Tower City. Go left on PA 325 for about 1.5 miles to the intersection with Gold Mine Road. Go left on that for about 4 miles to the intersection with the service road. 11/24/10 Ample
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
5.7
Rausch Gap (Old Railroad Grade to Cold Spring Parking)
  Poor            Great



 
See Mile 8.5 for information about parking on Cold Spring Road. Assuming one has made it to the Gamelands Parking area (Marker B on the attached map) continue on the extension of the road which is now the Cold Spring Trail. In 0.2-0.3 miles this intersects with the old railroad bed which is now a Gamelands service road. This is orange-blazed. Go right on the service road for 2.5 miles northwest to the AT in Rausch Gap. The A marker indicates the approximate location. The blue line on the map shows this access route. Here the southbound trail goes left (north) while the northbound trail goes straight ahead on the railroad grade. 02/07/10 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
8.5
Cold Spring Trail (Gamelands Parking Lot)
  Poor            Great



 
From the intersection of Route 72 and Moonshine Road (PA 443) at Swatara State Park (See Mile 1.4) , take Moonshine Road south-west for 2.7 miles. Bear right onto Tomstown Road. Go 1.8 miles west an then turn right (north) onto Cold Spring Road. Shortly after you pass closed Hotel Road on your left in an additional 1.6 miles, Cold Spring Road becomes very rough. I would advise a four-wheel drive vehicle from this point on. In another mile there is a Gamelands parking lot.

From Exit 90 on I81, take Fisher Ave Southwest for about 3 miles then bear right on Clement Avenue. In about a mile go right on Asher Miner Road (PA 443). In another mile turn left onto what the Google map calls Ammo Road. Go 0.5 miles and bear right. In another 0.5 miles go right again on Cold Spring Road. Continue 1.7 miles to the Hotel Road intersection and 2.7 miles to the parking area.
We had our motorhome and could not get up the rough road. There is an area right before the road becomes real rough that you can park. This adds about an additional .9 mile hike to the AT. There is a gamelands parking lot on the right by Stony Creek. There are a couple of orange and blue blazed trails in the area that, combined with part of the AT, provide several different loop hikes. The green arrow on the attached map indicates the Gamelands parking area. 2/6/10.






15+

At the gamelands parking lot
1
at @ rohland.org
Another route that may be more convenient from the south and west than those given above is to take Fisher Avenue north from Exit 85 on I-81. Go 0.8 miles, then go left on Asher Miner Road. This eventually becomes PA 443. In 2.2 miles turn left onto what the Google map calls Ammo Road. Go 0.5 miles and bear right. In another 0.5 miles go right again on Cold Spring Road. Continue 1.7 miles to the Hotel Road intersection and 2.7 miles to the parking area. The Cold Spring Trail goes north climbing to meet the AT in 0.9 miles. At the intersection, the southbound At goes left (west), the northbound goes right (east). Coordinates at the intersection are 40.48645 -76.6362. 02/05/10
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
This area is CLOSED! As of May 20, 2016 this area is closed. They are replacing the bridge that crosses the small stream near the State Games Parking area. There is a gate that closes the road but there is plenty of parking available here. It is about a half mile additional walk down to the State Games parking area. You will need to walk across the stream but there are plenty of rocks to cross safely. Once you cross the stream look for the blue blazed Cold Spring trail. Follow that until you reach the multi-purpose trail and you will see the AT sign directly on the other side. 06/14/16 ATEditor 1
Pen615 @ aol.com
8.5
Cold Spring Trail (Hotel Road/ Cold Spring Road Jct.)
  Poor            Great



 
See previous listing for directions and a discussion of this alternative parking on Cold Spring Road. The green arrow on the attached map indicates the intersection of Hotel Road and Cold Spring Road. Walk north 0.9 -1.0 miles to the regular Gamelands parking lot. GPS N40.465961 W76.629764 02/05/10 8-10 where road gets rough 1
at @ rohland.org
8.7
Sand Spring Trail
  Poor            Great




Take Exit 67B off I-81 north of Harrisburg. This is just east of the Susquehanna River. Go north for 6 miles to the intersection with PA 225 near Dauphin. Turn right on PA 225 and go 2 miles to the intersection with PA 325. Go right on PA 325 for 17.3 miles to a small dirt parking area on the right. This is shortly after passing De Hart Reservoir.


Alternatively take Exit 107 off I-81. Go west for 6 miles on US 209 to the intersection with PA 325 in the the town of Tower City. Go left on PA 325 for 8.8 miles to the parking area on the left. GPS N40.5026 W76.65375
Rotate the street view on the attached map to the north see the parking area. The blue-blazed Sand Spring Trail, a SIDE TRAIL, climbs to the south for 1.7 miles to meet the AT. At the intersection the northbound AT goes left (east), the southbound goes right (west). Coordinates at the AT are 40.48606 -76.63626 . 02/05/10 4-5 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
see directions given above. Beware: There is no sign stating Sand Spring trail. At this trailhead, the trees have a double blue-blaze. Be prepared to ford a stream within 0.2 mi of the parking area. The water is about 2-3 feet deep. The distance across is about 20 feet. There are rocks to step across, but the water was flowing over them on the day I wanted to attempt this route. As a result, I could not take the Sand Spring Trail. - 6/26/2012 06/27/12 1-2 1
polyengr @ aol.com
17.4
Clarks Valley (Route 325)
  Poor            Great




The AT crosses PA RT 325 some 20 miles Northeast of Harrisburg. There is PA State Game Lands parking place there which would accommodate a RV, not sure if they allow overnight parking.  
MarkovicPL @ aol.com
N 40°27.075 W76°46.557 Rt 325, State Game Land (SGL) 211   1
H2oboyhike @ aol.com
From Harrisburg:

Take US 22/322 north to PA 225 North. Turn right on 325 East. Got about 9-10 miles. Parking is on the right.

From Swatara SP:
From the intersection of PA 443 and PA 72 ( See Mile 1.4) take PA 443 east for 2 miles. Turn left on Gold Mine Road. Go 7 miles and turn left on PA 325. Go about 15 miles on 325 past the Dehart Reservoir. Parking is on the left.
Parking area is off the road, not visible from 325. It is fairly large and popular with fishermen. N40.451535 W76.776237 Rotate the street view on the map attached in the previous listing to the north to see the southbound AT. Rotate to the south to see the northbound AT and the entrance road to the parking area. 4/16/2006 More than 20
at @ rohland.org
Take Exit 67B off I-81 north of Harrisburg. This is just east of the Susquehanna River. Go north for 6 miles to the intersection with PA 225 near Dauphin. Turn right on PA 225 and go 2 miles to the intersection with PA 325. Go right on PA 325 for 10 miles to the entrance to the parking area on the right.
Alternatively take Exit 107 off I-81. Go west for 6 miles on US 209 to the intersection with PA 325 in the the town of Tower City. Go left on PA 325 for 16 miles to the entrance to the parking area on the left.
Rotate the street view on the attached map to the south to see the entrance to the parking area and the north bound trail to Section 7. Rotate to the north to see the southbound trail to Section 8. 02/09/10 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu

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