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This Advisory Page is intended to make boaters navigating the Swatara Creek through Swatara State Park aware of known obstacles.  The number of obstacles and their locations can change on an hourly basis.  Information provided herein does not relieve boaters of their responsibility to carefully scout the creek ahead and constantly check for changing conditions. 

Friends Group Members working as DCNR Conservation Volunteers do their best to remove fallen trees as time and conditions permit.  If you want to assist with this task, or are aware of a fallen tree obstructing navigation, email .

As of June 9, 2019, we received reports that the Swatara Creek Swatara State Park Water Trail has two obstacles that totally obstruct navigation.  The first is just down stream of the Swopes Valley Boat Launch and the second is just below the Swatrara Gap at the Iron Bridge Road construction site. You can check the construction and portage status before launching.  If you are getting out at the Appalachian Trail/Waterville Bridge, you will not be impacted by this obstacle. Reports also note that there were several large debris fields that can be navigated.  Skill level of the individuals reporting conditions is intermediate level.  A report received by two expert level paddlers confirms that report.  Novice paddlers should exercise extreme caution in the area when attempting to pass through the debris field which is 1.3 miles downstream of the Swopes Valley Boat Launch. There are two consecutive 90 degree turns and about 6 downed trees that create a challenge for boaters.  Paddlers will make a 90 degree turn to their right and in less than 100 yards make another 90 degree turn to the left at which time they will immediately be faced with the debris field of downed trees.  It has been suggested that paddlers pass through the debris along the left bank as the current on the right side of the creek will force them into a maze of downed trees and strainers.