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Appalachian Trail: Swatara Gap to 501 Shelter

Jonestown, Pennsylvania



22.88 miles

Elevation Gain

2064 ft

Route Type



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Added by The Outbound Collective

The Appalachian Trail section from Swatara Gap to 501 Shelter in Jonestown, Pennsylvania, is a moderate difficulty hike. Spanning approximately 22.88 miles, this trail offers a variety of terrain, including rocky paths, forested areas, and open fields. The trail's elevation gain is around 2,064 feet, providing a moderate challenge for hikers. Notable features along this trail include the Swatara Creek, a small waterway that hikers cross at the beginning of the trail. The trail also passes through State Game Lands 211, a wildlife conservation area. The 501 Shelter, a well-maintained hiker's hut, marks the end of this section. Hikers should be prepared for rocky terrain and wear sturdy footwear. The trail is well-marked, but carrying a map is recommended. Weather can be variable, so layered clothing is advised. This trail section is accessible year-round, but spring and fall offer the most comfortable hiking conditions.
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