Explore the most popular birding trails in Allegan State Game Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
6 days ago

Great run, despite some moments where you need to stop and crawl over logs. Found a few ticks on me afterwards as well, FYI.

The east bank trail is close to the river edge, nearly all the way to the turn around. Footing is rarely flat and there are several fallen trees to climb over or under. This makes for a great hike! Really enjoyable! We saw several people fishing for steelhead and a section where a beaver really went to town on small trees. On the way down the west bank, we met Lynn, who was maintains the trail. The west bank trail is pretty much a walk in the woods, along the ridge over the river. It’s part two-track and part trail. We covered the trail in about two hours.

My kind of trail, quite primitive. I did loose the trail a couple times but got back on without to much trouble. I would rate it as moderate to difficult with a few quite difficult areas on the east side. Using trekking poles was mandatory for me. I liked the solitude, variety of terrain and nature. Will do this one again.

I hiked this trail this weekend. follow the yellow painted painted on the trees, the northern part is less a trail and more of follow the yellow markers. I shouldve downloaded the map, as it is easy to lose the trail. It is fun in a different type of way.

2 months ago

Short trail accessed from two-track at Ely Lake Campground. Trail starts behind red gate and is well used and clear. Parking is there, but it's only about a mile from the campground on two-track. Perfect for trail running or viewing wetland dependent wildlife.

Very beautiful trail along the winding swan creek. Lots of biodiversity with unique setting. Only downside is the trail is very narrow or undeveloped in areas.

Nice trail, very beautiful this time of year. This trail is located within the ely lake campground, and finding were the trail starts and or ends was difficult. I ended up just parking at a campsite and walking along the lake edge until I found it. Now that I walked the trail I’ll know where to get on, but just know it is not marked.

8 months ago

Short trail and you might see some wildlife here. This trail can be started by taking the Ely Lake Loop trail from Ely Lake Campsite or you can drive from the campsite to Little Tom Lake. In the spring, this area can be a little damp so be prepared. It is a swamp. By June it is dry and you won't have a problem walking the trails. It you like the wetlands and what the wetlands offers, this is the trail. Of course, it is good for mileage and discovering nature.

8 months ago

Best place to start this trail is from Ely Lake Campground and start walking around Ely Lake. Trail splits and one of the trails takes you to Little Tom Lake. The part of the trail to Little Tom Lake is heavily used and a little wet in the spring. Still doable, it's just damp. After you get to the two track road to Little Tom, the other side of this trail is not as well used. It takes you through a marshy area that is a bit wet in the spring. The marshy area is a great way to explore with appropriate boots. The area dries up in June. It's neat to venture around a marsh.

Trail is maintained by volunteers. As a volunteer, I have market the trail through the campground and all the way to 118th Ave. When you leave the campground, turn left on 116th Ave. In about 300 feet, you will see a marked trail to the right. If you run into Do Not Trespass signs on 116th Ave, you have gone too far and need to turn around. If anyone wants to help with loppers or chain saws, that would be greatly appreciated. :)

I am giving it a 4-star because it is the only trail in Southwest Michigan that is of considerable length for trail running or back packing.

It was hard to locate the trail around the maze of campsites at Ely Lake. Then no more than a half mile on the trail I come to a road crossing and can't find where it picks up on the other side despite having the map and GPS. There are no clear trail markings but plenty of no trespassing signs. I ended up just running along the county roads praying all the while that no dogs came chasing after me... Not a recommended trail unless you know the area.

9 months ago

Trail is in pretty good shape, if I say so myself. Only a couple of logs across the trail that can be easily cut by some nice person. Volunteers are always needed to help out with the trails. Anytime you see something that should be removed from the trail, even if you have to use a chain saw, the volunteers will love you for it! :)

Even though there is a break in the gps map, this trail goes completely around the lake and is relatively easy to find, however, there is no trail head sign. It is well marked around the lake with a couple of signs for hikes branching off the Ely Lake Park Loop trail.

10 days ago

1 month ago