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This starts at the ely lake campground. I was unable to find the trail marked here. I used the map that records your trip and it sent me into a part of the woods where there wasn’t even a trail. So i went back to main road through the campground and actually found a nice walking trail roughly by campsite 48. Was about 2.5 miles in then back. Marked well with yellow markings on the trees. I went until trail tees into a road. You could cross the street at that point and pick it up on the other side if you wanted.

I am so excited!

Sunday, I met three female millennials, with backpacks on, walking south on 48th Street. I stopped to chat with them and they said that they were heading to Swan Creek. They said that they were walking the Wakazoo Trail and camped at Ely Lake overnight. One was from Chicago.

I asked them to give a review, but in case they don't, they said the Wakazoo was a great trail!

hiking
1 month ago

I just returned from a fantastic hike on this loop. The east section was interesting and fun. The trail wound around the edges of the creek. The west section was faster and on more high ground. We experienced signs of Beaver, Bear and Deer. This app helped us find our way back to trail, when we strayed from the yellow dotted trees.

Although I had a great time in the Pine Plains, there is no trail. At least not what's mapped here. It was a really unique hike, it's one of the few places I've been in the lower peninsula that feels like you're in the wilderness. And the oak savanna ecosystem is something I've never experienced before but I'll definitely be there again soon!

Can get a little difficult to find the trail in a couple areas but its blazed pretty well overall. My kind of hike though. Saw a blue racer catch a mouse right on the path, almost tripped over a turtle, and spooked a few turkeys. Nice forest scenery with a good view of Swan Creek at the North end.

hiking
2 months ago

East side of Swan Creek is moderate difficulty. West side is very easy.

Trailhead is easiest to find from the parking lot that is East of the bridge / dam. Make sure you look for the Yellow paint marks on the trees and do not simple follow the path that starts at the base of the dam that gets overgrown and ends about 200 feet down stream.

Also at the north end, the map is a bit off. Just take the obvious left 90 degree turn when you come out of the woods onto the levee.

I parked my car on 48th Street, just south of 120th Avenue in Fennville today. I added yellow splash paint on the trail westward crossing 120th, continuing west passing the connecting trail on 51st Street almost all the way to 120th Avenue. I never used a map, but did add more yellow trail markers so trail is now well marked. Looked like heavy winds or tornado took some trees down a little east of 52nd Street, so I spent a bit of time clearing the trail. Someone else had already chainsawed the big trees (thank you!). I never looked at a map and was able to follow with the yellow splashes, even though I added a lot more yellow. I was glad I brought my head net (ordered online at TrueValue for $4), since it is deer fly season in July. Worked great! 78 degrees was warm but ok for a day of hiking in the shade of the trees. Round trip, maybe 7 miles, less than 3 hours.

This trail is a real ankle twister, you are walking on a slanted slope nearly the whole way, one wrong step and you’re in the river. There are treacherous trees to limbo under and swarms of insects everywhere you look. The trail seems never ending and is not well marked. I would rank this trail as hard due to the unforeseen turmoil on the trail.

I have skied this trail before, but decided to hike it today. Flat trail, easy to follow and 95% in the shade, so it's a great trail for sunny and warm weather.

Easy flat trail if you want something new. Good birding area, will see wild flowers, birds and butterflies. I cleared a bit of the trail down to the Big Daily Bayou, which is off the Kalamazoo River. It's an uneven trail and a bit strenuous. Was fun to explore. Lots of growth has filled in the Big Daily Bayou, so it's not possible to paddle through anymore.

trail running
5 months 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.

birding
7 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.

hiking
Thursday, September 07, 2017

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.

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

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.

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

I love this trail! It is a trail marked with yellow dots and though the fallen forest area, the trees are flagged with yellow ties. To get to the trail, you have to start hiking around Ely Lake and then you will connect to this trail. The trail winds through the forest, among fallen trees, through a lost cemetery and back to the trail to Little Tom Lake. You can even venture here. I was not able to get to the Bravo Unit Wildlife Refuge because of the overgrowth, but with a little perseverance, I believe it is possible. Something is funny about the terrain in this area. If you look on google earth, you see a funny pattern in the land. Must have something to do with farming, that's all I can guess.

hiking
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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.

trail running
Monday, July 24, 2017

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.

hiking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

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.

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30 days ago

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