Swan Creek Wilderness Area Trail

MODERATE 8 reviews
#11 of 50 trails in

Swan Creek Wilderness Area Trail is a 8.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Garrison, Missouri that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.8 miles
905 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




mountain biking

nature trips

trail running


horseback riding






wild flowers





old growth

over grown



washed out

Swan Creek is an 8,488 acre area that provides for year-round nonmotorized dispersed recreation use as it is a designated Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized (SPNM) Area. There are approximately 20 miles of moderately used riding, hiking, and mountain bike trails available. Swan Creek itself offers swimming, fishing, and a non-potable water supply

horseback riding
2 months ago

horseback riding
5 months ago

I take issue with the man who stated horseriders left trash and cans ... more likely towners that deface our trails and camps...

horseback riding
8 months ago

8 months ago

Repost: My first review disappeared.

If you're hiking or backpacking forget about this place. Trails are not blazed or maintained and are in terrible condition. If you're lucky enough to stumble across a blaze it's so old and faded that you can't read it.

Another major problem is that there are so many offshoot, dead end, and cut-through trails that aren't mapped or marked that you will easily get off trail and lost. There are points where the trail simply disappears and you can't see any evidence where it picks back up. Even with a trail map and compass we got off trail and lost numerous times. Thank goodness for GPS!

Finally, the trash from horseback riders is ridiculous. Beer cans and water bottles everywhere. There is a definite lack of respect for the trail. "Leave No Trace" seems to have no meaning here, even with signs at the trail head reminding you to "Pack It In - Pack It Out".

horseback riding
9 months ago

Great place to ride a horse

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The directions on the app lead you to what I can only assume is some kind of service road. The actual trailhead is off of Hwy 125. Even once you get there, however, the trail markings are basically non-existent. There was one sign at the trailhead, I followed the trail in about a hundred feet to the creek & that was it. I will say the 2 hours driving I wasted were very scenic & this looks like a really pretty area if you want to bushwhack it.

whitewater kayaking
Friday, September 26, 2014

I float swan creek after locally heavy rains from Garson to shadow rock park. This creek produces large standing waves that keep getting bigger as the creek rises instead of washing out. Bring your life jacket ! It's a great ride.

Sunday, March 30, 2014