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



dogs on leash

Allegan, Michigan Map

The first two miles of this counter-clockwise hike are the best, where the trail hugs the hillside around the west side of Swan Creek Pond. We even saw some of the eponymous birds luxuriating in the pond. After the first two miles the trail merges into wider (bridle?) path. At the south end of the trail the (unmarked) connector to the trail back up the east side of the creek is a dirt road. Follow it about .1 mile and you will see a wooden arrow on a stake painted yellow to direct you back to the trail. No clear views of the pond until the north end of the return trail. We found the trail obstructed by uprooted trees where it crosses a boat access road, had to bushwhack to get back onto trail. We disliked the fact that the last quarter-mile of the hike is on the narrow shoulder of 118th Ave. Not much traffic, but cars buzz by at a fast clip. There is one spot, the bridge, where there is no shoulder at all so you have to take care. Mosquitoes were atrocious (mid-September). Not the best experience for us, but like I said the first two miles of the hike were excellent.

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.

1 month 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.

Started counter clockwise at north loop trailhead. For the most part the trail is easily discernible and adequate. However, ran into some areas skirting the lake where the trail is very narrow, on an ankle turning slanted slope and either obstructed or not easily discernible. Mosquitoes were brutal even after two applications of repellent. Was not my type of trail (weak ankles due to previous injuries) and with the bug swarms couldn’t wait to arrive back at my car.

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.

trail running
4 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.

We walked the south loop trail on Earth Day. This was our first time on the south loop, but we hiked the north loop recently. We parked by the dam because we didn’t realize there was parking on the other side of the road. About 3/4 of the trail is a basic walk in the woods, on the ridge over the river. The north half of the west bank trail was greatly varied and fun...definitely the best, with varied terrain.

4 months ago

Great scenery. There's a fork at about 3 miles. Take the upper trail to the right, don't go left down to the water as you lose the trail and end up in pricker bushes.

Great quick trail. I would rate it as easy-moderate.
After first half you must walk out on a road to the left and re-enter to the left about 1/4 mike down.
Towards the end you finish it on the asphalt road.
Worth it!

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.

Estimate of length is pretty accurate, I’d say around 5 miles. Didn’t see another person the entire trail, which is perfect! Overall well marked. I’d recommend it!

What a beautiful hike in the snow. Well marked, and yes after the one mile I did today it seems a little shy on the estimate. I can't wait to see the whole thing!

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 hiking trail but definitely not 4.8 miles. My gps map put me at 6 miles. At the half way mark I came out at 44th st and had a hard time finding the return trail but did find it eventually. I had to walk on the actual road for a bit until I seen a trail heading back into the woods. Very beautiful trail.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The "lake" is rapidly filling in, with over nitrogenation, lots of algae and duckweed. The trail is well over 10 miles for the loop, not 4.6. Very difficult to find the trail head from the parking lot north of 118 -- park at the south lot. Warning, the part of the trail between parking lots forces you onto 118 with no shoulders and 50 mph traffic.

5 months ago

5 months ago

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