Swan Lake

By Beacon Staff

For a less congested and more relaxing weekend, travel down U.S. Highway 83 to Swan Lake. A haven for hikers, bikers and boaters, the lake provides a plethora of opportunities for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

“I would recommend (Swan Lake) to people with kids,” said Mike Woodring, who was vacationing for three nights with his wife’s family. “We feel like we’re away from the crowds.”

The area offers lodging from the Swan Lake Campground, directly across from the only public access on the lake, to the Laughing Horse Lodge. The public access is speckled with picnic areas and also offers a boat ramp and buoyed area for swimmers.

The Woodring family raves about the Bond Creek Trail hike that winds its way over marsh and streams to waterfalls. Other trails – like the Sprunger-Whitney Nature Trail, the Swan River Oxbow Preserve and the National Wildlife Refuge – weave their way through the entire Swan Range to prime trout lakes, making it a superb destination for hikers and fishermen.

How to Get There: From Bigfork, take U.S. Highway 209 west to U.S. Highway 83. (Highway 83 also intersects U.S. Highway 35 north of Bigfork.) Travel south on Highway 83 for about 12 miles. Highway 83 follows the lake on the east side.

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