Places: Swan River Recreation Area

By Beacon Staff

With sporadic intervals of sun and warm weather this spring, it’s good to have a place like the Swan River Nature Trail and Swan River fishing accesses for a quick getaway.

From the west trailhead in downtown Bigfork, the main nature trail is a gated 2-mile gravel road that winds its way along the Swan River overlooking stunning scenery with numerous places to view the rushing water. At the Bigfork Hydro Project Dam, the trail continues along calmer waters to the east trailhead.

On the opposite side of the river, just off State Highway 209, are the Kearney Rapids Boat Launch, the South Shore Boater Put In and Pacific Park. Both the put in and park have access to a primitive fishing trail along the western portion of the river.

The ease of the Swan River Nature Trail makes it an ideal place for all ages and abilities to enjoy the outdoors without having to travel far from downtown.

While on the trail, keep an eye out for common goldeneyes, osprey, swallows and cedar waxwings among other bird species in the area.

How to get there: From U.S. Highway 35, turn west on Grand Drive – as if you were heading into downtown Bigfork. Continue on Grand Drive past Electric Avenue. The west trailhead is at the top of the hill where Grand Avenue ends.

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