Whitefish Trails

Swift Lake Whitefish

The Whitefish Trails are a true gem in northwestern Montana.  They surround Whitefish Lake, just to the west of Glacier National Park. These trails, located on the west side of Whitefish Lake, have been constructed to accommodate both hikers and mountain bikers.  Each area has loop trails, approximately 3 miles in length, as well as connections to the other areas.  

There are several places to park and access trailheads.  Each trailhead has parking, a potty, and a kiosk with maps and information.  Insider tip - take a picture of the map with your cell phone.  Easy to carry and you never know when you might need it.  

Lion Mountain is the closest trail head to downtown Whitefish and consequently one of the busiest.  You will see the signs for it just north of the Whitefish Golf Course.

For hikers, the trails are great for a morning or afternoon hike.  Some ups and downs, but nothing too strenuous. The forest is beautiful, particularly in Fall, when the leaves are changing.  Golden on top and the forest floor is red with huckleberry leaves.

For biking fans, there are countless ways to explore the trials and to ride from one section to another.  Ride a big loop, or coordinate with a buddy to meet you at the other end of the lake.  As always, ride safely and remember to yield to hikers ( at the very least, ring your bell to let them know you are coming).

In the Woods Lake area the trails can take you past Dollar Lake, Little Beaver Lake, Beaver Lake, and Woods Lake.  There is also a Trail which goes through private land where there is an overlook to Whitefish Lake.  

Beaver Lake Trailhead does not take as much driving.  There is a great 3 mile loop, but it does not take you by any of the lakes.  You can take a slight ‘there and back’ detour of less than a mile to get to Beaver Lake.  If you are on a mountain bike, this is definitely a must.  If you are hiking, well, you need to decide if you have the time and the stamina.  You can also drive to Beaver Lake for fishing and boat launching.

The Swift Creek Trailhead is accessed by driving along the east side of Whitefish Lake along Wisconsin Ave and then E Lakeshore Drive.  This will take you past the north end of Whitefish Lake and a bit west.  Hopefully one day, the WT’s folk will be able to connect this trail head to the Woods Lake area.

Yes, you can bring your dog on the WT’s.  There are plenty of dogs enjoying the trails, off leash, with their owners.  It is like a huge doggy greeting party if you have a dog with you.  Seems like all of the dogs in Whitefish are friendly and know how to behave around each other.  If you don’t have a dog with you, don’t be surprised if a dog suddenly appears to greet you.

If you love being out in the Montana woods, the Whitefish Trails (WT) are the place to be.  They are easily accessible, well  maintained, and full of Montana beauty.

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