smith lake

Smith Lake via Swift Creek Loop

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After two days of driving long distances to trails, I wanted something easy, so this time I left Hungry Horse Reservoir and hiked in Whitefish Lake State Park

The Swift Creek Loop trailhead parking with a pit toilet can be found just off East Lakeshore Dr.  The parking area is far more developed than my recent hikes to both Doris Mountain and Jenny Lake.  I was the first to arrive this weekday, but by the time I finished ten cars filled the parking lot.

The well-groomed lollipop loop travels 4.9 miles to Smith Lake.  Smith Lake, with its stagnant waters and limited shoreline, was disappointing.  The hike felt more like a neighborhood walk to me, despite the forested areas and rolling terrain. 

Perhaps if the overlook to the creek weren’t closed due to unstable ground, I would have liked it more. But I got what I was after, an easy trail to exercise Annie!  Sometimes, I feel like the hardest trailhead to reach features the hardest yet most rewarding scenery. And vice versa.

Smith Lake fell in the vice versa category today. Though if it were located in Texas, I’d be pretty excited about the trail, since most everything is paved in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

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