ElevationAscent: 898' 274 m
Descent: -898' -274 m
High: 752' 229 m
Low: 627' 191 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)
“The Wakazoo Loop is a relatively flat route that's almost 15 miles long with numerous trailheads and parking lots.”— Lucy Murphy
Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The Allegan State Game Area is 50,000 acres, and the Department of Natural Resources encourages outdoor activity all year round in this region. The only time to avoid the area is November 15 through November 30th, which is deer hunting season with firearms.
Take a right onto Wakazoo Trail (aka Northwest Trail) which heads west towards Ely Campground. There are a few road crossings along this trail, so just stay alert. You'll reach Ely Lake around six miles into the run; here there is a campground, restrooms, a picnic area, and even a swimming spot in the lake. This is a great spot to stop for a break!
From Ely Lake, continue east/northeast before crossing 116th Avenue. Here, the Wakazoo Trail (aka Northwest Trail) heads north through the woods, crossing several roads; again, please use caution at these crossings. About 9.8 miles into the run, the Wakazoo Trail (aka Northwest Trail) turns east again and crosses a pipeline easement around 11 miles in. Continue east, following the yellow blazes but use caution around 11.8 miles as there are some very old and dying trees in the area. In strong wind this could be a dangerous spot.
Keep on keeping-on and the trail will turn southeast at about the 13 mile mark. From here it's a straight shot back to Swan Creek Trail (North and South). At the intersection of Swan Creek Trail take a right to head south. Once you reach the road, turn left to cross the bridge to get back to your car.
There are some clear areas of plains where old fragile trees have been cleared and some other areas where large trees still exist. The varied terrain of this loop is, without a doubt, an experience you want to be a part of.
The whole trail is relatively flat and easy to run on, though there might be the occasional log on the trail. A portion of the trail between Ely Lake and Swan Creek, called the Ely Lake Swan Creek Connector, has an batch of briar, but this is easily avoidable by running on the equestrian trail that runs beside the Ely Lake Swan Creek Connector portion. A section of the trail between 118th Avenue and 120th Avenue takes place on 52nd Street rather than in the woods, and a portion is on the equestrian trail marked with white splashes on trees. In the spring, the trail around Ely Lake may be a little damp, but can be avoided by going around the wetlands.
Run this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know
Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.
Land Manager: Allegan State Game Area Field Office