Lake McDonald Trail – 7mi / 11.3km
Along the length of the western shore of Lake McDonald runs a lesser known trail that gives unique views of Lake McDonald. The trail can be taken in either direction, The trickiest part is finding transportation at either end.
From the north end, the trail starts in lush forests in an area called Kelly Camp. You quickly encounter the 2003 burned area, as the trail often serves as the border between burned and unburned forest. This part of the trail gives you views of Lake McDonald almost the entire way. Approximately two miles into the journey, you will be walking in exclusively burned areas, which is great for nature and wildlife views but makes for a hot walk in the summer months. The campground with a great beach is a perfect place to stop and admire the incredible view up the head of Lake McDonald.
The trail continues along the shore of the lake until it reaches trees again. This coincides with the Rocky Point Nature Trail, which offers a wooded trail with even more views of Lake McDonald and towards Apgar. From here, your journey can either end at the Fish Creek Campground or at the parking spaces at the Inside North Fork Road, located across a quaint bridge spanning Fish Creek.
Trailhead: At the head of Lake McDonald, turn onto North McDonald Road and follow it across the bridge until you reach the end of the road where you will see the beginning of the trail.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 400ft / 120m