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Swan Lake Canoe Route

Location In Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, N side of Kenai Peninsula, E of Kenai. (recertified 1993)
State(s) Alaska
Counties Kenai Peninsula Borough
Type Water Trail
Length 60.00 Miles / 96.56 Km Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Wildlife Observation
Agency U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Entry Fee? No Parking Fee? No


The Swan Lake Canoe Route is part of the Kenai Canoe Trails.
View all trails in this system.



"A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." With these words, the Congress of the United States defined the general characteristics of a wilderness area. The Kenai Canoe Trails is one of only three wilderness canoe systems established in the United States (the other being Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota, and Okefenokee in Georgia). These trails are located within the northwestern section of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, an area of 1.3 million acres, established by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 for its outstanding wildlife and recreational values. The Kenai Canoe Trails are divided into two systems, the Swan Lake and Swanson River Canoe Routes. Both trails are National Recreation Trails. The Swan Lake System is perhaps the most visited of the two systems and contains 30 lakes linked with the main branch and the West Fork of the Moose River in an interconnecting system of waterways and portages. This forms a canoe route of about 60 miles, though many shorter excursions are possible and even likely. The Swanson River Canoe Route lies north of the Swan Lake System and connects 40 lakes with 46 miles of the Swanson River. In total, the Swanson River Canoe Route forms a trail system of just over 80 miles in length. (Continued...)


Visitor Information

Date Opens: 1/1 - Date Closes: 12/31

Time Opens: Not Available - Time Closes: Not Available


From the Sterling Highway (Route 1) 10 miles east of Soldotna, or about 1.5 miles west of the town of Sterling at milepost 83.4, turn north onto Swanson River Road. Turn right onto the Swan Lake Road at mile 16.4. From there it is approximately 3.5 miles to the West Entrance of the Swan Lake Canoe Route. It is an additional 6 miles to the East Entrance of the Swan Lake Canoe Route, and another 2.5 miles further on the Swan Lake Road to the entrance to the Swanson River Canoe Route. Parking areas are provided, and all canoeists are required to register at each entrance.


Additional Information

Width: 0 inches.

Primary Surface: Water, still

Secondary Surface: None

Average Grade: 0%

Elevation Low Point: Not Available

Elevation High Point: 295

Year Designated: 1981

Date Last Updated: 02/28/2013


Contact Information

Trail Management:
Scott Slavik
Backcountry Ranger
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 2139
Soldotna , AK 99669 -2139
(907) 262-7021


Related Webpages and Documents

Title Type Link
None Available



Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact either the trail manager (listed above) or email


NOTE: The information on this web site and/or in this database is provided for the convenience of the public, trail managers, organizations, elected officials, etc. Neither the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, nor American Trails can guarantee that the information is accurate. Trail users are urged to inquire locally about weather, trail conditions, trail characteristics, fees, and regulations! The information on this web site and/or in this database should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government, and any mention of trade names, commercial products, or businesses does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.




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