Equestrian Trail System
The Allegan County Equestrian Trail System (ETS) is a collaborative effort between Allegan County Parks, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the volunteer group Friends of the Allegan County Equestrian Trail System (FACETS).
Horseback riding in Allegan County has been a very popular recreational activity for residents and visitors for many years. Most of the equestrian activity in the County takes place in the 50,000-acre Allegan State Game Area. Up until recently this riding activity in the Game Area has been through a “dispersed” riding program, meaning there were no designated riding trails. However, in an effort to make riding in the Game Area more user-friendly and to protect sensitive ecosystems Allegan County Parks, via a 25-year renewable lease agreement with the State of Michigan, has taken over management and ownership responsibilities for a designated equestrian trail system in the Game Area.
The Allegan County ETS consists of 60 miles of marked and mapped designated riding trails. This makes it easier for riders, especially those that are new to the area, to enjoy this recreational opportunity in Allegan County.
Located south of M-40 are an additional 30 miles of trails and two trail staging areas, one of which is located at Swan Creek Pond and the other is located at Ely Lake Campground
. Ely Lake, which also provides overnight equestrian camping opportunities, and the Swan Creek Pond trail head, are connected by a riding trail network (see above Equestrian Trail System Map).
Special Note: All Allegan County ETS trails that are part of the Game Area will be closed to riding from November 15 to November 30 each year; this coincides with the firearm deer season. There are six miles of equestrian trails located within the Silver Creek boundary that can be used during firearm season; please see the campground map on the Silver Creek webpage for available trails. As always, wear bright colored clothing whenever riding any of the trails in the fall.
It is important to note that this ETS opportunity would not be possible without an active and dedicated volunteer group in FACETS (Friends of Allegan County Equestrian Trails).