Hike the Ankle Express Trail to the Swinging Bridge

Hike the Ankle Express Trail to the Swinging Bridge

Ankle Express Hiking Trailhead

Distance

5.3 Miles

Elevation Gain

500 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Winter

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Jamie Fleck

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

The swinging bridge located along the Ankle Express hiking trail is a unique feature of the trail and is very popular for photographs. The hike to the swinging bridge is very scenic and winds along the beautiful Greenleaf Lake.

With beautiful lakeside views and a swinging bridge as a destination, the Ankle Express hiking trail in Greenleaf State Park provides a decent amount of uphill hiking and scenery.

The Ankle Express trail head is located just across the Deer Run campground at Greenleaf State Park. There is parking for around 5-6 cars at the trail head, with ample parking within the state park. The Ankle Express hiking trail is indicated by blue blazes.

From the trail head, the Ankle Express trail winds south through the forest for about a mile. At around the 1.1 mile marker, you will reach US-10 where you will have to walk along the road across the dam for a short distance before taking a left back on to the trail. A short ways from there, you will turn right on to a old road with patches of concrete. Blue arrows will indicate this. A few yards on that, you will see another arrow turning left back on the trail. You will wind around Greenleaf Lake before taking a left across a creek bed. You will see the swinging bridge ahead of you. From there you can either continue on the Ankle Express trail (total loop is 12 miles) or you can turn around and head back to the trail head.

The best time to go hiking on the Ankle Express trail is during the winter as during warmer weather there can be an abundance of ticks and rattlesnakes along the trail. The views of the lake and the forest are just as beautiful during the winter season, and you will most likely have the swinging bridge area to yourself for photographs and enjoyment.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Ok Trail

Rocky and dangerous to cross highway to connect to trail at one point.

Distance

5.3 Miles

Elevation Gain

500 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Winter

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Jamie Fleck

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Camp at Greenleaf State Park

Adventure

Scenic Drive through Sequoyah State Park

Adventure

Kayak the Illinois River

Adventure

Hike the Rough Canyon Trail past the Cattail Pond Junction

More Nearby Adventures

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