Abstract: A near-field coupling method for studying propagation properties of surface plasmon polariton (SPP) in subwavelength dielectric-loaded SPP waveguides (DLSPPWs) is presented. In this method, a tapered fiber probe is employed to generate a nanometer optical spot. When this spot is near the entrance of the DLSPPW with its polarization parallel to the waveguide, a strong guiding wave is observed by a leakage radiation microscope. For DLSPPWs with a dielectric height of about 600 nm, we observed SPP waves with zigzag propagation patterns at 650 nm wavelength. Such zigzag propagation results in a great reduction of propagation loss. In addition, the zigzag wave has a strong optical confinement. The bending loss for an L-bend DLSPPW is only about 0.4 dB.