In the Western Region, the Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Route #1 traverses Van Buren, Kalamazoo and Calhoun Counties as it travels through the towns and townships of South Haven, Lacota, Grand Junction, Bloomingdale, Gobles, Pine Grove, Kendall, Kalamazoo, Comstock, Galesburg, Augusta, Battle Creek, Marshall, Albion and Homer.

Segments

The following trails make up the Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Route #1 in the Western Region. Click on the name of each trail segment to discover its character, including its length, surface, uses and history.

The Kal-Haven Trail is a 33.5 linear multi-use trail that links South Haven to Kalamazoo.  The trail was opened in 1991 on an abandoned railroad route and runs through several quaint communities in Van Buren County. The Kal-Haven features scenic tree-lined pathways and rural countryside. The picturesque trail is open all year, providing four-season enjoyment.

Length: 33.5 miles

Surface: Old railroad bed converted to a trail with a limestone/slag surface

Uses: Hiking, biking, jogging, cross country skiing and snowmobiling (4” minimum snow base)

E-bikes: Class 1 e-bikes allowed

History: The Kal-Haven Trail features over 15 historic points of interest along the 33.5 mile-trail.  The trail was once the Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad, providing passenger and freight service between the two communities from 1870 to 1970. Various post office buildings, historic structures and other features supporting the railway can be viewed along the route.

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Operated as a Kalamazoo County Park, the Kalamazoo River Valley (KRV) Trail offers something for everyone. The trail provides a connection to several county parks offering picnicking, swimming and paddling opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing family stroll, a journey into nature, an extensive workout or a bike route to work the KRV Trail awaits your visit.

Length: 23 miles

Surface: Asphalt and concrete

Uses: Hiking, biking, cross country skiing

E-bikes: Class 1 eBikes permitted

History: Visitors to the KRV Trail will enjoy local history at the Kalamazoo Nature Center and Rose Park Veteran’s Memorial in Kalamazoo. The Nature Center has a historical working farm and contains the scenic Cooper’s Glen, the site of a Native American encampment prior to European settlement.

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The Battle Creek Linear Park offers visitors unlimited recreational and educational opportunities. With more than 26 miles of paved pathway, the park is perfect for a brisk jog or leisurely stroll. The park is also a resource for learning more about the world around us as it features unique plant and animals as well as picnicking and fishing opportunities, playgrounds, and historical and cultural points of interest.

Length: 26 miles

Surface: Asphalt

Uses: Hiking, walking, biking, jogging

E-bikes: Not yet allowed

History: Visitors to the Battle Creek Linear Park will enjoy local history at Monument Park in Battle Creek, where they will find the Stone History Tower as well as tributes to C.W. Post and Sojourner Truth.

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The Trailway weaves through three of the county’s four parks as it incorporates the Battle Creek Linear Park, Marshall Riverwalk (primarily pedestrian), Albion River Trail, and Homer Linear Park. The trailway travels through the Ott Biological Preserve, where users’ experience landscapes ranging from hardwood canopies to reedy marshes. The route continues southward, passing through Kimball Pines County Park and then southeast to the entrance of Historic Bridge Park. The trail includes a number of elevated boardwalks along its length.

Length: 45-50 miles, construction ongoing

Surface: The first 5.3 miles is crushed limestone, and remaining connecting trails are paved asphalt

Uses: Hiking, biking, running, and cross country skiing

E-bikes: Final rules not yet formalized

History: Visitors can experience several historical landmarks along the Trailway. Oakhill Cemetery in Battle Creek is the burial place of pioneers like W.K. Kellogg, John Harvey Kellogg and Sojourner Truth, who lived there from 1857-83. A 12-foot-high tribute to Sojourner was dedicated in Monument Park in 1999. Oakridge Cemetery in Marshall is the second oldest operating cemetery in Michigan and holds many of the city’s pioneers and founders. Additional history lessons await at Holland Park in an exhibit featuring oral histories and interpretive displays portraying the civil rights struggle in Albion.

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