Guided Route for Entire Trail
Some of the final connections between the 18 trails of the Great Lake-to-Lake Trail Route #1 are under construction. To tour the entire destination trail, we have inputted the best route to follow at RideWithGPS, a free trail app. When you join our Route #1 Event on RideWithGPS, you can download a map of the trail with turn by turn directions. Maps and directions can be used in an offline mode and will not deplete your phone battery. Click here to join and view the route.
South Haven to Saugatuck and Holland
Follow the Lake Michigan coast north to the artist-friendly town of Saugatuck (either bike the 20 miles or load up the bikes for more time to explore). Located next to Saugatuck, is the beautiful city of Holland. If visiting in the spring, a not-to-be-missed site is the millions of blooming tulips that transform this Dutch-themed city into a must-see destination. A wonderful trail system connects the two towns and makes traveling a breeze through these busy enclaves.
Kal-Haven Trail Ghost Town Tour
The Kal-Haven Trail and its connecting corridors pass through many ghost towns. Kendall is an unincorporated community and the township seat located between sections 22 and 27 at 42°21′42″N 85°48′48″W. The ZIP Code is 49062. It is named for Lucius B. Kendall, who settled there in 1864 and built a successful company producing barrel staves from the surrounding oak forests with a steam saw-mill. In 1870, Kendall was a principal player in pushing for the construction of a railroad line between Kalamazoo and South Haven through the town, which became a station on the South Haven division of the Michigan Central Railroad. A post office was also established in 1870, in which Kendall and his associates platted the village of Kendall. The Panic of 1873 ruined many of the businesses in town, causing a decline in population from a high of about 400 to about 250 in 1880.
Mentha is a ghost town, formerly known as a major source for peppermint for the production of mint oil by the company of Albert M. Todd. It was located at 42°21′26″N 85°46′29″W.
North Lake is an unincorporated community at 42°20′00″N 85°49′10″Won the boundary with Almena Township.
Pine Grove Mills is a small settlement about a mile east of Gobles.
Singapore is located where the Kalamazoo River empties into Lake Michigan (near Saugatuck and Douglas). This was once a major logging town. It had 3 mills, churches and one of Michigan’s first schoolhouses. A fire in 1872 and the constant shifting sands led to its demise.
Kalamazoo River Valley Trail Wineries Tour
260 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Lawton Ridge Winery
8456 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Henderson Castle Inn
100 Monroe St, Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts |
314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007
240 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Exquisite Corpse-Collective Art Gallery
326 W Kalamazoo Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
436 N Park St #122, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Battle Creek linear Park and Calhoun County Trailway Museum Tour
Start your day in historic Marshall, Michigan at:
The American Museum of Magic
107 E Michigan Ave, Marshall, MI 49068
107 N Kalamazoo Ave, Marshall, MI 49068
Next, travel northwest to the historic college town of Albion, Michigan:
The Gardner House
509 S Superior St, Albion, MI 49224
Kids n Stuff Children’s Museum
301 S Superior St, Albion, MI 49224
Finish up in Battle Creek at:
The Kimball House
196 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017
Kalamazoo Watershed Day Trip Via the Falling Waters Trail
Start in the village of Homer Michigan and experience the beautiful trail system within the village. One of the sources of the Kalamazoo River, Homer is a great start to exploring the abundant hydrology the area has to offer.
Travel 9 miles up the road to Concord and the start of the Falling Waters Trail. Visitors here enjoy seeing the Concord Mill pond, an expansive wetland feeding the Kalamazoo Watershed.
Traveling further east on the trail leads to the Lime Lake Trailhead. Explore this spring-fed lake.
When leaving Lime Lake, use the local roads to find McCain and Sandstone Roads. One block from the intersection there is a free-flowing artesian well feeding Sandstone Creek. There are at least two others in the area.
From there, take McCain Road east into the city of Jackson. Turn right on Brown Street and see the historic Cascades. Best viewed at night in all their splendid color, the canal system feeding the Cascades is an impressive feat of engineering.
The Ella Sharp museum and Hurst Planetarium can fill a day by themselves and are a stone’s throw from the Cascades. Check out the extensive stone work surrounding the complex. Take Stonewall Road out front for miles of riding pleasure. This stone-walled country road leads to Jackson Community College where a day of exploration awaits.
Connected to the Jackson trail system is the Jackson Art Walk. Running along Cooper Street, it skirts by the old prison in the north end of Jackson. The old prison houses exhibits and galleries and is easy to traverse. Follow the Martin Luther King Trail into the heart of Jackson. There visitors will find microbreweries, shopping and entertainment in a beautifully-restored Michigan Theater.
Day trip to Hell on a Mountain Bike
There are multiple world class mountain bike trails in area. Start in Pinckney and travel south to the Pinckney Recreation Area. There trail users will find the most-used mountain bike trails in the state of Michigan. There are multiple lakes in the Recreation Area. Silver Lake beach is a popular stop. At the southern end of the Recreation Area sits the hamlet of Hell Michigan. Hell is located on Darwin Road and has a Hell-themed Ice Cream Parlor and many other spooky activities for the whole family. On the return trip to Pinckney, enjoy more Hellish fun at the “Hell Survivors Paintball War Zone” located just north of the Pinckney Trailhead, on D-19. The facility offers multiple acres of paintball fun.
Day Trip On the “Chain of Lakes”
Take the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail to McGregor Road. Travel 3 miles south to Kleve’s marina. Located on the SE corner of Portage Lake, Kleve’s Marina rents pontoon boats. An entire day could be spent on Portage Lake in itself! The Huron River connects Portage Lake to what’s known as the Chain of Lakes.
8789 McGregor Rd.
Pinckney, MI 48169
If you would rather have a guided tour or another rental source:
Chain of Lakes Boat Tours
Boat Rental & Charter
Lakeland, MI 48143
Finish the day at the Zukey Lake Tavern, a great local and iconic restaurant. The Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Route #1 runs along one side of the tavern. On the other side is Zukey Lake, one lake in the Chain of Lakes.
Bicycles are accepted aboard the Amtrak Wolverine Service on bicycle-friendly Trains 350-355. Sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), three daily round-trips between Pontiac and Chicago, via Detroit, Dearborn, Jackson and other cities, provide bicyclists access to some of the most popular destinations across Michigan.
There is a $10 bicycle charge, in addition to the rail fare, and bicyclists must make reservations to carry their bikes onto the trains and stow them at the direction of the Amtrak conductors. There is a limit to the number of bicycles that each train can carry.
Ride the rails to effortlessly connect to the Great Lake to Lake Trails Route #1 in communities such as Jackson, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.
More information, including schedules and routes, is available at Amtrak.com .
RideWithGPS: Amtrak service from Port Huron to Battle Creek