Hiking West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) There are a wide variety of trails in West Michigan for you to check out this summer! Whether hiking, biking, walking or running, you’re sure to find a trail perfect for you. With hundreds of miles to explore, ranging from dirt and paved trails, grab your gear and stay active while exploring West Michigan’s great outdoors!

Are you planning on biking the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail this summer? Arcadia Brewing Company in Kalamazoo is located right on the 35-mile Kalamazoo River Valley Trail! Not only are they an easy stop for refreshments and lunch, they are proud members of the KRVT Adopt-A-Trail program where they dedicate two days out of the year to clean up a section of the trail. Arcadia also donates 1% of all Cheap Date sales to the Kalamazoo Parks Foundation on behalf of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail.

The official Bell’s to Bell’s Bike Ride may only happen once a year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the 14-mile round trip anytime you’d like! The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is paved and connects Bell’s Brewery in downtown Kalamazoo with its nearby Comstock location. You can use it to tour more than 20 miles of the trail, offering beautiful views of Kalamazoo and the surrounding area. Ride out for a tour and some samples before heading back to the Eccentric Café for a pint, a bite to eat, and a free brewery tour. Both Bell’s locations have bike parking and, in case you need some air or an adjustment, tools are available for free at Bell’s Comstock brewery.

The Southwest Michigan Tourist Council has two very different yet equally enjoyable types of trails for you to check out this summer. The area has plenty of trails for hiking, biking, paddling, and walking. These trails take you along Lake Michigan, orchards and vineyards, peaceful rivers, and more. There’s also the Makers Trail, which showcases the masters of wine, beer, and spirits. More and more of these artisans are putting down stakes near the Lake Michigan shore, where they handcraft their award-winning beverages. Make your way along the trail, stopping at some of these award-winning wineries, breweries, and distilleries.

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings has trails that are open for hiking from dawn to dusk. They have over nine miles of trails for you to explore this summer. Pets are allowed on the trails if they are on a leash and cleaned up after, and there is no fee to hike the trails.

It’s called River Country for good reason! There are many water pathways in St. Joseph County, making it a fantastic place to kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. There’s a challenging two-and-a-half-hour paddle from Thompson Lake to Klinger Lake, which includes a trek through Goose Pond, Tamarack Lake, and an area called “The Devil’s Bowl.” You can also paddle through a stretch of the Prairie River, making a stop at the new Sand Lake County Park near the end of your journey.

Whether you’re seeking adventure on land or water, South Haven offers miles of scenic trails. Bike the Kal-Haven Trail, a 33.5-mile journey from South Haven to Kalamazoo, or a parallel 11-mile equestrian trail, offering additional options for horseback riding. The newly-paved Van Buren Trail spans 14 miles from South Haven to Hartford, winding through woods and blueberry fields. If you want to be on the water, hop in a canoe or kayak and enjoy the gentle, 20-mile Bangor-South Haven Heritage Water Trail.

Set in the middle of the US-12 Heritage Trail, Coldwater Country is a haven for relaxation. There are hiking and biking trails and two chains of lakes, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the area’s outdoor scenery. Take a hike on the paved trails at Heritage Park in Coldwater, on the gravel trails along the Sauk River, or rent a pontoon and enjoy the water trail along either the North or South Coldwater Chain of Lakes.

Bridge Park in Battle Creek is a trailhead for the Calhoun County Trailway and North Country Trail. This is a great park to set up a picnic, check out historic bridges, start your walk along the trails, or put your canoe or kayak in the water.

The W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Augusta is a beautiful place to immerse yourself in nature, while learning about the Sanctuary’s feathered friends. On Wednesday, July 26th from 6:30pm to 7:30 pm, families with children ages three to seven can explore the Sanctuary’s trails and learn about nature during their WildWednesday: Wonder Walkabout event. Admission is free for Sanctuary members. For non-members, admission is $5 for adult, $4 for student or senior, and $3 for child (no charge for children ages two and under).

The Marshall area has plenty of forests, lakeshore, and wetlands for you to explore, with trails that are ideal for hiking, biking, and skiing. Throughout the area, you can find trees that are over 300 years old, wildlife and lake overlooks, and a variety of bird species which call Marshall home. Come enjoy nature at its finest.

Take a journey on a fan-favorite trail, and visit the 21 wineries that make up theLake Michigan Shore Wine Trail in southwest Michigan. While hiking, biking, or driving, make sure to stop at one (or all) of the wineries along the way. They are close enough together that you can visit more than one in an afternoon, tasting award-winning wine after award-winning wine along the way.

Hikers and nature lovers alike will enjoy the many trails that the Grand Haven area has to offer, ranging from the shores of Lake Michigan to the rolling woodlands of West Michigan. You can hike the lakeshore trail that connects Grand Haven and Holland with a stop along the way at beautiful Kirk Park or Olive Shores. If the woods and nature are more your style, try Pigeon Creek or Rosy Mound. This summer, grab your water bottle, pack a snack, and put on some comfortable shoes, as you discover the trails of the Grand Haven area.

MACkite in Grand Haven is often asked, “what’s the best place to go stand up paddleboarding?” Whether you’re looking for calming waters or picturesque views, there’s something for everybody. For MACKite, their favorite is Pottawatomie Park in Grand Haven, and they recommend Pottawatomie to anyone who is renting their paddle boards. The water is calm, there are few boaters, and it’s often warmer than Lake Michigan. You can find the park right off of Comstock Road, a short distance away from their shop on Hayes Street.

The Muskegon area has over 90 miles of trails for you and your family to explore. The Hart-Montague Trail State Park is 24 miles of paved trail through rural and forest lands, perfect for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and snowboarding. The Musketawa Trail runs from Muskegon to Marne through farmlands, wetlands, and villages. There’s many more miles of trails to see, so make your way to Muskegon and spend some time this year exploring the area’s diverse trail system.

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