Saturday, July 23, 2011

Biking Michigan's Kal-Haven Trail State Park

This crushed gravel trail runs 34.5 miles from Kalamazoo to South Haven, the two end points from which the trail name derives.  This large map is in a kiosk at the South Haven trailhead (click to enlarge):

The route of the Kal-Haven originally was a railroad completed in 1870, and the railroad bed has been converted to a trail with a limestone/slag surface. It is usable for all non-motorized bicycles, hiking, and snowmobiling when there is a 4-inch snow base.

You'll immediately bike through lovely woods for several miles and reach tis quaint (but new) covered bridge over the Black River...

Much of the trail is tree-shrouded -- on hot days providing much appreciated shade...

...but you'll also find open stretches where the trail passes between corn fields and the sun bakes you along with the corn...

Outhouses and rest benches are located along the trail for your convenience. The trail is in decent shape in most places and road crossings were not a problem and the bigger roads have underpass for the trail. An equestrian trail parallels the bike trail for 11 miles.

To reach the Kalamazoo trailhead, take Interstate 131 to exit 38. Turn left on 10th Street and follow 10th Street for for 2 miles. The trailhead is on your left. 

To access the South Haven trailhead, take Interstate 196 to exit 20. Take Phoenix Road west to Bailey Road. Turn right (north) on Bailey Road and at Wells Sreet (a new round-about) go straight and you'll immediately see the large trailhead parking lot on your right. 

Official page

No comments: