I Got a Ride in Kalamazoo Kal-Haven Trail State Park

Alamo, Michigan

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4 Reviews
4 out of 5
This ride begins on the Kalamazoo side of the Kal-Haven Sesquicentennial Trail State Park. This is another fine job done by Michigan's Rails-to-Trails conservancy and the Department of Natural Resources. Running between Kalamazoo and South Haven on an abandoned rail corridor, this 34-mile path of crushed limestone open in 1989 and has been immensely popular. The first half of the ride, on the trail, is easygoing. The second half, on roads, is not recommended for the faint of knee. They couldn't have designed a better way to begin the trail. From the parking lot ride up a small ramp to a red caboose. A head pops out of the window to ask if you want a daily or an annual pass. Continue down the ramp as it swings onto the trail. The trail features caution signs for driveways and stop signs at street crossings. Oasis signs dot the trail, announcing which towns have food available. Besides signs, along the trail are chipmunks and groundhogs, pit toilets and picnic tables, marshes, creeks, bridges, wildflowers, and plenty of trees. Things to see: Kal-Haven Trail Sesquicentennial State Park, small towns of Alamo, Kendall, and Gobles.
Short Bike Rides in Michigan

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Short Bike Rides in Michigan

by Pamela Stovall (The Globe Pequot Press)

This ride begins on the Kalamazoo side of the Kal-Haven Sesquicentennial Trail State Park. This is another fine job done by Michigan's Rails-to-Trails conservancy and the Department of Natural Resources. Running between Kalamazoo and South Haven on an abandoned rail corridor, this 34-mile path of crushed limestone open in 1989 and has been immensely popular. The first half of the ride, on the trail, is easygoing. The second half, on roads, is not recommended for the faint of knee. They couldn't have designed a better way to begin the trail. From the parking lot ride up a small ramp to a red caboose.

A head pops out of the window to ask if you want a daily or an annual pass. Continue down the ramp as it swings onto the trail. The trail features caution signs for driveways and stop signs at street crossings. Oasis signs dot the trail, announcing which towns have food available. Besides signs, along the trail are chipmunks and groundhogs, pit toilets and picnic tables, marshes, creeks, bridges, wildflowers, and plenty of trees. Things to see: Kal-Haven Trail Sesquicentennial State Park, small towns of Alamo, Kendall, and Gobles.

©  Pamela Stovall/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Road Biking
Nearby City: Alamo
Distance: 29.8
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to Difficult
Riding Time: 4.5 hours
Driving Directions: Directions to I Got a Ride in Kalamazoo: Kal-Haven Trail State Park

Recent Trail Reviews

7/12/2010
0

As we moved over the wooden pathway and onto the paved trail at the Kalamazoo trailhead, I couldn't help but hope that the entire trail had recently been paved, instead of being crushed limestone/slag. In only a few minutes I would have my answer. For the next 33.4 miles we would be laboring over a compact bed of crushed rock. Don't get me wrong...I wasn't upset by the crushed rock trail. I just knew that we would be pedaling non-stop, as the rock would not allow any coasting. The beauty of this multi-use trail during the summer is the way it captures the full measure of life in nature and allows you to be a part of it. The summer green simply envelops you. This is where Michigan really shines in the summer- flowers adorning in their full glory, berries bursting forth in all their richness, and trees reaching out to embrace and carry you along. This is a place where a person can breathe deep and find life again. The smell of deep woods and fresh summer reinvigorates the soul. Not to mention that you can eat blackberries the size of your thumb to your hearts desire. And we did! The Kal-Haven Trail led us passed little towns like Bloomingdale, Berlamont, Grand Junction, and Lacota. Each town had it's own story and character. We stopped in a couple of the towns for a water break. But if the truth be told- we stopped to take in the simplicity of small town America, and there was just something refreshing about that. The Kal-Haven trail is a special trail. It isn't a trail that winds or changes elevation. It isn't the easiest trail on which to pedal. But it is a trail long enough to seclude you from the busyness of life, while helping you to find your heart and soul. Don't take this trail and treat it like something that needs to be accomplished. Don't approach this trail like you are going to do something to it. Rather, join it, become part of it, and let it do something to you.


8/5/2008
0

I haven't biked the whole trail, but I spent some time on the section East of Gobles. The trail was in good shape and I would recommend it. It went through farm land and forest both.


8/2/2008
0

Have done the full length of the trail in two trips. A good trail but best at the eastern and western ends. Center section not particularly scenic, but still a nice ride. Entire trail was in very god condition.


9/23/2007
0

great trip, best attempted in two days, although there and back is possible in one.



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