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.
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.
Kalamazoo River Valley Trail
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.
Battle Creek Linear Park
The Battle Creek Linear Park offers visitors unlimited recreational and educational opportunities. With more than 26 miles of paved pathways, 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 plants and animals as well as picnicking and fishing opportunities, playgrounds, and historical and cultural points of interest.
Length: 26 miles
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.
Calhoun County Trailway
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 are crushed limestone, and the 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.