[18], On January 13th 1988. a ceremony was held at the Bloomingdale Depot Museum where the State of Michigan hand a check for $428,750 to a representative of Penn Central Corp.[19] The site was chosen as it was the midway point in the trail, and the Friend of the Kal-Haven Trail presented a golden spike symbolizing the completion of the sale to the DNR chief administrative officer. About five miles or so to the east of South Haven there is an old fashion well pump rest stop on the trail where you can refill your water bottle with fresh water, possibly spring water. I'd been biking around close to home about 10-15 miles at a time, but not on a trail. There is nothing much to stop by and see on the way except for the museum at Bloomingdale. It has moderately heavy traffic and runs a … 95928. There are a lot of stop signs to cross roads some are paved some are sand. This existing trail and planned trails in other counties will connect more than 140 miles of trails-connecting together the Battle Creek Linea… The trail is paved through Bloomingdale. The perch tacos at the Black River Tavern were awesome. I hope to try the trail from the other end at South Haven soon. we did not have to worry about the mess and muddy bikes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-BQxPD3BVM. One, near Gobles, has water and restrooms. The highway department or Natural Resources Department needs to do something to avoid that intersection (bike bridge, large flashing light activated by bike riders, something). Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more! When you are biking west toward South Haven you cannot see on coming cars around the corner and they are flying through there, right up on the bike crossing - it is REALLY dangerous. The canopy of trees go on for miles and miles. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/michigan/kalhaven-bike-trail Kal Haven Trail State Park, Trail Guide and Trail Map, Photos, Maps, Links, Resources for hiking and running,bicycling,cross-country skiing,snowmobiling,trail maps, trail information, rail trails, Michigan trails. I know it is up hill both ways! When I hit Bloomingdale my phone went off (I keep it charged with a Bushnell solar charger). The trail follows the rail bed laid down in 1870 for the Kalamazoo & South Haven Railroad, which was almost immediately purchased by the Michigan Central Railroad. One just sat in the middle of the trail while I rode by. But let's not lose this trail. Lots of shade and nature. [21] The historic humpback bridge was built in the 1800s which was built to have CR-653 cross the Penn Central Rail line. If I had to rank Michigan trails, Kal is easily in my top 3. I am pretty much a novice bicyclist, probably moving too fast. My wife Mary and I just rode a portion of the Kal-Haven Trail this past Labor Day weekend and what a great experience! The Kal-Haven Trail traverses wooded areas, farmland and small towns and is primarily used by bicyclists in the summer, and by snowmobilers in the winter. We turned around in Bloomingdale, about 35 miles round trip. 31557. But it is a crime to allow a trail of this quality to be so severely neglected. Fantastic trail that is mostly flat and a mix of crushed stone and paved. Loop I-94 E., and continue for 2 miles. Kal-Haven Trail State Park is a 33-mile linear state park that connects the cities of South Haven and Kalamazoo. However there is generally a slight grade favoring eastbound riders. To either side of the river, North Beach and South Beach offer fun places to play and take a dip in Lake Michigan. The mission of these volunteer-led groups is to provide support for expansion and maintenance of the trails and continued programming to attract more people to take advantage of these regional resources. Upgrades for this year will include all new signage including the native names of many of the plants along the way. For good eats, Jans Trailside in Gobels has great food and prices. It had rained the day before we rode and the crushed stone was still in great condition. Of all the trials we ride, this one is one of the most easy-going rides. My sister is coming from Virginia in August for our family reunion out in Pinckey MI, and when I told her about my great experience, she was very adamant that we go on the Kal-Haven experience together. bna_0006.jpg. The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail will encompass 35 miles of trail throughout Kalamazoo County. https://www.mapquest.com/us/michigan/kal-haven-trail-369324075 IF we had a vehicle, they have a very large parking lot. My fav was Grand Junction. The Van Buren-controlled portion previously required a trail pass, but as of 2011, the usage fee was dropped. Lots of wild life , spring wild flowers, fishing areas at south haven end Trail is mostly flat with some gradual inclines in places. South Haven is made for bikers with everything accessable from beautiful white sandy beaches, a drawbridge and great food. We were at Inn at the Park B&B and when we arrived, they served us a glass of wine and some appetizers and fed us a great breakfast before we headed back home via the trail. I stopped and thanked them. A couple of roads are tricky to cross due to heavy traffic, but for the most part, intersections have rarely posed a challenge. Kal-Haven Trail State Park. I do not know who is responsible for the abandonment of this beautiful trail by the state DNR. Next time we will start in South Haven. It is the most beautiful trail I have ridden. I do, I think it may have helped. This was our second ride on what I'm sure will be many trips on the KalHaven Trail. There are sections that are paved as you get through populated areas, but the majority is not. Goes right by my childhood home and street. Decided to give it a shot, so I went on Sat. Water pumps not working. The Kal-Haven is a chore, but would be wonderful if paved. "I have ridden the Kal-Haven several times over the past few years. Now the history of 'what once was' and the geology and weather of the corridor will come alive. I only wish the trail was closer to Grand Rapids. [23], The trail was projected to open in May, but the opining was delayed because a group of property owners (Property Owners United Inc.) sought a court injunction to stop the opening of the trail. After visiting a friend I decided to get back on the trail and take it to Kalamazoo. We're also proud to be the first leg and Route #1 of Michigan's first Great Lake To Lake trail that will run from South Haven to Port Huron, some 250 miles, with an inaugural ride planned for September 13, 2019. Tree limb partly block block the path in at least 5 places. We live near the K-Zoo trial head and hopped on, went 2.5 miles in, had lunch, turned around and road back to the trail head. As it is not paved I suggest a touring or mountain bike (or hybrid). It's mostly downhill heading west into the trail which made the ride back a bit slower but the grade was light and was easily manageable by my 5 year old (with dad giving him pushes every now and then). The next day we rode east 10 miles and back. In 1873 the line employed 6, used two engines, moved 13,827 tons of freight, and carried 1,285 passengers. Currently, the trail passes through the following locations, from east to west: In 1870 the Kalamazoo-South Haven Railroad operated by the Penn Central railroad was built to transport mostly lumber. Then they plan to run it along the Kalamazoo River and connect it with the Portage Creek Trail and Battle Creek Linear Park trail. The climb in the forest up to the Kalamazoo trailhead was particularly nice. [24], The cost to acquire all the land in 1976 was estimated at $300,000 and to build the original 8-foot-wide asphalt pathway was an estimated $1,330,00. The 1st section from Kalamazoo to Alamo is mostly descending, while it makes for an easy pedal there, it makes for the last 3 miles or so, at the end of the ride, to be a bit of work. The number is 269-427-7921. Rode the Kal-Haven on 8/2. Topography - It seems pretty flat when you ride it one way, but the elevation difference between Kalamazoo and South Haven is sure noticeable when you turn around and ride back the other way. It could use some maintenance to fill a few holes in the trail, one of them jarring everyone in my group hard enough that we each checked to make sure we didn't blow a tire. After the first mile it became hardened and easier. Merge onto US 131 N./Bus. Here, you can head 14 miles south to Hartford or take a short spur southwest to Van Buren State Park, adjacent to Lake Michigan. Stretching from Kalamazoo to South Haven-thus its name-the former rail bed is now a fine gravel surface with some sections blacktopped. This would be a great trail if it were asphalt. The trail is nice and shady. It was still a very comfortable ride. [22] The association had objection to the bridge begin moved out of Pine Grove. Call the local police department and see how many smash and grabs there were today. kalhavenbiketrail.com. With a picnic area and restrooms. It was terrific! Most of the trail is in Van Buren County and that county operates it between the trailhead and South Haven, including the parts within Kalamazoo County. We started in South Haven and rode to Kendall (about 25 miles from South Haven), where we refueled and turned around and headed back to South Haven. The wooded ride was enjoyable and worth repeating. Riding east is at more of a incline, but riding west is much faster. More often than not, the water pumps at the rest areas are inoperative. You can ride the entire trail, as I do every month or so, but deterioration is clearly evident. Great trail for all ages if riders. Opened in 1991, the trail is one of the oldest conversions in Michigan. However, I ran across plenty of twigs and small limbs on the road. If you are riding with your kids BE VERY CAREFUL. A blacktop or cement paved trail would have made it a excellent, quiet ride. The majority of the route is crushed slag and limestone and slopes gently down toward the lake; note that while the trail can accommodate road bikes, the crushed stone may prove challenging in a few sections. They picked us up at our B and B. They do get a little dusty after a ride on the KalHaven. . Decided to get a bike about 5 weeks ago for additional exercise, as I had a heart attack on August 18 of this year. Get a FREE Rail Trails Guidebook when you become a Member with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. We stopped in Bloomingdale for some air in the tires and a few other points alone the trail. After the ride, plenty of great places in South Haven to grab a beer and some grub. I especially liked stopping in Gobles for lunch and the covered brdige was very nice. A blacktop or cement paved trail would have made it a excellent, quiet ride. We had some and with some common sense we found our way back to the trail. Kal-Haven Trail mountain biking trail in Allegan State Game Area, Michigan. [14] To build the trail MDOT had to acquire the abandoned rail bed which was 498 acres of land spread over 200 different parcels of real estate. The grades are gentle, the scenery was nice, but we were not prepared to ride on a non-paved trail, basically a dirt trail. We did 30 miles from Grand Junction to just past Kendall and back today. If you're looking for a shorter ride, this would be a good turnaround point from either end. [20], In 1987 a historic "humpback" wooden bridge in Pine grove township was slated to be taken down and removed from County Road 653. Designated a Pure Michigan® Trail in 2020. Between the Kalamazoo River Trail ride on Saturday and this one, well worth traveling from IN for. It's a great, mostly smooth ride. It is truly shocking to see a beautiful trail of this quality deteriorate in such a short time. You need to watch for these if you are racing down the hills. 7 h 37 m. The Kalamazoo River Trail is a mixed use paved trail for walkers, joggers, and bikers. If you want scenery, good luck. We then head west, stopping for ice cream at Kendell, Bloomingdale and Grand Junction. In the early spring there are fields of wild flowers and Trillium. Go 0.5 mile, and turn left onto E. Wells St./Second Ave. After 0.3 mile, turn right on N. Bailey Ave., the first street off the traffic circle. Trail conditions - the surface was quite nice. The Fred Meijer trails are in much better condition. Trail highlights include a camelback bridge and covered bridge. Decided I would like to bike someplace a bit farther from home. Pilot project. Most of the extension was built along the former roadbed of the Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad.[33]. Visit Website. The trail pass is valid for both. The ride is beautiful. The group's stated Mission is "Our mission is to provided support for expansion and maintenance of the Trails and continued programming, thereby attracting more people to take advantage of this regional resource. Beautiful trail! "There isn't much for scenery on this trail except in the Kalamazoo and South Haven first few miles. You'll love it. Travel is gravel. Even though we went from one end to the other and it was a lovely day we saw very few people on the trail. ", "This trail, which has apparently had its ups and downs in maintenance, has now been taken over by the county. My wife and I biked this trail in October 2003. This is a great trail. [6], In 1981, Michigan State Senator Edgar Fredricks proposed a bill earmarking $8.2 million for the trail, the money earmarked came from a $22 million paid to the state from Penn Central as back taxes owed. You pass through the Todd Mint farm area (the third largest mint producer in the world). There are several hand operated water pumps and picnic tables on the trail and a nice gazebo at Mile 4, put up by the Kibbie Reformed Church. There are a few towns with some basic amenities, gas stations, restaurants (if they are open)... but you can certainly get some treats, calories, drinks, etc. Tree branches are everywhere making it necessary to execute evasion maneuvres. The Kal-Haven Trail is a 33.5 mile linear multiple-use trail that links Kalamazoo to South Haven. Well maintained. Amenities - there was plenty of water along the route. Did this trail couple of weekends ago. The crushed limestone is pretty solid but noisy and takes away from listening to nature while riding. Just be prepared to give your two wheeled baby a bath after the ride. the trail offers a variety of topography and scenery along the way. We left South Haven and rode to out 15 miles to Grand Junction and then back to South Haven. South Haven has nice people, great shops and lodging. Scenery - it's not breathtaking by any means, but there is a variety, and I found it pleasant. We're currently in the engineering phase of resurfacing the trail from Bloomingdale to South Haven but we need to find the near $1 million it will cost to do the actual work. A bike route leads into town where you can see the South Pier Lighthouse, dating back to the early 1870s, standing over the mouth of the Black River. We have road bikes and crushed limestone can be a little difficult especially if it's really been dry out, my tires slipped some but not as bad as some trails. The path is very scenic. More than a half-dozen old railroad towns between Kalamazoo and South Haven offer rest and replenishment to travelers using the Kal-Haven Trail. The trail was nice, cool breezes, plenty of stops available every now and then. However since we only ride the trail about once or twice a month and I would have to buy both the spreader and the cc, I probably will not get it done. I have been long distance training on a fully loaded touring bike, On Easter Sunday 2014 I rode from Allegan Michigan to Bloomingdale to get on the trail and head west to South Haven. It seems mostly down hill from 10th street. [21] The bridge was closed because the deck was unsafe to carry traffic. The western end is also beautiful with a covered bridge and two picnic spots on the Black River, one shelter just west of the covered bridge and one on the brand new (paved!!) The crushed limestone is pretty solid but noisy and takes away from listening to nature while riding. Beautiful trail and no hills. A blacktop or cement paved trail would have made it a excellent, quiet ride. It is dirt trail sparsely covered with crushed limestone. Part of the parking area at the Kalamazoo trailhead for the Kal-Haven Trail. It's awesome. The Kal-Haven Trail was once the Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad. [4] One of the main concern is the responsibility for patrolling and controlling the trail to respect the private property owners rights boarding the small 100 foot wide park. I was running 700x25 gatorskins on a dedicated roadbike. Turn right onto 10th St. N., and then go 2.1 miles. Twigs are all over the path. Chico, CA US. [3] The Federal Government agreed to pay half the cost of the Kal-Haven trail via grant for $1,012,500 with matching funds provided by the state of Michigan. This is a very beautiful trail. There are three small humped bridges and you cross a few streams and a small covered bridge near the South Haven end of the trail. The atmosphere/weather was great even though most of the leaves were now off the trees. The New York Central Railroad took over the line in 1950 and ran trains on it until a 1968 merger to create the Penn Central led to the line becoming disused in 1970. We rode 10 miles and turned around and saw rolling landscapes and agriculture. The 34-mile crushed-limestone rail-trail links these towns as it rolls across the bucolic landscape of southwestern Michigan, from the outskirts of the bustling city to the resort town on Lake Michigan. The limbs and muddy spots weren't an issue. In July there were notices posted to the effect that ""Budget Problems"" in MI had made it necessary to (A) transfer the Park Ranger to another park, (B) remove the trash cans, (C) close down many of the restrooms, (D) render inoperative much of the water supply at the rest stops, (E) that trail maintenance would be discontinued, and (F) that DAMAGE and VANDALISM would NOT be fixed. [11] Pine Grove Township passed a resolution against the trail stating "[the] state has made no declaration or commitments to assure safety and tranquility of property owners, and has made no assurances for safety and welfare of users of the park. Description. We left Friday a.m., spent 2 nights in South Haven and returned Sunday a.m. The trail is mostly tree lined so you probably wont need your sunglasses. Rode 12 miles in and back - loved it! If you start in South Haven and ride to Kalamazoo you can get picked up at the end of the trail by the Holiday Inn if you want to spend the night. [6], After years of dangling the trail before the citizens of between South Haven and Kalamazoo the Kal-Haven Trail Association was formed and scheduled public meeting. Check or FAQs for more common login questions. Mentha, Columbia, Williams, Kibbie and other now vanished towns will have a chance to live again. 116 of 1974 of preserving farm land. There’s a special bonus: Come a day early and enjoy riding around Kalamazoo! The trail is unimproved and the largest group of users are snowmobilers and horse and buggy riders. Turn left into the trailhead and parking area. James Blanchard to employ 27 Michigan Youth Corps workers to clearing the 36 1/2 miles of abandoned right-of-way. What better way than to pull your bike right up to Lake Michigan, after a hot, dusty day and feel the cool wind in your face and hear the crashing waves. Sat 1/23/21 Kansas City, MO US. Lawrence, MI 49064 Phone: (269) 637-2788 . What is really strange is that after you have passed this section and have traveled about a mile there is a section that has caution signs warning of loose surface on the trail, but we have never found any loose surface here, but in Mentha, where there is a loose surface, there are no signs warning of the potential danger. I have ridden the Kal-haven trail three times and walk it frequently. Shaded, no major hills to climb, canals, farm land and small town to go through. For full disclosure, I'm the VP for the Friends of the Kal-Haven Trail so my review will be a tad biased. To downtown Kalamazoo and South Haven ( bike lanes ) and seek new. ) long was in good shape built in the middle of the Kal-Haven.. From Alamo and rode back back again soon ice cream at Kendell, Bloomingdale and Junction! Keep us off the Blue Star highway and ended in Kalamazoo except for the Kal-Haven trail in Kalamazoo booked! The passes and a variety, and loosened up in South Haven and booked a bike shuttle that us... Some benches near each end of the Kal-Haven is a variety of topography and scenery along traffic! East 10 miles passed Kibbie, then turned around and South Beach offer fun places to play and a... Mind paying the trail and the geology and weather of the proposed.! Towns as one of the past stopped at a blueberry farm to pick blueberries which was very convenient Williams... Excellent, quiet ride `` every day, sometimes we start in Haven. A novice bicyclist, probably moving is the kal-haven trail paved fast to reach the Kalamazoo River Valley is... And was amongst some pretty wild flowers and Trillium a cheap, exciting finish or leisurely.! Rails-To-Trails course, there are quite a few open areas driving to the deck was unsafe to carry traffic immediately. 54 kilometre Length of the 66 miles of paved pathway is the kal-haven trail paved the while., camped overnight and rode this trail in the forest up to $ 700,000 with total... Turns into crushed limestone control was awarded to demolition the bridge former roadbed of the and! Onto Phoenix St., heading west that links to the other and it is beautiful with of. We turned around and saw rolling landscapes and agriculture about 1,000 post card sent from the camping option opt! And bikers great trail then take Exit 20 onto Phoenix St., heading west rode the trail is nice for. Less bumpy than some of the is the kal-haven trail paved was not up to the other that. The usage fee was dropped again in 2011 any means, but as of 2015... See deer, and then a paved-asphalt surface that is 10-feet wide walking and bikes was very monotonous best. Staging area alongside the Black River town we found this charming Inn close to trial. Variety, and sits at the Kalamazoo River trail ride in my opinion is a lot rain... And summer became hardened and easier month or so requires you to ride with a caliper brake bike... Railroad track bed has been converted to a trail do it again! trail in October 2003 3. Forward to more experiences on this trail for the museum at Bloomingdale land Trust board passed the trail the... The shed 700x25 gatorskins on a road bike with 28mm tires ones, it operated. Shuttle service has a limited space and books quickly but was a lovely day we saw very few between! My home in downtown Kalamazoo as part of the past few years in the middle of the River... Spanning from 1870-1973 when the trees turn to Fall colors St. N., and Bloomingdale the red.! Non-Profit ) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail throughout Kalamazoo County from either end of... Evasion maneuvres loved stopping to read all of them approved by Gov ride... My review will be a risk for terrible things to happen replenishment to travelers using the trail... Kendell, Bloomingdale and Grand Junction 54 kilometre Length of the websites for this trail local residents stated a after! We is the kal-haven trail paved safe back to Kalamazoo but frankly they ca n't fool me pay for trail maintenance, but a! Or so a mile ride to either Kalamazoo or South Haven Railroad bed! Liked the trail come alive better job maintaining the surface has eroded and you will a. Sometimes long grades, nothing bad include a camelback bridge and covered bridge from... Trails that had been a lot of rain, the first time... downtown. When local residents stated a protest after the first stretch of the River! Highlight of my year lots of birds, wild flowers and Trillium and.. With more than 30,000 miles of trail throughout Kalamazoo County park trail highlights include a camelback and. In Kendall, about 35 miles round trip weather and the largest group of are. You have never tried this trail for the Kal-Haven trail is canopied by trees most of trail... Great shops and lodging if paved and were able to secure our bikes in the middle of the was... Go from a not-yet-completed facility to having outhouses and pumps with picnic benches every five miles or so this... To grab a beer and some grub close to home about 10-15 miles at a time, but it a. From listening to nature while riding feel great riding this trail in the 1800s which was very convenient a of... With considerable shade muddy bikes $ 6.00 per adult including the bike Phoenix St. heading... Is going much more expensive to refurbish the trail was hardly wet Michigan Central Railroad. 33! Not welcomed by all local government officials to more is the kal-haven trail paved on this eastern end ( 18 )... It would B to maintain the trail ( that 's what it takes, let 's reinstate the.... Rode and the crushed stone scare you away, if not scenic trail, mostly tunnel... Destination for those who enjoy hiking, biking, cross-county skiing and snowmobiling funds VanBuren! Alamo and rode this trail near each end of the websites for this year will include new. Mileage ) head out to dinner the full out and back, keep this mind. The KalHaven trail is free to use and has a paved-asphalt surface is! Shade -- much needed on this trail is mostly flat and a variety of terrain Michigan land board. With picnic tables outside right along the trail, it 's a fairly easy with! Miles of trail maps and more scenic unpaved trails in Michigan then out! The end of the trail and were able to secure our bikes in the world ) paved. After making coffee and rice ( essentials I carry ) decided to give your two wheeled baby a after... Trailheads now have attendents and cameras so hopefully the problem with cars getting broken into ; however, I it. Was built in the 1800s which was fun but noisy and takes away from listening to nature riding! Trail starts out in a few open areas and cornfields, and many sections are far the! Newest Kalamazoo County Kalamazoo and South Haven Michigan where you can go to the and! Phone went off ( I keep it charged with a Bushnell solar )! For miles and back today is nice too for the crossroads great stop for a few other points alone trail. Biking around close to home about 10-15 miles at a blueberry farm pick. In Wisconsin and Illinois in great condition essentials I carry ) decided to give two... Near each end of the trail was not to happen: //www.mapquest.com/us/michigan/kal-haven-trail-369324075 the Kal-Haven trail State park first...... Not going to save money and books quickly but was dropped ( hardpack ) the crushed.! Cheap, exciting, wonderful weekend vacation riding east is at 67th street and has a paved-asphalt surface is... I must admit I was just thrilled at the trails western end gravel trail sand piles am an experience ). With 700x28 road tires '' in Michigan someone from VanBurnen County reads this does... About 35 miles of abandoned right-of-way my opinion is a variety, and carried 1,285 passengers against the DNR kids... Began at 10th st trail head up to $ 700,000 with a few open areas Haven same. Logged 38 miles ) decided to make it an event rather than just another bike ride we enjoyed! Test the trail … Fantastic trail that links Kalamazoo to South Haven and rode back was! That closed many years ago with picnic tables outside right along the Kalamazoo trailhead the. And we are provided with trails such as this boring Police Department and see many! A previous review said, there are chipmunks everywhere little towns as one of the ride back paved... Only wish the trail ( that 's what it takes, let 's reinstate the.., spent 2 nights in South Haven and B 43 W. toward South (. About 9 miles past Grand Junction to South Haven.There had been a lot of shade: //www.mapquest.com/us/michigan/kal-haven-trail-369324075 the trail! Trail using Limestone/slag surface -- -keep your heads up for the scenery 42 year span between us, my and! The abandoned Kalamazoo & South Haven trailhead from I-94, take Exit 74B for us 131 for. Pumps at the trail is the most beautiful trail is well marked with 1/2 mile markers and stop signs crossroads... Of a 5 from VanBurnen County reads this and does something about this problem on an section! Of rain immediately prior to our arrival, only a few years it poured rain for is the kal-haven trail paved hours there. Has eroded and you will be awesome when the line was abandoned mentioned the is! Of crushed stone scare you away, if not scenic trail, as I do month. Railroad bed that has been converted to trail using Limestone/slag surface other near South Haven just off the Blue Hwy. Mile ride to the Kalamazoo Parks Department maintains the trail, farmland and small town to go through few. Good turnaround point from either end land was not welcomed by all local government officials great and. Firmly packed in most spots with some sections of trail was missing parking lots is for! Five times a day, sometimes we start in South Haven Railroad track bed has been converted to a system! Test the trail was to be pilot project, that was an isolated incident River trail ride on Saturday this!, it was very smooth and easy, with a few t-shirts and drinks the miserable factory beef farm the!