Kalamazoo is spoiled to have so many options when it comes to places to enjoy the great outdoors! Whether you're a local, or an outdoor enthusiast currently planning your trip, we wanted to highlight a few of the lesser-known nature preserves, parks and trail options for you to discover in the area.
The rolling meadows and woodlands of the preserve offer a variety of experiences for outdoor enthusiasts. Over five miles of easy to moderate mowed trails lead visitors through pine forests, oak-hickory woodlands, and old fields as well as oak savanna and prairie restoration sites.
A 1.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Activities include swimming, fishing, a playground, a disc golf course and more.
Eliason Nature Trail is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Kleinstuck Preserve is a 48-acre nature preserve owned and managed by Western Michigan University. It is one of the few open spaces remaining in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This unique ecosystem includes upland forest, swamp forest, shrub carr and marshland which are home to a wide variety of plants and animals.
The highlight of this preserve is the extensive spring fed wetlands that help protect the water quality of the City of Kalamazoo’s well fields just downstream. The wetlands are a diverse mix of sedge meadow, cattail marsh, wet meadow, shrub carr and swamp forest. The uplands are steep slopes with huge specimens of red, white, and black oaks.
This 70-acre park, located behind the Township Hall at 7275 West Main Street, is a great place to walk, play, or gather with friends. The recently renovated park features a playground, a paved loop trail, accessible restrooms, two picnic pavilions, tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts, a wiffleball field, and an 18-hole disc golf course. The forested area of the park, with rolling hills and an overlook deck, features a network of unpaved walking trails and is popular for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
This preserve features two 3/4-mile loops of moderate trails wind through forest and meadows, affording scenic vistas. “Wolf Tree” refers to old trees (frequently oaks) with low-spreading limbs – often with a gnarly and weathered appearance. These trees have round shapes and low-spreading limbs because they used to grow alone in wide open spaces like savannas and pastures. Several of these old wolf trees are present on the trail.