20+ Favorite Hiking Trails and Bike Trails for Kalamazoo Families

Hike or Bike Your Way Around Kalamazoo

Warmer weather means it’s time to get outside and explore all that Mother Nature has to offer.

Southwest Michigan is a gem when it comes to the abundance of beautiful parks, preserves, and natural settings. There are plenty of hiking trails and bike trails near Kalamazoo. Whether you are looking for a hiking trail easy enough path for a toddler or something a little more challenging and rugged, we’ve got it covered.

Remember to check opening and closing times for each location. Have handy essential items such as water, sunscreen, and bug spray.

SEE ALSO: Parks + Playgrounds »

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Hiking Trails

Al Sabo Land Preserve

6310 Texas Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

With over 25 miles of trails, there is something for every level at Al Sabo. You and the kids can ride bikes on the marked baths, or you can enjoy a scenic walk. Find a bench along the paths – a perfect stop to rest little feet and take a snack break.

Entrance Fee: No

Chipman Preserve 

8395 E Main St, Galesburg, MI 49053

Chipman Preserve is a beautiful location with six miles of scenic hiking trails through forest and grassland. The Preserve is part of the HOP (Hike Our Preserves) Program.

Entrance Fee: No

Fort Custer Recreation Area

5163 W Fort Custer Dr, State Highway M-96, Augusta, MI 49012

An expansive recreation area awaits at Fort Custer with three lakes as well as the Kalamazoo River, high rolling meadows, soggy wetland, and abundant woods. There are 22 miles of hiking trails, bike trails, horse trails, and campsites.

Entrance Fee: Yes (or free with Michigan Recreational Passport)

Kalamazoo Nature Center

7000 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

In addition to the indoor exhibit center, there are a variety of trails to hike and a trail map available to guide you along the way. Hiking trails are marked by length and level of difficulty. The nature trails range from 0.2 easy miles to 2.7 difficult miles.

Entrance Fee: Yes

Kellogg Bird Sanctuary

12685 E C Ave, Augusta, MI

We love feeding the geese and the ducks in the pond and walking around to explore the property.  The path is paved and stroller-friendly.

Entrance Fee: Yes

Kleinstuck Preserve

2100 Stearns Ave, Kalamazoo, MI  49008

An easy one-mile hike through beautiful and largely untouched woods is what you will find in the hidden gem, Kleinstuck Preserve. This is perfect for preschool kids, as they will delight at the fallen tree balance beams, the large teepee made out of sticks, and the almost guaranteed deer sighting.

Note: there are no restrooms on this trail.

Entrance Fee: No

Leila Arboretum and Children’s Garden

928 W Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49037

The Children’s Garden in Battle Creek is an ever-changing environment where children can explore the world of plants. The larger Leila Arboretum offers spacious paths and landscapes to explore.

Entrance Fee: No

West Lake Nature Preserve

9001 S Westnedge, Portage, MI 49002

Grab your rain boots and take a stroll through paths that lead to a scenic view of West Lake. Portions of the bog trail are floating on water, and kids love the water that squirts up through the planks.

There is a nature-themed playground at the trailhead and a pavilion with restrooms.

Entrance Fee: No

W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forest 

7060 N 42nd St, Augusta, MI 49012

Established on abandoned agricultural land, the 716-acre forest is an ideal location for a hike when you want to feel completely immersed in nature. We love the covered bridge at the entrance for fish watching.

Due to the changing landscape, hiking trails may be challenging with strollers or young children.

Entrance Fee: No

Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Trails

9001 S Westnedge, Portage, MI 49002

You may have been to the Fish Hatchery to feed the fish or take a tour, but the often overlooked trails are a great way to explore with the kids. Make sure to snag a scavenger hunt guide in the visitor center.

There are bathrooms in the visitor center, and the paths are stroller friendly.

Entrance Fee: No

Bike Trails

Eliason Nature Reserve Trail

1614 W Osterhout Ave, Portage, MI 49024

The Eliason Nature Reserve is a 123-acre property offering a combination of uplands and wetlands and is part of the Bishop’s Bog complex. The paved trail is spacious and allows for easy passing of walkers, joggers, and bikers.

Entrance Fee: No

Kal-Haven Trail

Trailheads at 10th Street, Kalamazoo and Baily Street, South Haven

Boasting over 30 miles of limestone path, the Kal-Haven trail connects Kalamazoo with South Haven. The scenic route takes riders through farmland, wooded areas, and over rivers and streams. The trail can also be used for cross-country skiing, hiking, and walking or running.

Entrance Fee: No

Kalamazoo River Valley Trail

D Avenue East, Kalamazoo, MI

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is a regional trail connecting parts of Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren County. Currently, there are 22 miles of paved, asphalt trail suitable for non-motorized transportation.

There are entrances to the trail including 10th Street, Westnedge Ave, 35th St in Galesburg, D Avenue, Verburg Park, Riverview Park, and the Kalamazoo Nature Center.

Entrance Fee: No

Kindleberger Park

122 N Riverview Dr, Parchment, MI 49004

Enjoy the beautiful scenery of over 40 acres. There are paved paths around the park as well as playgrounds, tennis courts, pavilions, and summer entertainment.

Entrance Fee: No

Lakeview Park

9345 Portage Rd, Portage, MI 49002

A great access spot to bike with younger kids is Lakeview Park. There are paved paths across the park perfect for little bikes or strollers. Afterward, you can play at the two playgrounds or go out on the pier overlooking Austin Lake.

Entrance Fee: No

Linear Park

35 W Hamblin Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49017

Linear Park in Battle Creek boasts over 26 miles of paved trail for biking, jogging, and general recreation. The trail goes around much of the greater Battle Creek area, so visitors to the trail can hop on nearly anywhere.

Free parking with easy access is located near Friendship Park in downtown Battle Creek.

Entrance Fee: No

Markin Glen Park

5300 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49004

Beginner and advanced bikers will enjoy riding the five miles of single-track trails around the Maple Hill Bike Track located on the west side of the park. In addition to the bike trails, the park offers hiking, playgrounds, tennis courts and a sandy beach.

Entrance Fee: Yes

Portage Bikeway

5300 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49004

The Portage Bikeway connects over 55 miles of off-road trails and bikeways throughout the city of Portage. Part of the bikeway is on regular city streets and part of the bikeway is on a separate, off-road paved trail for pedestrian and bike use.

The four-mile Portage Creek Bicentennial Trail is kept clear in the winter months, along with a stretch of trail between Romence Road and Constitution Boulevard. Make sure to use the full Bikeway Brochure.

Entrance Fee: No

Vicksburg Trailway

TU Ave west of Sprinkle Rd and Richardson St north of North St, Vicksburg

If your family is looking for a shorter ride, the Vicksburg Trailway is a 1.8-mile paved trail through scenic woodlands and northeastern Vicksburg neighborhoods. A portion of the trail passes through the Vicksburg Recreation Area, with areas for picnics, nature trails, and disc golf.

Make sure to stop at the Vicksburg Depot Museum to check out unique artifacts related to the area’s railroad history.

Entrance Fee: No

Worth the Drive

Albion River Trail | Victory Park on Veterans Way, Albion, MI 49224  

For bike enthusiasts, the Albion River Trail provides a fun, shorter ride for families looking to get out together and ride. This trail is 1.6 miles of paved 10-14 feet wide paths conducive to walking, bike riding, running, rollerblading, and skateboarding.

Fitzgerald Park | 133 Fitzgerald Park Dr, Grand Ledge, MI 48837

For a unique view, hike the scenic ledges at Fitzgerald Park. Featuring three miles of hiking (plus a nature center), biking trails, disc golf course, playgrounds, horseshoe pits and spectacular views of the registered Michigan Historic Site.

Van Buren Trail State Park | 57th Ave/Prospect St, Hartford & Lovejoy Ave, South Haven 

This 14-mile trail features a paved and unimproved grass trail along with the old Toledo and South Haven Railroad. Although some of the trails are grass, it is well-maintained. Fat-tire bikes are best for this trail.