4 Kalamazoo Hiking Trails and Nature Trails Perfect for Walking, Biking, Exploring, Inline Skating or Walking Your Dog This Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall in Michigan!

4 Kalamazoo Hiking Trails and Nature Trails Perfect for Walking, Biking, Exploring, Inline Skating or Walking Your Dog This Year | By Sherry Trautman | Travel-MI.com | Last Updated October 23, 2022

So...I can't believe I lived in Kalamazoo for around 18 years and never discovered these trails until just a bit ago.  I just love them!

They are safe, paved and scenic places to go walking, biking or walking your dogs in Kalamazoo/Portage Michigan. My photos are all from the fall or early spring as that's when I'm itching to get out and explore. 

So, if you are looking for Kalamazoo trails to hike, check these out! One even has a waterfall!

Oh, and they are all free!

Table of Contents: 

Such Scenic Trails!

It always seems like it's overcast day when I'm out hiking and exploring. At first I was disappointed but hey, Michigan has A LOT of overcast days and that's just how it is, right?

So I say, "Enjoy this moment right now as it's the only one that's guaranteed."  

Maps of 4 Fantastic Kalamazoo Hiking Trails

Eliason Nature Reserve - Lovely Walking Trails in Kalamazoo

Address: 1614 W Osterhout Ave, Portage, MI 

If you are looking for nicely paved Kalamazoo nature trails, check out the Eliason Nature Preserve in Portage, Michigan. It's clean, quiet and well kept. 

Eliason Nature ReserveEliason Nature Reserve

The Eliason Nature Reserve encompasses 141 acres with a 1.6 mile asphalt trail with plenty of shade trees and benches. 

The North Trailhead is a large paved lot that connect you to the Bishop's Bog Preserve. 

Dogs: Pets are allowed and must be restrained on a 6-foot or retractable leash. 

Bishop's Bog Preserve at South Westnedge Park in Kalamazoo

Address: 9010 S Westnedge Ave, Portage, MI 49002

How to Get To Bishop's Bog Preserve: You will want to type in "South Westnedge Park" in your phone app or it might take to you to an apartment complex if you type in "Bishop's Bog Preserve."  

Where to Park: There is a paved lot on the right shortly after you enter South Westnedge Park.  Park in the lot, cross the road and the paved path is highly visible with signs. Take the trail to the left.

I like that you can walk on the wide, smooth, accessible paved pathway or find the path shown below that parallels the paved pathway but is much closer to the bogs.  

Dogs: Pets are allowed and must be restrained on a 6-foot or retractable leash. 

Restrooms: There is not a restroom/portajohn where you park for Bishop's Bog Preserve walking trail but there are restrooms by the softball fields.

What else is there to do? Take photos and enjoy nature! Softball fields, dog park and inline skating park. 

West Lake Nature Preserve: Beautiful Walking Area With Floating Walkways and Lake!

West Lake Nature Preserve is an incredible 118 acre wetland bog that features 1400 feet of frontage along West Lake. 

Address: 9001 S Westnedge, Portage, MI 49002 (right across the street from South Westnedge Park and Bishop's Bog)

Dogs: Pets are allowed and must be restrained on a 6-foot or retractable leash. 

I have to say, West Lake Nature Preserve is one of my favorite places to explore. There is a fantastic deck that overlooks West Lake and two viewing platforms overlooking a small pond with ducks and geese. 

What I love about West Lake Preserve:  The floating walkways, viewing platforms overlooking sparkling West Lake, shady trees, plants, critters and gorgeous pathways. It's so beautiful and peaceful! 

Celery Flats (Kilgore Trailhead and Celery Flats Historical Area at Garden Lane)

If you love wide paved pathways through trees with river views, you will enjoy the Kalamazoo Celery Flats. 

Two great places to park: Either at the Kilgore Trailhead (with indoor flush toilets) or the Historical Area at Garden Lane. This trail head is located at 7328 Garden Ln, Portage, MI and there a porta john available. 

  • Garden Lane Trailhead: Be sure to check out the historic buildings across the street. These include the Stuart Manor, an schoolhouse built in 1856, the Hayloft Theatre, and the 1931 Portage grain elevator. Very scenic paved walkways through woods with lots of benches.
  • Kilgore Trailhead: This paved pathway takes you through woods, lots of benches, and there's a waterfall! The best thing is that it takes you right along Portage Creek so there's lots of scenic views. 

Both trailheads offer a different experience, so check them out!

The Celery Flats is a nicely paved path that is lined with trees and benches so it's a perfect place to enjoy on a hot summer day.  The Celery Flats is perfect for walking, jogging, biking, walking your dog and in-line skating.

The Celery Flats is such a great peaceful trail that is safe for families as vehicles are prohibited.  I love the trail because large areas are shaded by numerous trees-a life saver if you are exercising on a particularly warm day. 

The trails are also groomed in the winter for cross county skiing

  • I should also mention that I feel safe walking the Celery Flats on my own as it is usually well traveled with like-minded exercise enthusiasts.  

Additional Kalamazoo Hiking Trails to Check Out

    These additional Kalamazoo Hiking Trails are on my list and as soon as I explore them I'll add them to my above list!
  • Kleinstuck Preserve/Nature Trail
  • Bow in the Clouds Preserve
  • Asylum Lake Preserve
  • Kalamazoo Nature Center trails
  • Kleinstuck Preserve
  • Al Sabo Land Preserve
  • Kalamazoo River Valley Trail D Avenue Trailhead
  • Markin Glen Park
  • McLinden Nature Trails

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

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We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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