Best Trails in Kalamazoo

So you signed up for Twilight Trail Fest, you reviewed our Tips for Trail Running Beginners, and now you’re wondering: where the heck can I start training for Twilight Trail Fest?

*PS. Tip #556732 for Trail Running Beginners: Train at least twice a week on trails. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.  Don’t have Twilight Trail Fest be your first experience on the trails.

Below is your go-to guide for trails in Kalamazoo, plus a few exclusive features on Joe the Trail Runner’s (AKA Gazelle Sports Kalamazoo Store Manager) favorite trails and why.

Kal-Haven Trail
Type: Linear trail, crushed limestone surface with some pavement
Parking: on 10th St. between H Ave. and G Ave.
Length: 33.5 miles from trailhead to South Haven
Perfect for biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling

Al Sabo (AKA the Twilight Trail Fest location)!
Type: Trail network, some for both bike and foot, some foot only trails, well-maintained natural surface
Parking: Texas Dr. West of 10th St just before Rota Kiwan Boy Scout Camp
Length: Approximately 8 miles on the map, over 25 miles on the preserve.
*Join us for a fun trail run every Sunday at 2pm at the Al Sabo Preserve
The Dirty Herd Kalamazoo 

Why Joe the Trail Runner loves this trail:

“What makes Al Sabo a go-to trail for me is the fantastically simple layout that gives you over 8 miles of trails. There are plenty of hidden gems out there too! Little offshoots that give you quick climbs or a boardwalk section, if you can find it, through an amazing field with fantastic views! Especially at dusk or dawn. You can break all the loops down into smaller sections that give you the ability to utilize your car for supplies often. The upkeep is fantastic and its a great place for beginners on up.”

Chipman Preserve
Type: Trail network, natural surface, sometimes a bit overgrown
Parking: East Main between 30th and 33rd
Length: About 6 miles of trails
Perfect for trail-running and cross-country skiing.

Fred McLinden Trails
Type: Loop, well-maintained natural surface
Parking: H Ave. between 30th and 33rd
Length: 2 miles
Perfect for all skill levels

Fort Custer Recreation Area
Type: Trail network, well-maintained natural surface
Parking: Off of Ft. Custer Dr.
Length: 25 miles
Perfect for mountain bikers, equestrians, hikers and dog sledders.

Why Joe the Trail Runner loves this trail:

“Probably my favorite of all the trails around. 25 miles of trails with no repeat! You can spend a big chunk of your day running out here and not have to repeat yourself! Broken up into easy to follow trails, Blue (4 miles), Red (8.6 miles), Green (7 miles) and Yellow (5 miles). You can easily utilize your car for refueling or test your pack and give it all a go. With the new daily changing of directions for the mountain bikers, it opens up your ability to keep things fresh, running the trails both ways! Every season out there brings a whole new beauty to the trail. Misty mornings when the lakes hold a layer of fog are my favorite times to run there!”

Asylum Lake
Type: Trail network, well-maintained natural surface
Parking: Drake Rd. South of Stadium / Parkview between Drake and Oakland
Length: About 3 miles of trails
Perfect for hiking and trail runners

Why Joe the Trail Runner loves this trail:

“What a fantastically located trail that is amazing for beginners. This one can give you a great way to get speed work in while also working on your footwork! You can also go out and enjoy a couple of miles just taking in the scenery! With its easy access and great location, this one shouldn’t be overlooked when you want to get out for the midweek run!”

Kalamazoo Nature Center
Type: Trail network, well-maintained natural surface
Parking: Main Parking on Wednedge between E Ave. and D Ave.
Length: About 10 miles of trails
Perfect for hiking and trail runners

Markin Glen
Type: Loop, natural surface
Parking: Westnedge North of G Ave. west side of the road (east side is camping)
Length: About 1.5 miles
Perfect for fishing, hiking, swimming and trail runners

Bi-Centennial Trail/Celery Flats
Type: Linear Trail, paved
Parking: Kilgore and Lovers Lane / Milham Rd near Lovers Lane
Length: 3.5 miles
Perfect for cyclists and trail runners

Oshtemo Township Park
Type: Natural surface
Parking: on M43 (West Main) west of 9th St behind the fire deparment
Length: About 1-mile trail network
Perfect for hiking, trail runners and cyclists

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