Explore South Haven, a Pure Michigan Trail Town
Going outside to play is made easy in South Haven!
South Haven was designated as a Pure Michigan Trail Town in 2019, boasting 48 miles of land trails, 91 miles of water trails, 770 acres of nature preserves, and a few scenic driving routes. Each is worth exploring, whether you're on foot, on a bicycle, in a kayak or canoe, or in a car. Pick your favorite form of travel, find a trail, and explore!
Great Lake-to-Lake Trail Route #1
51 Bailey Avenue
The Great Lake-to-Lake Trail Route #1 begins in South Haven and runs east across the state of Michigan to Port Huron for a total of 275 miles. Over 75 towns along the trail offer something for everyone, with thousands of restaurants, lodging, and points of interest to explore. In South Haven, the Kal-Haven Trail State Park serves as the first leg of the Route #1 Trail.
Kal-Haven Trail State Park
51 Bailey Avenue
The Kal-Haven Trail is a 33.5-mile trail that links Kalamazoo to South Haven. The Kal-Haven is built on the abandoned Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad route, which existed from the 1870s to the 1970s and has a limestone/slag surface. This non-motorized trail is used for bicycling, hiking, running, nature viewing, and snowmobiling. The Kal-Haven is designated as a Pure Michigan Trail.
Maritime District Harbor Walk
North Pier to South Pier
The Harbor Walk is a scenic pedestrian trail that runs from North Beach to South Beach, pier-to-pier, within the Maritime District. The walk includes wonderful views of boats, marinas, a drawbridge, downtown South Haven and spectacular views of the South Haven Lighthouse. Along the Harbor Walk is twenty-one historical markers, allowing walkers to learn about the unique aspects of South Haven's history.
U.S. Bicycle Route 35
U.S. Bicycle Route 35 is a 500-mile route that runs from Indiana through Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, generally follows the Lake Michigan shoreline and through the eastern Upper Peninsula. In South Haven, Route 35 generally follows the Blue Star Highway to the north and south of South Haven. The route travels through downtown South Haven by way of Kalamazoo, Phoenix, Center, and Williams Streets, as well as Dyckman Avenue and North Shore Drive.
Van Buren Trail State Park
South End of Maple Street
The Van Buren Trail is a 14-mile trail that links the city of South Haven to Hartford. The trail runs through open farmland, blueberry fields, dense brush, and wooded areas. The first 4 miles south from South Haven are paved, as well as the 2.5-mile Van Buren Trail spur into the Van Buren State Park.
Black River Preserve
69401-69499 8th Avenue
Over two miles of easy-to-difficult hiking trails through forest and wetland with one mile of river frontage.
Pilgrim Haven Natural Area
Mostly flat trails totaling 0.33 miles through the forest with barrier-free access to the beach. The stone-covered beach is perfect for rockhounding!
Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail
The Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail along the Black River flows for 20 miles from Lions Park in Bangor to Black River Park in South Haven. The trail is perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. the Black River meanders through scenic wooded landscapes with shady, tree-lined banks and a sandy bottom. Nature abounds along the trail with deer, muskrats, turtles, and all manners of birds and wildflowers.
Lake Michigan Tournament Trail
The Lake Michigan Tournament Trail includes 13 lakefront communities in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan, including South Haven. The communities host big lake fishing events as a part of the Tournament Trail.
Lake Michigan Water Trail Southwest
The southwest portion of the Lake Michigan Water Trail runs from the Michigan/Indiana state line to Holland, Michigan. Paddle along the Lake Michigan shoreline and enjoy spectacular sand dunes, wilderness areas, and quaint beach towns providing many opportunities to eat, shop, play, and rest. In South Haven, the North Beach concession and restroom building serve as a staging and refuge point for paddlers.
Scenic Driving Routes
Great Lake Fisheries Heritage Trail
260 Dyckman Avenue
The Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail is a story of people, fish, and fishing. It demonstrates how we relate to aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity, water quality, and environmental change. Great Lakes fisheries heritage sites throughout Michigan offer residents and visitors a unique opportunity to explore and experience the dynamic social, technological, and environmental changes that have shaped today's fishery. In South Haven, visitors can visit the Michigan Maritime Museum to learn more about the history and heritage of Great Lake fishing.
Lake Michigan Circle Tour
The Lake Michigan Circle Tour features 105 lighthouses around the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Lake Michigan, and the shores of Lake Michigan in Indiana and Wisconsin. South Haven's Lighthouse is one of the stops along the Circle Tour.
West Michigan Pike Byway Historical Trail
The West Michigan Pike, a Pure Michigan Byway, was originally constructed between 1911 and 1922 as one of the nation's first tourist roads. The entire route stretches more than 184 miles along Michigan's west coast and includes St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, South Haven, Saugatuck/Douglas, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, and Silver Lake. The historical West Michigan Pike route runs through South Haven along Broadway Street, Dyckman Avenue, and North Shore Drive.
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