In the spring of 2019, South Haven was thrilled to receive the designation of Pure Michigan Trail Town by the Michigan DNR and Travel Michigan! We are very proud that our combined community spirit to develop, promote and protect our beautiful land and water based trail assets was recognized by the State of Michigan! Our area boasts over 48 miles of hiking and biking trails, 91 miles of kayaking and canoeing trails, 770 acres of nature preserves and 11 miles of horseback riding trails. Whether you’re looking to go hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling or exploring, our trails and nature preserves provide the perfect setting for your escape. Check out the listings below for more details on our area trails and preserves - or click on the link below for more area and State trails resources!
Bangor-South Haven Heritage Water Trail
PO Box 676 - South Haven
This water trail is one of 9 designated heritage water trails in Michigan, offering 15 interpretive signs along the river. There are two “family-friendly” sections on this 23-mile water trail. The section between County Road 687 and the Basic Family Access (CR 384) is called the "wilderness section," and paddlers can expect obstacles, major ones.
Black River Park and Boat Launch
132 Dunkley Avenue - South Haven
Phone: (269) 637-0772
Enjoy a day along the river! This park sports a really nice kayak launch, so you can easily get into your kayak and on the water without getting wet. It's also the perfect spot to jump onto the Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail and travel up the river enjoying the natural sights. It's even handicapped accessible so everyone can have the chance to enjoy this serene park.
Black River Preserve
69401-69499 8th Avenue - South Haven
Phone: (269) 324-1600
Over 2 miles of easy-to-difficult hiking trails through forest and wetland - including one mile of river frontage. Whether you are looking for a peaceful retreat to snowshoe or cross-country ski, a vibrant birding hotspot, a colorful show of spring flowers or fall foliage, or just a natural spot where the kids can run around, Black River Preserve is a great place to enjoy the outdoors.
Kal-Haven Trail Head
51 Bailey Avenue - South Haven
Phone: (269) 685-6851
Enjoy a hike, bike ride, horseback ride, or a leisurely stroll on this 34-mile trail from South Haven to Kalamazoo. Travel through small towns, countryside, beautiful wooded areas, and pass points of historical interest. Towns along the way have food and lodging for trail users. Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. Snowmobilers must have the Michigan Snowmobile Permit.
KJC ATV Rentals & Trails of South Haven
24835 68th Street - South Haven
Phone: (269) 427-8635
Looking for something to do after the beach? Come and enjoy our beautiful wooded trails. We offer one and two person rentals. Two catch and release ponds are on site. We also have horseshoes, corn toss, and other games while you wait or after you ride.
Maritime District Harbor Walk
234 Black River Street - South Haven
The Harbor Walk runs from pierhead to pierhead with historic markers along the Black River. Scenic views of Lake Michigan, the Black River, and the harbor!
Paw Paw River Water Trail
51st Avenue and North Kalamazoo Street - Paw Paw
The Paw Paw River is 68 miles long. It flows through Van Buren and Berrien Counties and joins the St. Joseph River just above its mouth at Benton Harbor. The Paw Paw River offers paddling through mostly beautiful wooded flood plains colored brightly during the fall with Paw Paw trees. The paddling along the river is mostly remote, very scenic in places and requires good paddling skills.
Pilgrim Haven Natural Area
18th Avenue - South Haven
Phone: (269) 324-1600
Pilgrim Haven Natural Area offers a beautiful sample of lakeshore habitats. A barrier-free concrete walk to the beach allows people of all abilities to reach the shore. One-third mile of easy trail through woods and meadows that leads to Lake Michigan overlooks and barrier-free paved access to the beach. Swimming. Wildlife Viewing. Hiking. Snowshoeing. Canoeing/Kayaking.
Van Buren Trail State Park
300 Lovejoy Avenue - South Haven
Phone: (269) 674-8011
From I-196: Exit 20, turn west off of exit ramp onto Phoenix Road. At 2nd light, turn left onto Broadway, Broadway curves into Phillips and then into LaGrange Street. Take LaGrange to Aylworth Avenue, go west on Aylworth to Kalamazoo Street, and south on Kalamazoo to Lovejoy Avenue. The trail is .1 miles to the west, on the south side of Lovejoy Avenue. Parking is at the Van Buren State Park (23960 Ruggles Road).
Wau-Ke-Na, William Erby Smith Preserve
1599 Lakeshore Drive - Fennville
Phone: (269) 324-1600
Divided into North and South Tracts, Wau-Ke-Na ("forest by the water") features over 3 miles of mowed trails that traverse forests, fields, streams, ponds, bluffs, and Lake Michigan beach. Its fields of prairie grasses and wildflowers provide important nesting habitat for birds - and awesome places for humans to trail-run, cross-country ski, snowshoe, and just generally wander.
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South Haven/Van Buren County Convention and Visitors Bureau