Russ Forest is one of my favorite places near Kalamazoo for Spring wildflowers. Starting in mid-April, the woods are full of ephemeral wildflowers: Spring Beauty, Dutchman's Breeches, Mayapple, Celadine Poppy, Trillium, and more. The trails are relatively flat, making for an easy walk.
Russ Forest is operated by Cass County and Michigan State University's AgBioResearch department. The park has picnic areas and playground equipment and several miles of wooded trails. Horseback riding is permitted. Dowagiac Creek, which runs through the forest, is known for trout fishing. The forest is also known for big Tulip Poplars.
Fred Russ Forest County Park
Marcellus Highway, eight miles east of Dowagiac
(269) 445-8611 Office
Fred Russ Research Forest (MSU)
20673 Marcellus Highway
Decatur, MI 49045
Directions to Fred Russ Forest
From US-131 -- Just north of Three Rivers turn west on M-216 (Marcellus highway). Proceed 18 miles, traveling through Marcellus, to the research station office located on the left side. Travel another 1/4 mile to the roadside park entrance.
From I-94 -- Take the Paw Paw M-40 exit (exit 60). Travel south on M-40 through Lawton to Marcellus Highway. Turn west and travel approximately 5 miles to the research station office on the left side. Travel another 1/4 mile to the roadside park entrance.
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