Sunday, January 30, 2011

Milham Park Cross-Country Skiing

I'm not sure how I missed Kalamazoo's Milham Park as a ski area. For several years, the Kalamazoo Nordic Skiers club has groomed a trail on the Milham Park golf course, with both traditional x-country tracks and a skate lane. Trail conditions, of course, vary with snowfall and temperature. See the club's Trail Conditions Report for the latest information.

I'd been watching the trail condition reports since December but there never seemed to be enough snow or else I had other commitments. This Thursday, after work, I made my first visit to the course.

I expected the groomed tracks to give Milham Park a big advantage over my usual cross-county ski trails in Kalamazoo, but the real advantage is that the tracks aren't erased by trail-runners, snow-shoers, and dog-walkers. Milham Park's trails are mostly level with a couple of easy hills to add interest. As you'd expect from a golf course, it isn't in a forest. At times, the trail skirts backyards but overall it's nicely landscaped. It took me about an hour to complete two circuits. (The skate-skiers were moving much faster than that.)

The trail is right in town, nicely groomed, and free. I certainly plan to return.

Directions: From I-94 take exit 78, Portage Rd/Kilgore Road. Go west on Kilgore to Lovers Lane, then north. The parking lot for the ski trail is on Lovers Lane, just north of Portage Creek.

Milham Park
4200 Lovers Lane
Kalamazoo, MI

Milham Park History
Milham Park Golf Course

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