Thursday, November 1, 2012

A new Kalamazoo River trail

Construction is essentially done on the newest segment of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail.  I'd been watching its progress throughout the summer and early fall but there were always crews still at work.  This morning was clear but cold (cold enough to try out my new winter bike gloves) and the trail was open.  There were a few workers doing some finish work, but the segment from Comstock to Mayor's Park in Kalamazoo is ride-able. 

The new section is about 3 miles long and it offers many views of the Kalamazoo River.  River access (and trail parking) are available at many spots including South Wenke Park, a DNR access site, and Mayor's Riverfront Park.  This section of the trail runs along King Highway (M-96) not through undeveloped woods but it is continuously along the river.  There is one highway crossing and then the trail follows the river through the old Georgia Pacific property where there's a clear view of the osprey perch from the trail.  A 400-foot-long bridge with views of the Grand Elk trainyard crosses the river to Mayor's Park.  From there, you can take the KRVT several miles north through Parchment and the Kalamazoo Nature Center to the D Avenue bridge.  Or, you could take the trail west through Kalamazoo to the KalHaven Trail and continue forty-some miles to Lake Michigan.

This segment parallels the kayak float we took on Labor Day, so it would be possible to boat down the river and then bike back.

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