Van Buren Trail State Park

In November of 2015, the 5.5-mile section of trail from Van Buren State Park to South Haven was completed, paved with a 10-footwide asphalt surface and extended within six blocks of the downtown trailhead. We rode it this past summer, and it's a real gem, connecting two of Michigan's most beautiful beaches. It was over 90 degrees that day, and the cool swim at the end was refreshing.

The 15-mile Van Buren Trail State Park runs from South Haven to Hartford on the former Toledo & South Haven Railroad. The 2.5-mile spur from 16th Avenue to Van Buren State Park was built on an abandoned rail line that was used during construction of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant. The trail surface from 16th Avenue to Hartford is unimproved grass and gravel, but nicely maintained, and mowed, and best suited for fat tire bikes. Equestrian and snowmobile use is permitted along this grass and gravel section.

Enjoy the quiet solitude of nature as you travel through blueberry fields, woodlands and meadows and cross a bridge over the Paw Paw River just west of Hartford. The village of Covert marks the approximate halfway point. There are no public restrooms or water along the Van Buren Trail, so plan accordingly.

South Haven is an ideal location to stage your rides on the Van Buren and Kal-Haven trails with ample lodging, restaurants, and local atractions.

Kal-Haven Trail Scenic Connector Route

The city of South Haven has developed a connector route that links the Van Buren Trail with the Kal-Haven Trail, passing through the downtown shopping and dining district, and along the Black River channel to South Beach Park, the lighthouse, and a bluff with panoramic views of Lake Michigan. It's well worth the extra time and highly recommended.

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Trail Resource Guide

Bicycle & Fitness Shops
Cabbage Brothers Bicycles Cabbage Brothers Bicycles
2308 Crane Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(269) 348-0400
Web Link
Food/Restaurants/Ice Cream
The Depot The Depot
555 Dyckman Street
South Haven, MI 49090
(269) 639-8045
Web Link
Trail Groups and Developers
Friends of the Blue Star Trail Friends of the Blue Star Trail
7104 107th Avenue
South Haven, MI 49090-9678

Web Link
Friends of the Kal-Haven Trail Friends of the Kal-Haven Trail
PO Box 156
Lawrence, MI 49064

Web Link
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Michigan Department of Natural Resources
525 W. Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48909

Web Link
Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance
PO Box 27187
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 485-6022
Web Link
West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition
PO Box 325
Comstock Park, MI 49321
(616) 485-7805
Web Link
Tourist Information
South Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau South Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau
546 Phoenix Street
South Haven, MI 49090
(269) 637-5252
Web Link
Trail Supporter
DTE Energy DTE Energy

Web Link
League of Michigan Bicyclists League of Michigan Bicyclists
416 S. Cedar Street, Suite A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 334-9100
Web Link
Michigan Brewers Guild Michigan Brewers Guild
225 W. Washtenaw, Suite C
Lansing, MI 48933

Web Link
Sinas Dramis Law Firm Sinas Dramis Law Firm
3380 Pine Tree Road
Lansing, MI 48911
(517) 394-7500
Web Link

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