The BEST part of summer is family fun in a local park

I remember running around, getting dirty, and experiencing pure freedom at local the local park when growing up.

My parents would take us to Lake St. Clair Metropark and the times spent there were incredible! Swimming, playing on crazy, fun jungle-gym equipment and flying kites. Every kid should have that sweet memory, and every adult should enjoy sometime being a kid again.

With those thoughts in mind I have listed the 3 great parks right in our backyard.

Spring Valley Park

Located at 2606 Mt. Olivet Road and their web-site boasts...

Walkers and runners can make use of the 3.2 miles of paved trails and children will love the three playgrounds, one of which is handicap accessible. Spring Valley Park provides a great location for people to admire the natural beauty and wildlife, it’s also great for fishing enthusiasts by small boat and on the shore. The picnic shelter has electricity and seats 20-30 people, two that are handicapped accessible. Restrooms and a water fountain are located in the area. For sports fans there is a baseball diamond, soccer field, disc golf course, and tennis courts located near the water tower entrance. If you are a geocacher, good news, you will find one around every turn.

Danielle D. reacted on yelp.com about Spring Valley Park...

I searched online for a park that has a canoe/kayak launch and this came up so I decided to try it. The small non-motorized lake is perfect for kayaking!  Beautiful scenery, quiet environment - there was only 1 other canoe on the water.

 

Mayors Riverfont Park

Located at 251 Mills Street and the web-site promotes...

Have your heart set on launching a canoe or kayak, going for a scenic jog or just putting your bare feet against the earth? Kalamazoo Mayors’ Riverfront Park is the prime destination to satisfy your park craving. 2,700 feet of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail that ambles through the park is an undeniable gem. With a picnic area that includes a grill, a nature walk, playground and six hoop basketball court, Mayors’ Riverfront is an ideal place to be active, or not, surrounded by all that nature has to offer.

Alicia S. took the time to report her thoughts to Yelp.com...

Proud nest of the Growlers Stadium, City of Kzoo Parks and Rec, and Kzoo Sport and Social Club headquarters! Not to mention, bike trails, picnic areas, extra recreational fields, basket ball court, and even a second arena/stadium (part of Kzoo Parks and Rec). The Kzoo River trickles along making this park a tranquil place to sit at, play at, or bike through. Down the way, I even found some old train tracks across a bridge in the woods! Hidden gems.

 

Markin Glen Park in Cooper Township

Markin Glen features unique and beautiful natural features. From the top of one of the highest points in Kalamazoo, hikers can experience a scenic view of downtown. The park is also home to a wide variety of spring flowers and has a mature beech maple forest. The state-of-the-art campground was opened in 2004 and offers 38 sites conveniently located just north of downtown Kalamazoo.

Tran K. took the time to express her thoughts on Yelp.com...

The one review back 2007 may be truth but I'm glad that I didn't base my decision on that.  Of all the campground this ranking on top of our list. This is the nicest state park we have ever been at. The water in the creek is crystal clear. Our kids love the play ground.

 

Portage Creek Bicentennial Park

Located at 910 East Milham Portage

200-acre linear park offering multi-use trails, picnic areas & playgrounds, plus fishing & benches.

Nema M. checked in on Yelp.com and had this to say...

This is one of my family's favorite parks. Great trails, playground, nature preserve and scenery! We always see so many deer, beautiful birds and of course the Michigan sunset! The bridge is one of my favorite spots for pictures! I love how recently updated the trails are! It is always so clean and beautiful!
I would love to know what park in the Kalamazoo area is your favorite!

BONUS VIDEO

Kayaking In The Flooded Homer Stryker Field In Kalamazoo