Winter is right around the corner, again thank you so much to everyone for the constant reminders. There are some things that I, as a former Floridian, may not want to do during my first real winter. Like...go outside? I am a lover of nature trails, though, and am trying to find as many as possible before the first snow.

Thanks to Discover Kalamazoo I found a list of undiscovered gems right here in Kalamazoo and this past weekend ventured out to discover one for myself.

1. Eliason Nature Preserve


For my first trip, I chose to visit Eliason Nature Preserve. It was a beautiful trail, good for all skill levels, and was moderately busy with runners, bikers, and families. Dogs are welcomed here as long as they're leashed

2. Bow in the Clouds Preserve  

The most prominent feature of this trail has to be the deck that overlooks the natural marsh below. It's free to enter and includes both gravel trails and a boardwalk loop.

3. Wolf Tree Nature Trail


A "wolf tree" is defined by Merriam-Webster as a very large forest tree that has a wide-spreading crown and inhibits or prevents the growth of smaller trees around it. With that being said, I would expect an abundance of trees on this path. Wolf Tree Nature Trail features two 3/4 mile loops and is described as moderate for the skill level

4. Kleinstock Preserve   

Kleinstock Preserve is a 48 acre nature preserve and is managed by Western Michigan University. The main trail runs over what used to be a kettle bog according to WMU. Besides the marshland, this trail offers both upland and swamp forest areas.

5. Chipman Preserve


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Fall in the Mitten Made even better with friends.

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Southwest Michigan Land Conservatory describes Chipman Preserve as "six miles of moderate trails through rolling savanna, forest, and grassland habitat. Popular for trail-running and cross-country skiing." You lost me at skiing, but I'll take the hike! At least part of it. Six miles is...long.

That's just 5 of the 8 hidden gems that are right here in Kalamazoo. Check out the full list from Discovery Kalamazoo here.

What other outdoor activities do I need to experience before winter sets in? Let me know by hitting the 'chat' button on the KFR app!

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