When it comes to maintaining your physical activity, the winter months can be challenging.
Of course, if you're a dedicated runner (unlike me) a bit of snow on the ground won't stop you. However, as it is with running in the summer, some places are more suitable for running than others.
On Kalamazoo's Reddit, the user u/jmelvs asked,
Best places to run in the winter? I wasn’t aware that Kal-Haven trail turned into a snowmobiling trail in the winter. Favorite running trails in/around Kalamazoo?
Whether you're looking for nature trails or areas with actual sidewalks, here are the suggestions for at least 5 of the best places for winter running in the Kalamazoo area:
1. Al Sabo Land Preserve
The Al Sabo Land Preserve was the very first suggestion on the list. It's said to have, "good variety of decently managed dirt trails, with paved paths as well. Tons of good landscape," according to u/BrownL. The Al Sabo Land preserve is a 741-acre preserve. That's a lot of area to cover. But, if you're interested, this map from alltrails.com points out the "best" trails in Al Sabo. It may help narrow your choices.
2. Celery Flats Historical Area
Celery Flats is a "park within a park" according to their website. You'll find a plethora of restored buildings, picnic areas, and, of course, lots of trails. It's not specified but, judging by the pictures, it looks like most of these trails are paved.
3. Eliason Nature Preserve
Speaking of Celery Flats, the Eliason Nature Preserve actually connects to the Celery Flats Historical Area according to, again, u/BrownL. The land itself is a bog but, there is a trail system in place. Read more here.
4. Kalamazoo River Valley Trail
This trail is gigantic. According to their website, the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail consists of 35 miles of trails throughout Kalamazoo. Twenty-four of those miles are paved, non-motorized trails that would be perfect for running. Listing every place where the trails intersect would be a tad convoluted here. Instead, I would refer you to the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail website for all details.
5. The WMU Engineering Park
This one may very well be the least well-known on the list. Suggested by u/cbsteven, they said,
The WMU Engineering Park on Drake & Parkview has a very nice loop of sidewalks through their campus, and it's right across the street from Asylum Lake. You could easily combine them into a ~4 mile loop, or add in the Winchell Neighborhood streets to make it 5-6 miles.
The suggestion was seconded by u/President_Beep who said, "The BTR trails are a hidden treasure." Since this is a school, the sidewalks should (hopefully) be at least salted for your running needs. Find more information on WMU's Business Technology and Research Park here.
I do want to give recognition to my personal favorite suggestion that did not make this list. That suggestion comes from u/a1962wolfie who, when asked about the best places to run in Kalamazoo, said, "To the couch and drink cocoa." Bravo.
During Michigan's winter, most of us may not be running in the cold. In fact, many of us may avoid going outside altogether unless it's absolutely necessary. But, winters in Michigan aren't ALL bad. Here are a few reasons why: