Winding along riverbanks, through ravines, residential neighborhoods, several parks and the downtown entertainment district, the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is an enjoyable way to explore the natural beauty of the Kalamazoo area.
Opened in 2008, the trail network currently includes 22 miles of paved trails, bridges and elevated boardwalks. It is part of a master plan that will eventually consist of 35 miles of trails with four sections radiating from downtown Kalamazoo. The east and west trail sections are part of a long-range, statewide plan that will connect South Haven to Port Huron on the Great Lake-to-Lake Trail.
Built on the former Kalamazoo & South Haven Roadroad, the west section of trail is a continuation of the Kal-Haven Trail State Park, making a gradual descent from the 10th Street Trailhead to Westnedge Avenue. From there, follow the directional signs through Arcadia Creek Festival Place and downtown Kalamazoo's shopping and dining district to the main spine of the trail along the Kalamazoo River.
The north section of trail travels along the river through several parks and the Kalamazoo Nature Center. The northernmost part of the north trail is very hilly and exceptionally scenic.
The east section of trail was extended another five miles during the summer of 2014 from Comstock to Galesburg. County trail officials are currently working on a plan to extend the trail to Augusta in the next few years, and eventually to the Battle Creek Linear Trail in Calhoun County. This past summer, the City of Kalamazoo completed a new section of trail that connects the campuses of Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College to the KRVT at the intersection of Westnedge Avenue and Michikal Street.
Currently in the planning and engineering phase, a new southern section of trail will travel along Portage Creek to connect with the Portage Bikeway Trail System.